Desired personality traits in politicians: similar to me but more of a leader

Author(s)
Julian Aichholzer, Johanna Willmann
Abstract

What makes voters prefer a certain type of politician? First, we argue that voters’ trait preferences follow a “desired leadership” principle. We show that citizens want the ideal-type politician to be more emotionally stable, extravert-assertive, more deliberate-conscientious and open, more honest, but also somewhat more disagreeable than the average citizen. Second, we argue that voters prefer a model candidate with similar basic value-related personality traits. Importantly, we show that trait congruence is partly mediated by core ideological preferences and thus ensures democratic representation. The study’s findings have implications for personalization of politics and democratic representation, because personality traits can be vital cues for voters deciding whether candidates will act in their interest and represent them well.

Organisation(s)
Department of Government
Journal
Journal of Research in Personality
ISSN
0092-6566
Publication date
2020
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
506012 Political systems, 501004 Differential psychology
Keywords
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/desired-personality-traits-in-politicians-similar-to-me-but-more-of-a-leader(38b8e07d-1053-4ebc-992b-c981df31e161).html