Don't Know What You Got: A Bayesian Hierarchical Model of Neuroticism and Nonresponse
Political Science Research and Methods, Forthcoming
72 Pages Posted: 22 May 2015 Last revised: 26 Oct 2016
Date Written: October 24, 2016
Individuals who are more sensitive to negative outcomes from error are more likely to provide nonresponses in surveys. We argue Neurotics’ sensitivity to negative outcomes leads them to avoid gathering costly information and forming/reporting opinions about stimuli. Using data from the 2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, we show Neuroticism is strongly and positively associated with NA/DK responses when placing politicians on a 7-point ideological scale. We then introduce to political science a Bayesian hierarchical model that allows nonresponse to be generated by both a lack of information as well as disincentives for response. Using this model, we show that the NA/DK responses in these data are due to inhibited information collection and indecision from error avoidance by Neurotics.
Keywords: personality psychology, political psychology, missing data, Bayesian methods, hierarchical modeling, political methodology
JEL Classification: C11, D7, D79
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation