Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Mindi D. Foster

Advisor Role

first reader


Given the social and psychological benefits of collective action, it is important to understand what motivates participation. The most heavily researched predictors of collective action are group-level predictors (e.g., perceived group injustice). Although these are consistent predictors, they still show only small to moderate relationships with collective action. Thus, the current research focused on individual-level predictors. First, the personality trait introversion/extraversion was examined; given extraverts’ enjoyment of social situations, it was predicted that extraverts would endorse collective action more than introverts. Another consideration is how individuals perceive collective action along various characteristics such as whether the action is perceived as active/passive or private/public. Specifically, collective action characteristics that are consistent with introversion (e.g., private, normative, low social cost, safe) were expected to predict introverts' endorsement of collective action, whereas collective action characteristics consistent with extraversion (e.g., public, active, non-normative) were expected to predict extraverts' endorsement. Study 1 (N=179) used correlational methods to test whether introversion/extraversion moderated the effect of perceived characteristics on endorsement. Results showed that among introverts, perceiving collective action as higher in risk and social cost was associated with lower endorsement. Also, among introverts, perceiving collective action as more effective and formal was associated with greater endorsement. Among extraverts, perceiving collective action as more public was associated with greater endorsement. Study 2 (N=297) tested the causal impact of perceived social cost of participating in the online campaign, #MeToo, on endorsement of collective action, and how that relationship may be moderated by introversion/extraversion. Participants randomly assigned to read about the high social cost of participating in #MeToo endorsed social media activism significantly less than participants in the low social cost condition, although there was no significant interaction with


introversion/extraversion. To better understand how participants differentially perceive the risk of online and offline collective action, Study 3 (N=185) asked participants to write a few sentences describing how they perceived the risk of both types of action. Their language use was analyzed and showed that offline action was described using more emotional, anxiety, risk, reward, and achievement words than were used to describe online action; however, this was not related to introversion/extraversion. Findings were discussed in the context of how personality may be utilized to enhance collective action.

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