The Relationship Between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies

707 Words Aug 4th, 2015 3 Pages

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Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies

This article seeks to establish that a correlation exists between personality traits of humans and the political ideologies that they hold. This is a political science issue that analyzes the extent to which the two aspects are correlated, and more specifically, the effect of personality traits on political ideologies. Causation is hinged on the assumption that the personality of an individual motivates them towards developing certain political ideologies and attitudes later in life. The basis of this is the perceived observation that personality traits are developed at infancy,
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Political science views personality traits as being stable differences among individuals which guide their behavior; though personality lacks a universally accepted definition. Personality traits are believed to exist right from the beginning of one’s life, but it is the matter of political attitude that is contentious. However, according to studies, both political attitudes and personality traits have in common the fact that they are influenced by genetic and environmental sources.

In the article, Verhulst, Lindon and Hatemi (35) also assess the reason as to why the relationship between personality traits and political attitudes has been, in the past, considered causal. Contrary to personality traits, political preferences have been thought to emerge when an individual interacts with the political world. This explains why young voters are easily swayed by political tides, since they have weak political attitudes. Their political preferences only develop with time as they engage further with the political world. As a result, if the political attitudes arise much later after personality development, it has been reasonable to settle on the assumption that these political attitudes are caused by personality traits. To show that the relationship is of correlation rather than causation, the strongest indicator has been the finding that political attitudes are influenced by genes. The precursors of political attitudes are present during infancy,

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