This paper explores how the personality characteristics of individuals affect the answers they give to questions on controversial political topics. In April and May 2000, a random‐digit‐dial survey of 518 Americans was conducted in the continental United States. This survey included question batteries measuring two psychological concepts related to self‐presentation. Respondents were also asked about their opinion on a number of sensitive topics, such as feelings toward blacks and homosexuals and their opinions about spending on popular programs, including schools and the environment. Their responses to these questions varied as a function of their self‐presentation personality characteristics. The results presented here suggest that self‐presentation measures such as those assessed here can improve our understanding of how the social dynamics of the survey interview affect responses to sensitive questions.
Political Psychology – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 2004
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