“Measuring Personality in Political Science”

Authors: Bailey Fairbanks, Elizabeth O’Callaghan, and Liam Hayes

Corresponding Author: Bailey Fairbanks, Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA), bfairbanks1@gsu.edu

Abstract:

Which personality tests is optimal for the study of political behavior? Most studies on personality and political behavior focus on the Big Five personality traits. Research in psychology, however, highlights important differences in what the Myers Briggs and the Big Five measure. Empirical evidence that supports the use of the Big Five over Myers Briggs is missing in Political Science. Our study asks which of the two measurement indexes is more effective for measuring personality for political science studies. We conduct a new survey of personality traits, political attitudes and behaviors to test the two personality measures for assessing political attitudes and behaviors. We compare the differences between Myers Briggs and the Big Five personality measures providing empirical evidence for which personality measures is most appropriate for indicating likely differences in behavior and attitudes such as political participation, public opinion, civic engagement, and confidence in institutions.

 

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