Event Title

Personality, Race, and Knowledge Predict Political Ideology and Adherence

Session Title

Discrimination

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Location

DIGS 220

Start Date

12-4-2019 3:15 PM

Description

We examined whether personality traits that have previously been linked to the “Dirty Dozen,” such as empathy, directly impact political beliefs. We also examined the role of knowledge in political attitudes and voting. Adults (n = 126; 56% Caucasian; 88% women) responded to scales to assess empathy, academic entitlement, self-esteem, and the “Dirty Dozen.” Participants also responded to a knowledge scale about the American government, provided their political affiliation, reported their voting behaviors, and rated their agreement with Republican and Democratic platform issues. Last, participants ranked five government-protected liberties from most to least valuable. Results revealed that personality variables impact political beliefs, with entitlement as more predictive than empathy or darker personality traits. For example, entitlement predicted political inflexibility, voting by gut instinct, and lower political knowledge; entitlement did not predict party affiliation. Adults high in empathy agreed more with a democratic platform and valued the right of petition. Knowledge predicted increased value placed on the idea of voting, but not increased voting behavior. Democrats agreed more with their party’s platform than did Republicans; however, adults of both parties failed to strongly agree. Compared to Democrats, Republicans had higher political knowledge scores; however, political knowledge across groups was low (< 50%). These findings further emphasize the fact that political attitudes and behavior are complex and multiplicatively determined.

Previously Presented/Performed?

McNair Scholars Conference, Florida International University, October 2018; Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, Jacksonville, Florida, March 2019

Grant Support?

Supported by a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education

Awards Won

2nd Place, Social Sciences Oral Presentations, McNair Scholars Conference, Florida International University, October 2018

Comments

Kalea Young-Gibson is a McNair Scholar.

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Apr 12th, 3:15 PM

Personality, Race, and Knowledge Predict Political Ideology and Adherence

DIGS 220

We examined whether personality traits that have previously been linked to the “Dirty Dozen,” such as empathy, directly impact political beliefs. We also examined the role of knowledge in political attitudes and voting. Adults (n = 126; 56% Caucasian; 88% women) responded to scales to assess empathy, academic entitlement, self-esteem, and the “Dirty Dozen.” Participants also responded to a knowledge scale about the American government, provided their political affiliation, reported their voting behaviors, and rated their agreement with Republican and Democratic platform issues. Last, participants ranked five government-protected liberties from most to least valuable. Results revealed that personality variables impact political beliefs, with entitlement as more predictive than empathy or darker personality traits. For example, entitlement predicted political inflexibility, voting by gut instinct, and lower political knowledge; entitlement did not predict party affiliation. Adults high in empathy agreed more with a democratic platform and valued the right of petition. Knowledge predicted increased value placed on the idea of voting, but not increased voting behavior. Democrats agreed more with their party’s platform than did Republicans; however, adults of both parties failed to strongly agree. Compared to Democrats, Republicans had higher political knowledge scores; however, political knowledge across groups was low (< 50%). These findings further emphasize the fact that political attitudes and behavior are complex and multiplicatively determined.