Personality, Political Attitudes and Participation in Protests: The Direct and Mediated Effects of Psychological Factors on Political Activism

Ednaldo Aparecido Ribeiro, Julian Borba

Abstract


Studies combining psychology and political science have shown that personality traits such as extroversion and openness to experiences are conditioning factors of political activism. However, the mechanisms through which this effect occurs are still poorly understood. Aiming to advance this topic, this article presents the results of an investigation that looked to analyse the mediated effects of personality traits in the Brazilian context, taking as mediating conditioning factors various attitudes and subjective dispositions commonly found in the literature, such as interest in politics and subjective political efficacy. Using the Latin American Public Opinion Project data, the hypothesis was tested that personality influences behaviour, since it favours the development of a number of attitudes that function as basic factors conditioning civic engagement. The results indicate the significant mediated effects of extroversion and openness to experience, especially with regard to political knowledge.

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