I am exploring the psychological underpinnings of civic engagement and political participation among the Latino population in the USA.
This project addresses political participation among Latinos in the U.S. in two distinct domains, personality traits and cognitive styles. To date, little work has been done to explore the direct effect that links personality traits and cognitive styles to political participation among Latinx. The current project is a novel approach to bridge this gap by exploring the psychological, emotional, and cognitive styles that influence political participation.
Research (Putnam, 1993, 2000) shows that individuals can lose trust and faith in their fellow citizens and institutions, choose to withdraw from vital interdependent social networks, and embrace a ‘go it alone’ approach to citizenship.
Despite the clear links between personality traits and political participation (e.g., Cawvey, Hayes, Ganache, & Monday, 2017; Mondak, 2010), to my knowledge, no work has explored the direct and indirect psychological effects on the formation of social trust among Latinos in the U.S. My research project is a necessary innovation to reduce that gap.
My theoretical framework assumes that civic engagement has psychological components that impact both the individual and society. Specifically, I seek to develop a broad psychological model of civic engagement that includes the affective, cognitive, and behavioural elements of political participation.
I predict that political participation will vary as a function of cognitive and personality traits. My methodology includes an online survey and experiment to explore participant’s personality traits, cognitive styles, and political preferences.
More broadly, this project is a novel first step in a long-term plan of elucidating the social psychological consequences of political participation.