Did You Know....

Does Personality Influence Political Preferences?


It may come as no shock to learn that your personality can have a profound effect on your personal preferences, but you just might be surprised by how far reaching these effects may be. From your choice of friends to your taste in music, your unique personality can influence nearly every choice you make in your daily life.

For example, while you might pride yourself on carefully considering the issues before choosing a candidate to support, research suggests that personality may play a strong role in political preferences. One study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto found that individuals who identified themselves as conservatives were higher in a personality trait called orderliness, while those who self-identified as liberal were higher in empathy.

Researchers suggest that these underlying personality needs to either preserve order or express empathy can have a strong influence on political preferences.

J. B. Hirsh, C. G. DeYoung, Xiaowen Xu, J. B. Peterson. Compassionate Liberals and Polite Conservatives: Associations of Agreeableness With Political Ideology and Moral Values. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2010; 36 (5)