Personality and political policy opinion

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joseph Andrew Johnson (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
David McCord

Abstract: Within the American public, there are significant differences in opinion on political policy. The current research explores the roots of disagreement between the political opinions of liberals and conservatives. It is hypothesized that political opinion differences between liberals and conservatives are so fundamental they may be potentially explained by differences in specific Five Factor Theory personality traits, or by differing politically relevant worldviews (beliefs about the locus of control of others and poverty attribution). Using these three types of predicting variables (personality, locus of control of others and poverty attribution), this study seeks to explain the differences political opinion on the specific issues of abortion and social welfare policy. The results showed the personality facet O6 Liberalism had the strongest relationship to opinions on abortion and social welfare policy. Poverty attribution also had a significant relationship with opinion on social welfare policy. How the core constructs and characteristics which define O6 Liberalism (and potentially political liberalism) relate to opinion on abortion and social welfare policy are discussed, along with the influence of poverty attribution on social welfare policy opinion. Future directions of research into the characteristics that contribute the political opinion conflicts between liberals and conservatives are suggested.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Personality and politics
Right and left (Political science) -- Psychological aspects
Party affiliation -- Psychological aspects
Political psychology

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