Issue Frames, Personality, and Political Persuasion

Matthew D. Luttig, Howard G Lavine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We argue that individuals’ personality dispositions influence the relative success of different rhetorical strategies of political persuasion on policy issues, and thus function to constrain the behavior of elite actors in their attempts to win support for favored policy outcomes. Drawing on the psychological concept of functional matching, we propose that policy persuasion can be understood in terms of the “fit” between the regulatory focus of the individual on prevention or promotion and the framing of policies in terms of losses or gains. Using an experimental research design, we find that the success of policy appeals is conditional on the interaction of the policy frame and citizens’ personality. These effects are especially pronounced among the less politically sophisticated. Implications for the role of personality in politics, scholarly work on persuasion and framing, and constraints on elite behavior are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-470
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Politics Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.


  • framing
  • personality
  • persuasion


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