relationships between personality and behaviors offers insights useful to achieving desired group outcomes social behaviors in work groups. Ilies et. al. (). Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal. In search of a causal model of the organization–public relationship in public relations January The relationship between personality traits and social media use. social media use. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 41,
Figure 3 Overview of relations among communities in a complex model. Node size is proportional to number of papers, edge thickness to number of shared papers between communities. Node placement is determined using a Force Atlas algorithm. Community numbers c2 are for identification purposes only. Relationships between journals Relations between the journals or, in the case of JPSP, journal-sections are shown in Figure 4. As is illustrated by the varying thicknesses of the edges in the figure, although all six journals are directly connected to each other, the weight of these links varies.
JPSPi is central, both in its location in the network and in its node size, which reflects weighted degree or the average connectedness between papers in this section and all of those in the network. The loops surrounding each node reveal that the JPSPi and JPSPa sections are relatively homogeneous, that is, that papers in these journal-sections have a high tendency to cite other papers in the same section.
Of the three JPSP sections, JPSPp is a relative outlier, as connections between it and all of the remaining journals and journal-sections are relatively tenuous. Edge thickness corresponds to the similarity of reference lists of papers in different journals.
Loop thickness indicates similarity of papers within journals. Node size corresponds to weighted degree and is adjusted for Impact Factor. Discussion Like the proverbial elephant, the domain of personality and social psychology is best understood from multiple vantage points. History and tradition, with models such as the tripartite division of JPSP, provide one perspective.
Self-report studies, including Tracy et al. That work illuminated the continuing importance of methodological differences in personality and social research orientations. The analysis of keywords in the first section of the present paper is likewise grounded in self-report data, and also provides insights, illuminating, for example, a surprising distance between research on personality and the study of prejudice and discrimination. The primary contribution of the present study is in its application of these methods, as well as natural language analysis, to analyze the structure of personality and social psychology.
Limitations of the work should be acknowledged: The method of text analysis used here is quite primitive, focusing on single rather than multiple words and manifest content rather than latent meaning see, e. More importantly, the data on which these analyses are based focus on only a single year of scholarship. Nonetheless, these results, taken together provide insights into each of five component subareas of the field, and, in turn, to the degree of distinctiveness or overlap of personality and social psychologies.
Attitudes In the keyword analysis, attitudes appeared together with social cognition. In each of the two community analyses of the bibliometric study, attitude research split into two distinct regions.
In the complex analysis, communities of scholarship in attitudes were distinguished on methodological grounds into direct c6 and implicit approaches c0. In the complex community model, social cognition was diffusely represented throughout the network, appearing both in a cluster of papers concerned with academics, identity, and will c5 and in the diffuse core c2. In contrast to the study of attitudes, research in social cognition appears broad but thinly connected.
Interpersonal relationships In the keyword study, the term close relationships appeared together with personality, emotion, and other terms in a single large community. In the main study, a more articulated picture of interpersonal relations was seen. Differential language analyses of both the simple s6 and complex community structures reveal that dyadic romantic relationships lie at the core of this scholarship in this area. The interpersonal domain includes a large number of papers distinguished by warmth and quotidian comfort c3; satisfaction, close, attachment and a smaller area which appears more emotionally fraught c1; anxiety and pain as well as romantic, attraction, mate, and physical ; these communities roughly reflect the evolutionary imperatives of companionship and sex, respectively.
The distinguishing papers in the third community in this area appear to deal with aspects of interpersonal behavior outside of the sphere or spheres of love and sex, including interpersonal perception c8.
Group processes Group processes appeared as a distinct and coherent community in the keyword analysis and was well-represented in the simple community analysis. The central papers and characteristic terms of one community, Ostracism and Social Pain s1suggest that it may function as a bridge between the interpersonal and group domains: Papers in this community overlap with those in relationships c3but in the language analysis it is distinguished by terms expressly associated with groups e.
In the complex community model, however, group processes were relatively poorly represented: The poor representation of group processes in the complex model suggests that scholarship in the area is less densely connected than that for other areas of social and personality psychology.
