What I Like About You: Legislator Personality and Legislator Approval
Forthcoming, Political Behavior
39 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2016 Last revised: 20 Apr 2018
Date Written: April 11, 2018
Recent work in the study of legislative politics has applied the Five Factor Model of personality traits to investigate a wide variety of phenomena in the United States Congress. Findings from this literature raise questions about the Big Five personality traits and political representation, specifically, whether voters are more likely to support legislators with similar personality traits to their own, or legislators with valence personality traits, regardless of congruence. Using data from the 2014 CCES, we predict voters' job approval of federal legislators using measures of personality congruence and personality valence. We find strong and consistent support in favor of personality valence over personality congruence as a determinant of job approval.
Keywords: elite personality, big five, legislator approval, representation
JEL Classification: D7, D70, D71, D72
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