Political knowledge has long been considered an integral part of public opinion, as well as a topic of survey research interest in its own right for many decades. While many definitions of political knowledge exist, most reflect an understanding of it as factual information about politics and government that individuals retain in their memory.

Political knowledge is similar to, but somewhat narrower than, "political awareness," "political sophistication," or "political expertise." Political knowledge is an important source of the considerations people draw upon when asked to respond to an attitude or opinion question and is thus an integral aspect of many theories of public opinion formation and change. It also is a key concept in democratic theory, with scholars and philosophers since the time of Plato debating ...

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