MSW research seminar location:Oldenburg, Germany date:6 December 2012
The research on the impact of personality on political participation knows a revival in recent years. Researchers more or less agree that personality is measured at best using the Big five personality traits: openness to new experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and emotional stability. Up to date, however, knowledge on how self-reports and observer ratings of personality relate to political participation is lacking. Whereas the self-reports of students might spur their behavior, observer ratings might influence the way students are seen by others and influence the likelihood of being asked to participate in politics. We test these hypotheses using a parent-child study. We find that all personality traits measure to some extent for political participation. Most influence is observed from self-ratings and the mothers’ observer reports.