Gerber, Alan S., Gregory A. Huber, David Doherty, Conor M. Dowling, Costas Panagopoulos (2012) "Big Five Personality Traits and Responses to Persuasive Appeals: Results from Voter Turnout Experiments," Political Behavior, published online, DOI 10.1007/s11109-012-9216-y
We examine whether Big Five personality traits are associated with heterogeneous responses to commonly used Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) appeals in both a survey and a field experiment. The results suggest that Big Five personality traits affect how people respond to the costs and benefits of voting highlighted in GOTV appeals. Our evidence also suggests that one trait—Openness—is associated with broad persuasibility, while others shape responses to particular types of messages. In some cases the conditioning effects of Big Five traits are substantial. For example, in the one-voter households (HHs) included in our field experiment, we find that a mailer that raised the specter of social sanctions increased the likelihood of voting by a statistically greater amount among those scoring high on Openness. The findings constitute an important step forward in understanding how core personality traits shape responses to various aspects of the act of voting.
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