Personalities Discussing Politics: The Effects of Agreement and Expertise on Discussion Frequency and the Moderating Role of Personality Traits

Hyunjin Song, Hajo Boomgaarden


Research suggests that individuals’ personality traits are uniquely related to the patterns of their social interactions. This study addresses whether and how personality traits condition the social interaction patterns when people discuss politics in their immediate social environment. We explore the interactive relationship between discussion partners’ personality traits, disagreement, and expertise when they discuss the economy and immigration. Combining a multilevel approach with a propensity score analysis, this examination of a nationally representative sample of Austrian citizens finds that, although political agreement may motivate individuals to frequently discuss politics, not all citizens are equally affected by expertise, nor is such influence identical for different discussion topics.


political discussion, discussion frequency, political agreement, political expertise, personality traits, multilevel analysis, propensity score analysis

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