Are we what parties we support? Personality traits and party support in a multi-party system

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There is relatively little evidence about the association of personality to political behavior in multi-party systems. We analyze the association of two personality traits to party support in a multi-party system, where parties are differently aligned along the economic left-right axis and the GAL-TAN axis, that extends from green, alternative and libertarian to traditional, authoritarian and nationalist values. Machiavellianism refers to a manipulative and cynical personality, whereas Perspective-Taking is a tendency to see things from others’ perspective. We ask whether the left-right or the GAL-TAN axis is more relevant to the association between the personality traits and party support. We observed that the nationalist and conservative Finns party supporters score higher on Machiavellianism and lower on Perspective-Taking in comparison to the environmental and liberal Greens party supporters. These two parties are located at the opposite ends of the GAL-TAN axis. We do not see corresponding results on parties at the opposite ends of the left-right axis. The result suggests that personality traits may be more relevant for supporting parties that are best characterized by their location on the GAL-TAN axis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnalyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sept 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • personality traits
  • Machiavellianism
  • Perspective-taking
  • party support
  • multi-party system
  • left-right

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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