Personality, Negativity, and Political Participation

Aaron C. Weinschenk, Costas Panagopoulos

Abstract


Scholars have recently started to integrate personality traits into models of political participation. In this paper, we present the results of a survey experiment (N = 724) designed to test whether negative political messages differentially impact people with different personality traits. We found evidence that individuals with high scores on agreeableness were less likely, and individuals with high scores on extraversion were more likely, to report intending to participate in politics than their counterparts after being exposed to negative political messages. Agreeableness and extraversion also interacted with negative messages to influence specific intentions to make a political donation, attend a meeting, rally, or event, and volunteer for a political campaign. We also found suggestive evidence that agreeableness interacted with negativity to influence turnout intentions. The results of this study have important implications for the study of political engagement, the ways in which people interact with political information, and the practice of democratic politics.


Keywords


Big Five; personality traits; political participation; negativity; experiment

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https://doi.org/10.5964/jspp.v2i1.280

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Citations:

  • Jaime E. Settle, Christopher T. Dawes, Peter John Loewen, Costas Panagopoulos (2017)
    Negative Affectivity, Political Contention, and Turnout: A Genopolitics Field Experiment
    Political Psychology, 38(6), p. 1065(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12379
  • Aaron C. Weinschenk, Christopher T. Dawes (2017)
    The Relationship between Genes, Personality Traits, and Political Interest
    Political Research Quarterly, 70(3), p. 467(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912917698045
  • Camilla Bjarnøe, Claes Holger de Vreese, Erik Albæk (2020)
    The effect of being conflict non-avoidant: linking conflict framing and political participation
    West European Politics, 43(1), p. 102(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2019.1572334
  • Maya Ackermann, Kathrin Ackermann, Markus Freitag (2019)
    The personality of stealth democrats: how traits shape attitudes towards expert-based governments
    West European Politics, 42(3), p. 573(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2018.1530494
  • Aaron C. Weinschenk, Christopher T. Dawes (2018)
    Genes, Personality Traits, and the Sense of Civic Duty
    American Politics Research, 46(1), p. 47(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1532673X17710760
  • Nathan P. Kalmoe (2019)
    Mobilizing Voters with Aggressive Metaphors
    Political Science Research and Methods, 7(3), p. 411(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2017.36
  • Aaron C. Weinschenk, Christopher T. Dawes (2019)
    The genetic and psychological underpinnings of generalized social trust
    Journal of Trust Research, 9(1), p. 47(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1080/21515581.2018.1497516
  • Lukas P. Otto, Sophie Lecheler, Andreas R.T. Schuck (2020)
    Is Context the Key? The (Non-)Differential Effects of Mediated Incivility in Three European Countries
    Political Communication, 37(1), p. 88(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10584609.2019.1663324
  • Adrian Furnham, Helen Cheng (2019)
    Personality Traits and Socio-Demographic Variables as Predictors of Political Interest and Voting Behavior in a British Cohort
    Journal of Individual Differences, 40(2), p. 118(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1027/1614-0001/a000283



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