Christiane Grill
Personality Traits and Citizens´ Conversations about Politics: An Integrative Approach to the Study on How Citizens Discuss Politics

Titelbild WP 176
Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung: Arbeitspapiere; 176
39 S.
ISSN: 1437-8574

The growing scholarly interest in the ‘talk-centric democracy’ has resulted in a substantial body of research on citizens’ engagement in political conversations. While previous studies have mainly looked at variables predicting the frequency with which citizens engage in political conversations, this study extends this body of research by focusing on four aspects that concern the form of citizens’ political talk more specifically, namely the communicative role, speaking up in and withdrawing from informal conversations, and active participation in discussions at public meetings. In doing so, this study highlights the influence of micro-level psychological factors on patterns of citizens’ engagement in everyday political talk. However, it also demonstrates that an integrative application of various predictor variables is necessary to comprehensively assess citizens’ conversations about politics. Lastly, this work helps to better understand how differences in people’s personality traits affect how they participate in political talks.