Does personality matter? Exploring its moderating role on the relationship between neighbourhood ethnic outgroup-size and preferences for Brexit

Franco Bonomi Bezzo, Laura Silva, James Laurence, Katharina Schmid

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Resum

Prior research has examined the relationship between ethnic outgroup-size at the neighbourhood level and Brexit support, yet there is a lack of understanding on the factors that moderate these effects. This paper critically extends prior debate by focusing on how personality traits moderate not only the extent to which the levels (2011) of ethnic outgroup-size in individuals’ residential neighbourhoods but also the increase thereof (2001-2011) are associated with individuals’ preferences about the 2016 Brexit referendum. Using data from Understanding Society, we find that two personality traits, agreeableness and openness, are key moderators affecting the above-mentioned relationship. High-agreeable and high-open individuals are less likely than low-agreeable and low-open individuals to support Brexit. However, while the gap between low and highly agreeable individuals shrinks as ethnic outgroup-size increases, the gap widens between those higher vs. lower in openness. Our findings highlight the multifaceted role of personality traits as a driver of heterogeneous effects on political behaviour. In sum, this paper shows that analysing the complex and intertwined nature of both contextual and individual factors is fundamental for a better understanding, not only of the Brexit referendum but, more broadly, of anti-immigrant sentiment.

Idioma originalAnglès
RevistaEuropean Societies
DOIs
Estat de la publicacióAcceptada/en premsa - 2023

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