Personality Four distinct results bear on the nature and position of personality in the social-personality network. Second, personality was the largest community in the simple bibliometric analysis.
Third, personality was among the smaller communities in the complex biblometric analysis. Fourth, there was a lower weight for the self-loop in the journal analysis i.
Taken together, these results reveal that contemporary personality psychology constitutes a well-defined or much-cited core that is framed by a wide range of loosely-connected traits or constructs.
Second, we discuss why personality is thought to be important for political behavior. Applied research has linked variation in the Big Five trait dimensions to a staggering array of phenomena. Within the realm of citizen politics, the list includes everything from core political values to decisions about whether to display political yard signs.
We recap some of the most important findings from this literature and explain why these effects are presumed to exist.
Third, we offer some thoughts on how personality and politics might be studied most productively. Research in the past decade has identified links between personality traits and many aspects of comparative political behavior. Moving forward, it is important that we think about how best to integrate these insights with our broader accounts of the factors that influence political behavior.
We argue that careful attention must be paid both to how personality is conceptualized and to how we theorize and test its role in politics. As this article proceeds, we present the material in a nontechnical manner. Our goal is to provide a conceptual overview of personality and politics, not to discuss the intricacies of particular studies. That said, we include citations to both foundational works in this area and to illustrative examples of successful research.
Research on political behavior seeks to understand why people think and act the way they do when it comes to politics: Underlying most of this research is a concern with the quality of governance. Scholars hope that by understanding why people behave as they do, research can foster more capable citizens, ultimately bringing better elected officials and more representative policies. Like all human behavior, political behavior is influenced by a complex array of factors.
We also can differentiate factors on the basis of whether they are relatively permanent and stable, or momentary and changing. And they are stable and enduring rather than temporary and fleeting. Such an understanding of personality is consistent with what empirical research has shown. Appreciation for what this implies for whether and how personality may influence political behavior requires that we step back and consider both the meaning of personality and the causes of variation in personality across individuals.
Personality can be defined as a multifaceted and enduring internal, or psychological, structure that influences patterns of behavior Mondak, Several aspects of this definition require explanation.
First, personality is internal to the individual. We are not assigned our personalities at work or school; instead, they are part of us, and we carry them with us as we move from situation to situation.
Importantly, conceiving of personality as an internal psychological structure implies that personality cannot be measured directly. Instead, personality is measured indirectly, with information about the general patterns of thought and action assumed to be related to different components of personality.
A second key point is that personality endures and is highly heritable. The heritability of personality means that much of the variation in personality across individuals is rooted in biology e. To a large extent we are born with the tendency to be extraverted, to be conscientious, and so on.
A great deal of research also shows that personality as measured in early childhood corresponds closely with personality measured later in life. Personality does change incrementally over the life cycle; for example, people tend to become more conscientious and emotionally stable with age. But these changes happen to virtually everyone.
Thus, if one friend is more conscientious than the other at age 15, she likely still will be more conscientious at age 50, even if both friends are more conscientious at 50 than they were at When psychologists measure personality in individuals at repeated points over the course of several years, they observe very high correlations e. Beyond being internal to the individual and stable over time, two additional aspects of our definition of personality require elaboration.
First, personality is multifaceted. The bulk of our discussion focuses on personality traits, the aspects of personality that have received the greatest scholarly attention. Personality traits are psychological characteristics of individuals, which means they are basic units of personality. Personality psychologists note that most of the thousands of adjectives used to describe people—terms such as punctual, gregarious, and polite—represent personality traits.
The last noteworthy aspect of our definition is that personality influences behavior. This, of course, is why scholars outside of the field of psychology care about personality. As is shown in the next section, a wealth of research has identified links between personality and virtually all matters of interest to students of comparative political behavior.
Personality psychologists have recognized this circumstance for decades and have proposed models of personality trait structure ranging in size from two or three trait dimensions to 16 or more.
