Past studies have documented the significant relationships between personality traits and voter turnout, but we know less about whether personality traits influence individual vote choices. This study examines whether such attitudinal factors as party identification, feeling thermometers toward the candidates, policy preferences and executive approval mediate the effects of personality traits on vote choice in the United States. Using data from ANES 2012, this study finds no direct relationship between personality traits and vote choice. More importantly, the results reveal that through previously mentioned attitudinal factors, higher levels of extraversion, conscientiousness and emotional stability indirectly decrease the probability of voting for Obama, whereas a higher level of openness to experience indirectly increases the probability of voting for Obama. Nevertheless, agreeableness only exerts an indirect, positive influence on vote choice via executive approval. Overall, this study provides insight into the relationship between personality traits and vote choice and makes up for the insufficiency in the study of personality and voting behavior.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Political Science and International Relations