The Association between Personality Traits and Voting in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

17 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2017

See all articles by Anya Savikhin Samek

Anya Savikhin Samek

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR); University of Southern California - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 2017

Abstract

I examine the association between “Big Five” personality traits and voting in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election using an online panel of over 4,000 representative Americans. I find that personality has a strong, statistically significant association with voting intentions, even when controlling for voter characteristics and past voting behavior. Higher degrees of Extraversion and Conscientiousness are associated with voting for Donald Trump (the Republican candidate), while higher degrees of Neuroticism and Openness are associated with voting for Hillary Clinton (the Democratic candidate). These findings are in line with a nascent literature documenting associations of personality with conservative or liberal views.

Keywords: Online Panel, Big Five Personality, Voting, Political Election

JEL Classification: D01, D72, C83

Suggested Citation

Samek, Anya Savikhin, The Association between Personality Traits and Voting in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election (January 2017). CESR-Schaeffer Working Paper No. 2017-002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2910077 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2910077

Anya Savikhin Samek (Contact Author)

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3620 South Vermont Ave. Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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