Air Force in the late s e. The derivation of the Big Five was empirical rather than theoretical. A five-factor structure was obtained. Today, the Big Five trait typology enjoys a dominant role in the field, along with corresponding popularity as a vehicle for applied research in political science and many other disciplines. The Big Five trait dimensions are openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Researchers who make use of the Big Five contend that the framework captures the bulk of variation in personality trait structure.
However, they do not assume that all aspects of personality, or even all personality traits, are represented by the Big Five. The Big Five approach thus constitutes a very good starting point for applied research on personality. But we should be aware of the possibility that, depending on our research questions, we might need to augment it with information on other traits. It is also possible that a framework superior to the Big Five eventually will emerge. For students of comparative political behavior, an advantage of the Big Five is its cross-cultural applicability.
Measures of the Big Five trait dimensions have been translated into dozens of languages, and researchers have administered these questionnaires throughout the world. More impressively, the same basic five-factor structure is observed in these applications e. This does not mean that personality structures are exactly the same everywhere. It may be, for example, that an unmeasured sixth or seventh trait dimension is prominent in a given nation.
Personality and Political Behavior - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics
At the very least, the evidence shows that the dimensions of openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism are present in people across a wide array of language groups, cultures, and nations.
To illustrate average levels of the Big Five across countries, we refer to the AmericasBarometer. This survey fielded personality questions to residents of 24 countries in North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Respondents were asked two items for each of the Big Five. Their responses were logged, combined, and recoded to range from 0 to 1, with higher values indicating greater openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and emotional stability.
Brazil, Jamaica, Mexico, and the United States. The dots in the figure represent the average score for that trait in the country, and the bars indicate the level of variation as measured by plus or minus one standard deviation.
We find that answers vary somewhat from country to country, with Jamaicans providing slightly higher average responses for each of the Big Five than residents in the other three countries. Nevertheless, the degree of variation across individuals within each country is much greater than variation in the average response from one country to the next.
This has two implications for cross-national research. First, in terms of personality, individuals of all types are found in each nation. Second, because there is considerably more variation within nations than between them, data on the Big Five facilitate the study of individual-level similarities and differences that transcend national boundaries.
The Big Five in Four Countries. Dots represent the average score for that trait in the respective country. Bars indicate the level of variation in the country plus or minus one standard deviation.
We now turn to a brief discussion of each trait dimension. Openness refers to a curiosity about the world and a corresponding willingness to learn about different perspectives and to participate in new activities. Individuals scoring high in openness to experience are described as being imaginative, analytical, and creative. Like all aspects of personality, openness is linked to behaviors we might view as desirable and others we might see as undesirable. For example, people with high levels of openness seek out information and thus tend to be well-informed Mondak, Conscientiousness is a trait dimension that includes the disposition to be dependable, organized, and punctual and a volitional tendency to be hardworking and industrious.
Extraversion is the personality trait dimension with the longest history in academic research, with discussion of extraversion tracing back a full century. Although numerous other trait typologies preceded the emergence of the Big Five, nearly all have reserved a spot for extraversion e. Individuals scoring high in extraversion exhibit an inherent sociability.
They are bold, outgoing, and talkative. Extraversion is associated with a preference for, and success in, activities that involve interaction with others e. Agreeableness is the fourth Big Five trait dimension. Neuroticism, the final Big Five trait dimension, is also sometimes referred to by its opposite, emotional stability.
Like extraversion, research on neuroticism dates back a full century and explores a number of outcomes. Research abounds on the meaning and significance of personality and on personality frameworks such as the Big Five.
Given the enormity of the research record, we have presented a necessarily brief and simplified overview. Why Study Personality and Political Behavior? To the contrary, we know that patterns of political behavior vary with demographic attributes, socioeconomic status, aspects of the social context, media exposure, enduring values and political orientations, and more. With that in mind, what is to be gained by adding personality to the mix?
What would factoring in personality teach us about the bases of political behavior, and what, if anything, might attention to personality reveal about all of the other factors thought to matter for how citizens engage the political world? This section reviews what empirical research has shown regarding relationships between the Big Five and the sorts of variables of interest to students of comparative political behavior.
