Personality Traits and the Consumption of Political Information


Alan S. Gerber, Gregory A. Huber, David Doherty, Conor M. Dowling

Full citation: 
Gerber, Alan S., Gregory A. Huber, David Doherty, Conor M. Dowling (2011), "Personality Traits and the Consumption of Political Information," American Politics Research 39(1): 32-84.
In this article, we examine the relationship between dispositional personality traits (the Big Five) and the consumption of political information. We present detailed hypotheses about the characteristics of the political environment that are likely to affect the appeal of politics and political information in general for individuals with different personalities as well as hypotheses about how personality affects the attractiveness of particular sources of political information. We find that the Big Five traits are significant predictors of political interest and knowledge as well as consumption of different types of political media. Openness (the degree to which a person needs intellectual stimulation and variety) and Emotional Stability (characterized by low levels of anxiety) are associated with a broad range of engagement with political information and political knowledge. The other three Big Five traits, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, and Extraversion, are associated only with consumption of specific types of political information.
Supplemental information: 

Link to article here.

Publication date: 
Publication type: 
Publication name: 
Area of study: