Personality Traits and Correct Voting

Shang E. Ha, Richard R. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent studies in political psychology report a significant association between personality traits and ordinary citizens’ attitudes and behaviors in the political arena. A growing body of literature examines the influence of personality on individuals’ attachment to a political party and vote choice in electoral settings. In line with these studies, we analyze the relationship between personality traits and “correct voting”, i.e., the extent to which citizens vote in accordance with their own preferences and values. Using a large-scale national survey fielded in the context of the 2008 presidential election, we find that, after controlling for well-known predictors of correct voting, some of personality traits not only exert a direct influence on correct voting, but also moderate the effect of strength of party identification, a well-established determinant of correct voting. These findings provide new evidence for the idea that individual differences such as dispositional personality traits are deeply intertwined with both vote choice and democratic representation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)975-998
Number of pages24
JournalAmerican Politics Research
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • correct voting
  • personality
  • the “Big Five”
  • vote choice
  • voting behavior

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