Personality variables should not be thought of as replacing other predictors of political behavior. Attention to personality does not imply that past research is somehow incorrect for focusing on variables such as age, income, interest in politics, and partisanship. Instead, it is more appropriate to suggest that personality researchers feel that past accounts have been incomplete because psychological factors have been downplayed or ignored.
We noted earlier that the factors thought to influence political behavior can be differentiated on the basis of whether they are relatively permanent and stable or momentary and fleeting, and whether they are mostly internal or external to individuals. Personality traits are psychological structures that are relatively stable over long periods of time and that are mostly internal to individuals.
Political behavior has an inherently dynamic quality to it. People form new attitudes and change old ones. Prominent parties alternate between majority and opposition status. Given this fluidity, it might seem odd to endeavor to explain political behavior via something as enduring and intransient as personality. After all, change cannot be explained with a constant.
Although this is a sensible basis to question the utility of research on personality and politics, we see two reasons why such research is likely to be fruitful.
First, by parsing out the underpinnings of political behavior that do not change, we may be able to gain greater insight on the workings of those that do. This was a central point in a study by Bloeser et al.
If change occurs despite the anchoring tug of personality, it follows that other predictors produce even stronger dynamic effects than we have previously suspected.
A second rationale for attention to personality is rooted in the fact that people respond differently to the same external stimuli. For example, when new information becomes available about a given issue, some people may change their attitudes, but others may not. Likewise, all voters experience the same national economic conditions, but only some turn out to vote at election time. If we do not account for individual differences, then we impose the simplifying assumption that everyone responds to contextual factors in the same manner.
Attention to personality can enrich our understanding of these circumstances and their effects. It could be, for instance, that variation in personality explains why some people update their opinion on an issue in response to new information, or why some citizens are politically engaged during poor economic times. Personality traits themselves may be relatively stable, but they still can help us to make sense of the differences we observe between individuals when people respond to similar situations.
Sorting political phenomena into a few simple groupings can help us get a sense of what types of personality effects we might observe. We will consider effects in three categories: Although most research on the Big Five and political behavior dates back only about a decade, there is already a vast body of findings.
Rather than recount each individual effect, we focus on findings that are especially sensible and intuitive, that have been seen consistently across multiple studies, and that are particularly intriguing or illuminating.
Political Information Information arguably constitutes the lifeblood of democracy, and certainly information holds a central place in any meaningful discussion of citizen competence. If they are to make the sorts of high-quality decisions that foster political accountability, citizens must seek out objective sources of news about politics, they must process that information in a diligent and objective manner themselves, they must draw on that information when forming judgments about policies and about elected officials, and, ideally, they will use that information as the starting point for conversations about politics with their fellow citizens.
We know, of course, that all citizens are not equal when it comes to the fulfillment of these tasks. At question is whether variation in personality partly accounts for the differences we observe in media use, knowledge about politics, and patterns of political discussion.
Of the Big Five trait dimensions, the one that is the most plausibly related to the acquisition of political information is openness to experience.
Personality and Political Behavior
Individuals with high levels of openness exhibit a general curiosity about the world, one that often manifests itself in a thirst for information on all subjects. Politics should not be any different. Evidence from multiple surveys reveals that openness corresponds with levels of attention to politics, levels of political knowledge, and the tendency of individuals to hold opinions on political issues.
As to the social dimension of political information, many scholars have examined the effects of personality on political discussion e. Openness again plays a role, with individuals high in openness being the most likely to have conversations about politics. Not surprisingly, a similar positive relationship exists between extraversion and political discussion.
The characteristically talkative nature of extraverts brings them to take up multiple topics of conversation, including politics. One particularly important aspect of political discussion is participation in conversations in which disagreements are aired. Such conversations can help participants to learn about, and ultimately appreciate, the bases of viewpoints different from their own. For extraverts, a large discussion network provides more opportunities for interaction and disagreement.
Meanwhile, agreeable individuals generally prefer to associate with like-minded citizens. This finding implies that young adults do not enter the political world as blank slates, but instead carry with them relatively intransient predispositions about that world, and especially predispositions to be ideologically liberal or conservative.