Date of this Version
Kozisek, Conner. The Personality Traits of Protestors: Using the “Big Five” Model of Personality to Understand Political Protest Behavior. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2018.
Over the last decade, research looking at personality and political behavior has increased in popularity, and this study utilizes the “Big Five” model of personality to better understand the relationship between personality and political protest behavior and attitudes. Although past studies have looked at personality and protest participation in other countries, this study is the first to use the “Big Five” model of personality to understand political protest behaviors in the United States specifically. Although no statistically significant results were yielded for extraversion, agreeableness, or neuroticism, the study does find that individuals who score higher in openness to experience and lower in conscientiousness are more likely to participate in political protests. With recent protests turning violent or even deadly, this study also seeks to relate personality to attitudes towards political violence. Participants who received higher scores for extraversion and lower scores for openness to experience, conscientiousness, and agreeableness were more likely to feel it is justified to use violence to achieve one’s political goals, while participants who received higher scores for conscientiousness and extraversion and lower scores for openness to experience and agreeableness were more likely to believe that protestors generally deserve to get “roughed up” for disrupting political events.