Exercise 8. Ideology, party identification, and education
Another example of a conditional relationship involves the relationship between party identification and ideology. The two major parties are seen as ideologically different by most analysists. Republicans are widely identified as the conservative party in this country, while Democrats are considered to be more liberal. To what extent does the ideology of voters correspond to their party identification? To answer this question, we can examine the relationship between party identification (V007) and ideological self-placement (V068). To create a simpler table that is easier to interpret, it would be desirable to recode V007 and V068 so that they have only three categories each. In setting up your table, carefully consider which variable should be the independent variable and which should be the dependent variable.
Table 8A indicates that ideology and party identification are clearly linked. However, this relationship may be stronger for some types of people than for others. For example, we can look at this relationship for respondents with different levels of education (V148). Generate a table that shows the relationship between ideology and party identification, controlling for education. To keep the table simple, you should recode education so that there are fewer categories.
In this example, the original two-variable relationship remains in all three categories of the control variable, but the strength of that relationship does vary somewhat across the categories of the control variable. This is a different sort of conditional relationship than the one illustrated in the previous exercise, where the relationship became very weak in one situation.