Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

William Buhrow, PsyD

Second Advisor

Kenneth Logan, PsyD

Third Advisor

Ryan Thompson, PsyD


Political engagement in the United States has been increasing over the last several years and with it a seeming rise in political polarization. Specifically, recent research supports that there has been a significant increase in affective polarization, which is characterized by strong negative emotions and impressions of one’s political opponents. Political science surveys have found that individuals rate their political opponents as being less intelligent and more selfish in recent years and individuals open to inter-party marriages have drastically declined in recent years compared to decades past. This study explored the relationship of personality, as understood in the Big Five model, religiosity, social media use, and college student political party favorability. Participants were also asked to rate their economic and social political values as being either liberal or conservative.

Among the study’s participants (undergraduate college students from a private, faithbased institution), economic and social political attitudes were the best predictors of party favorability. Liberals appeared to be influenced by their economic and social views as well as their social media use. However, for conservatives, Republican favorability was only predicted by their economic values and Democrat unfavourability was only predicted by their social values.