Are Political Views Shaped By Personality Traits?

Are Political Views Shaped By Personality Traits?

Where do we get our political opinions from? There is growing evidence that a significant component of the solution is ingrained in our nature.
 
It appears that some personality traits and, ultimately, political preferences, run in our families.
 
Psychologists typically use questions regarding your outlook on life to gauge your personality.
 
Openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism are the "Big Five" measures. These are only parts of who you are; neither good nor bad.
 

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For instance, a person with a high conscientiousness score will typically be more organized than the ordinary person but also more rigid. Numerous characteristics about us can be predicted by our scores on these various attributes, from stable marriages to good eating.
 
The correlation between the Big Five and people's political opinions may not come as a surprise. People who score highly on the openness scale but poorly on the conscientiousness scale are more likely to be left-leaning, according to Jeff Mondak, a political science professor at the University of Illinois. 
 
He claims that "The readiness to explore new things is a sign of being open. And new regulations are part of that. Consciousness frequently denotes a strong feeling of personal accountability: taking care of ourselves would be seen as our responsibility, not the task of the government."
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'Darker' Personality Traits

However, they may not be the only personality qualities that influence our politics. The "Dark Triad" of Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy are also present.
 
Narcissism is the most significant of these for political behavior. This is also about feeling important and entitled, not only about admiring your reflection and attention-seeking. Our political opinions are correlated with two important aspects of narcissism: exhibitionism and a sense of entitlement. More right-wing and more exhibitionist views are correlated with entitlement, respectively.
 
Additionally, narcissists are often more inclined to participate in politics.
"People with narcissistic qualities are considerably more inclined to engage," asserts Julie Blais, an assistant professor in Dalhousie University's Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. "It's a method for them to receive attention and make themselves seem superior than other people."
 

What Factors Affect How We Behave?

Differences in personality seem to be connected to our political beliefs and political participation. But from where do these variations originate? About half of the diversity in personality traits in the current British population can be attributed to genetic inheritance.
 
That does not imply that our personalities are determined by a single gene.
 
It's not even a certain area of the brain.
 
In Kevin Mitchell's words, personality traits are "manifestations of how the brain is put together - there aren't small pieces of the brain doing one job or another." Kevin Mitchell is an associate professor of genetics and neuroscience at Trinity College, Dublin. 
 

Are Our Political Inclinations Innate?

Are Political Views Shaped By Personality Traits
Does this all imply that some of our political beliefs are biological as well?
 
Political ideology is somewhat heritable, just like personality, and one theory for this is that innate personality qualities like the Big Five or narcissism influence political beliefs.
 
Some contend, however, that our politics are truly directly related to something deeper in our genetics.
 
Our current political choices may be influenced by relatively primitive inclinations from humanity's evolutionary past, possibly related to risk aversion or threat avoidance. Political science and international relations expert Rose McDermott of Brown University says: "The particular problem, whether it be taxation or welfare, can alter over time and from nation to nation. But the fundamental questions still exist: How do we choose who receives what in our community; how do we choose who is permitted entry, and how do we choose whom to fight against?"
According to her, there has never been an evolutionary "correct solution" to those concerns in the past, which explains why these fundamental distinctions persist. "When something is significantly superior to all other options, it converges to universality. So why have we not all adopted the same ideology? Since we require both. Liberals are necessary for cooperation, but you also need conservatives to stand up for those who cooperate."
 

A Little More Comprehension?

The notion that biology and ideology are equivalent is, of course, subject to some crucial qualifications.
 
First off, they are just inclinations. My political ideas and personality are not influenced by my genetic makeup rather, they are not determined by it. 
 
Second, attitudes, not votes, are what matter here. No biological reason exists to favor party X over party Y. We should probably consider seriously the notion that some of our political views may be influenced by our personalities or other fundamental characteristics that we have little control over.
 
Ironically, this may also assist to lessen political polarization, one of the annoyances of the modern day.
 
The main theme of polarization is "we" versus "them."
 
Accepting the fact that "they" just have different preferences than "us" might be one strategy to combat that. This is only because "we" are different from "them," not because "they" are foolish, misled, or uninformed. According to Kevin Mitchell, "People's goals differ with one another and the things they value in a given scenario differ, and at some level, some of those distinctions stem from our genetics."

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