Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-5dd2w Total loading time: 0.47 Render date: 2022-05-24T10:21:15.671Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Dynamic Political Interest: How Personality Differences and the Political Environment Shape Political Interest

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 May 2020

Erik Gahner Larsen*
Affiliation:
School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
*
*Corresponding author. E-mail: erikgahner@gmail.com

Abstract

In order to explain differences in political interest, two strands of literature point to the relevance of either dispositional or situational factors. I remedy this and show how political interest is shaped by the interplay between personality differences and the political environment. Specifically, I demonstrate that people with a stable motivation for engaging with new ideas are more interested in politics when exposed to new political events, e.g. during election campaigns and when unexpected events unfold. The results have implications for our understanding of political inequalities in democratic engagement and shed light on how citizens' interest in politics can be relatively stable over time as well as responsive to the political environment in predictable ways.

Type
Letter
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Beach, D, Hansen, KM and Larsen, MV (2018) How campaigns enhance European issues voting during European Parliament elections. Political Science Research and Methods 6(4), 791808.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blais, A and St-Vincent, SL (2011) Personality traits, political attitudes and the propensity to vote. European Journal of Political Research 50(3), 395417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bloeser, AJ, et al. (2015) The temporal consistency of personality effects: evidence from the British household panel survey. Political Psychology 36(3), 331340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Butler, DM and De La O, AL (2010) The causal effect of media-driven political interest on political attitudes and behavior. Quarterly Journal of Political Science 5(4), 321337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Condra, MB (1992) The link between need for cognition and political interest, involvement, and media usage. Psychology: A Journal of Human Behavior 29(3–4), 1318.Google Scholar
David, CC (2009) Learning political information from the news: a closer look at the role of motivation. Journal of Communication 59(2), 243261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dawes, C, et al. (2014) The relationship between genes, psychological traits, and political participation. American Journal of Political Science 58(4), 888903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Denissen, JJA and Penke, L (2008) Motivational individual reaction norms underlying the Five-Factor model of personality: first steps towards a theory-based conceptual framework. Journal of Research in Personality 42(5), 12851302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Denny, K and Doyle, O (2008) Political interest, cognitive ability and personality: determinants of voter turnout in Britain. British Journal of Political Science 38(2), 291310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeYoung, CG, Peterson, JB and Higgins, DM (2005) Sources of openness/intellect: cognitive and neuropsychological correlates of the fifth factor of personality. Journal of Personality 73(4), 825858.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Funder, DC (2006) Towards a resolution of the personality triad: persons, situations, and behaviors. Journal of Research in Personality 40(1), 2134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gallego, A and Oberski, D (2012) Personality and political participation: the mediation hypothesis. Political Behavior 34(3), 425451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gerber, AS et al. (2011a) The big five personality traits in the political arena. Annual Review of Political Science 14(1), 265287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gerber, AS et al. (2011b) Personality traits and the consumption of political information. American Politics Research 39(1), 3284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gerber, AS, et al. (2010) Personality and political attitudes: relationships across issue domains and political contexts. American Political Science Review 104(1), 111133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Larsen, EG (2019) “Replication Data for: Dynamic political interest: How personality differences and the political environment shape political interest” https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/JZZWER, Harvard Dataverse, V1, UNF:6:ZRtl2vuJYJc7avrq7IENqg==[fileUNF]Google Scholar
Leone, L, Chirumbolo, A and Desimoni, M (2012) The impact of the HEXACO personality model in predicting socio-political attitudes: the moderating role of interest in politics. Personality and Individual Differences 52(3), 416421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lupia, A and Philpot, TS (2005) Views from inside the net: how websites affect young adults’ political interest. Journal of Politics 67(4), 11221142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McCrae, RR and John, OP (1992) An introduction to the five-factor model and its applications. Journal of Personality 60(2), 175215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mondak, JJ (2010) Personality and the Foundations of Political Behavior. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mondak, JJ et al. (2011) The participatory personality: evidence from Latin America. British Journal of Political Science 41(1), 211221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mondak, JJ and Halperin, KD (2008) A framework for the study of personality and political behaviour. British Journal of Political Science 38(2), 335362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mondak, JJ et al. (2010) Personality and civic engagement: an integrative framework for the study of trait effects on political behavior. American Political Science Review 104(1), 85110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muñoz, J, Falcó-Gimeno, A and Hernández, E (2019) Unexpected event during survey design: promise and pitfalls for causal inference. Political Analysis. doi: 10.1017/pan.2019.27.Google Scholar
Neundorf, A, Smets, K and García-Albacete, GM (2013) Homemade citizens: the development of political interest during adolescence and young adulthood. Acta Politica 48(1), 92116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Potski, M and Urbatsch, R (2017) Entertainment and the opportunity cost of civic participation: Monday night football game quality suppresses turnout in US elections. Journal of Politics 79(2), 424438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Prior, M (2002) Political knowledge after September 11. PS: Political Science & Politics 35(3), 523530.Google Scholar
Prior, M (2010) You've either got it or you don't? The stability of political interest over the life cycle. Journal of Politics 72(3), 747766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sørensen, RJ (2019) The impact of state television on voter turnout. British Journal of Political Science 49(1), 257278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Strömbäck, J and Shehata, A (2010) Media malaise or a virtuous circle? Exploring the causal relationships between news media exposure, political news attention and political interest. European Journal of Political Research 49(5), 575597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
van Deth, JW and Elff, M (2004) Politicisation, economic development and political interest in Europe. European Journal of Political Research 43(3), 477508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vitriol, JA, Larsen, EG and Ludeke, SG (2019) The generalizability of personality effects in politics. European Journal of Personality. doi: 10.1002/per.2222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weinschenk, AC and Dawes, CT (2017) The relationship between genes, personality traits, and political interest. Political Research Quarterly 70(3), 467479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Supplementary material: Link

Larsen Dataset

Link
Supplementary material: File

Larsen supplementary material

Larsen supplementary material

Download Larsen supplementary material(File)
File 91 KB

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Dynamic Political Interest: How Personality Differences and the Political Environment Shape Political Interest
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Dynamic Political Interest: How Personality Differences and the Political Environment Shape Political Interest
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Dynamic Political Interest: How Personality Differences and the Political Environment Shape Political Interest
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *