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Open Access Publications from the University of California

States and Traits: The Interactive Effect of Emotion and Personality on Political Behavior

  • Author(s): Deol, Raman Kaur
  • Advisor(s): Hibbing, Matthew V
  • et al.

Several studies have examined the relationship between emotion and political behavior while others have studied the effect of personality on political behavior, but neither subfield has interacted much with the other. Personality and emotion have an interactive relationship wherein personality influences how people experience emotions and emotions influence how people express their personality traits. This project is an attempt to bridge the gap between these two subfields of study and to create a generalizable new theory explaining how emotion and personality interact in the realms of political learning, attitudes, and participation. Using a combination of unique survey data, experimental data, and the 2012 American National Election Survey, this study concludes that emotion and personality both influence political learning, attitudes, and participation, but the interaction between the two is more inconsistent and highly dependent on the context and type of behavior in question.

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