Liberals as Cultural Omnivores

Nick Rogers, John T. Jost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We hypothesized that (a) political liberals would be more likely than conservatives to be “cultural omnivores” (i.e., to engage in a broader range of activities, experiences, and consumer products) and (b) the effect of ideology on cultural engagement would be explained, in part, by psychological differences in openness to new experiences. To investigate these hypotheses, we analyzed survey data from the 2016 National Consumer Survey based on more than 20,000 US respondents. Results confirmed that, even after adjusting for the effects of age, income, and regional differences in population density, liberalism was positively associated with the total number of cultural exposures across a wide range of domains, including movies, TV shows, live performances, music, magazines, websites, hobbies, and beer brands. The effect of ideology on cultural engagement was statistically mediated by openness. Implications of ideological asymmetry in politicultural sorting are discussed in terms of informational advantages associated with the structure and functions of liberal and conservative social networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-265
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Association for Consumer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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