Is the Personal Always Political? Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Abstract. Research demonstrates that the negative relationship between Openness to Experience and conservatism is heightened among the informed. We extend this literature using national survey data (Study 1; N = 13,203) and data from students (Study 2; N = 311). As predicted, education – a correlate of political sophistication – strengthened the negative relationship between Openness and conservatism (Study 1). Study 2 employed a knowledge-based measure of political sophistication to show that the Openness × Political Sophistication interaction was restricted to the Openness aspect of Openness. These studies demonstrate that knowledge helps people align their ideology with their personality, but that the Openness × Political Sophistication interaction is specific to one aspect of Openness – nuances that are overlooked in the literature.

publication date

  • July 2017