The Impact of Personality Traits on the Willingness to Cooperate in Surveys. Evidence from the German General Social Survey in 2004, 2006, and 2008

Denise Saßenroth


According to the Social Isolation Hypothesis socially isolated persons are less willing to participate in surveys. The paper argues that, in particular, subjectively experienced social isolation, as considered in the psychological concept of loneliness, affects the willingness to participate in surveys, and it further argues that loneliness depends upon personality traits. The hypothesis derived from this is that personality traits have an impact on cooperation willingness in surveys. This hypothesis is tested empirically by means of data from the German General Social Survey of the years 2004, 2006, and 2008. Negative effects of neuroticism and conscientiousness and positive effects of agreeableness and extraversion on cooperation willingness can be ascertained.

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