Kleinman Presents on Influences on People’s Willingness to Discuss Interpersonal Politics

Posted on 7/12/2017 8:15:45 AM

Dr. Steven KleinmanCommunications Media Department faculty member Steven Kleinman is presenting his research on political communication at national conferences during 2017.

Kleinman presented his paper “Inferring preferences without talking: Using limited visual information to guide political discussant choice via homophily” at the Political Networks Conference in Columbus, Ohio, in June 2017.

This paper experimentally explores the way people are able to infer political preferences based on “looks” alone. “In other words, my co-authors and I found that people do ascribe political partisanship to others based solely on how they look, without any other knowledge. Furthermore, people were found to use these perceptions when deciding whether or not to engage in political discussions with said people,” Kleinman explained.

The second paper will be presented at the National Communication Association conference in Dallas, Texas, this November. In this paper, “Do Birds of a Feather Always Flock Together? Personality Traits and Interpersonal Political Discussion,” Kleinman dives further into how individuals participate in political discussions. 

He explains:

This paper explores the way people’s personality traits influence their willingness to engage in political discussion. Results from this study show people are more willing to engage in political discussions with other people when they have similar personality traits regardless of whether they agree with their political views or not. Holistically, these two papers continue my research interest in political discussion exploring the personal, interpersonal, and contextual factors that influence people’s willingness to take part in interpersonal political discussion. This is particularly important considering normative Democratic theories that call for an active and engaged citizenry.

The Political Networks Conference was held at Ohio State University and organized by the American Political Science Association with sponsorship from the National Science Foundation. NCA’s annual conference is the largest communication conference in the US and attracts more than 5,000 attendees.