Chat with us, powered by LiveChat If personality impacts political positions, then some political decisions are innate and not learned behavior.? So, do you think political views are learned or innate?? the course textboo | EssayAbode

If personality impacts political positions, then some political decisions are innate and not learned behavior.? So, do you think political views are learned or innate?? the course textboo

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If personality impacts political positions, then some political decisions are innate and not learned behavior.  So, do you think political views are learned or innate?  the course textbook and at least one research article to support your position.  Be sure your submission includes a minimum of 400 words. 

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Does personality predict your political preference?

American Political Science Review

Interestingly the Big five are highly correlated to an individual’s political preferences.

How does temperament translate into how we feel about economic policy?

How does temperament translate how we feel about social policy?

Openness to experience.

Characterized by curiosity, as opposed to cautiousness.

Leaned liberal on economic policy and social policy.

Favored new programs and interventions

Conscientiousness

More likely to be hardworking and diligent. This is the cerebral, ambitious type- the politicians and the economists and the bureaucrats who are more interest in order and are more obedient of authority. These types are the list makers and the order takers.

Academic performance

Long term success

Lower IQ.

Tend to be happier, but are more likely to run into life crises when things go wrong.

Conservative on economic and social policy

Hard work , organization, strict adherence to traditional social norms.

Agreeableness

People who leaned high in agreeableness leaned liberal on economic policy (wanting to help the disadvantaged) and leaned conservative on social policy (the desire to maintain harmony and traditional relationships.)

Neuroticism

Leaned liberal on both

Extraversion

No consistent findings

,

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Personality and Social Implications

The 2011 U.K. riots resulted in millions of pounds worth of material and industrial damage. Three people were killed. Every year, thousands of people are injured or murdered, directly or indi-

rectly, because of confl icting religious and other social con- victions. Such convictions are becoming increasingly salient in today’s society. Social attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are often attributed to social factors, such as parenting, school- ing, culture, and the media. Rarely do we think of such atti- tudes and behavior with respect to inborn dispositional traits. Yet, an increasing amount of research suggests that political and religious attitudes and behavior may be closely related to individual differences in personality. In this chapter, we review the literature that shows how personality infl uences what is traditionally seen as social and cultural phenomena,

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Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Ahmetoglu, G. (2012). Personality 101. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com Created from claflin on 2018-05-29 12:03:40.

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such as political attitudes and religious beliefs, and prosocial and antisocial behavior. We start our discussion with political attitudes.

PERSONALITY AND POLITICAL ATTITUDES

In order to explain the antecedents, or causes, of political atti- tudes, we must fi rst defi ne the concept of political attitudes. A common distinction in the literature is that of right- versus left- wing attitudes. Researchers have found that right- and left-wing attitudes comprise several components. For instance, right-wing attitudes are thought to encompass right-wing authoritarian- ism, conservatism, and social dominance. Authoritarianism has been explained in terms of a set of behaviors, including showing excessive conformity, intolerance of others, and rigid and stereotyped thought patterns. Conservatism is thought to represent tendencies to resist change and to play it safe. Finally, social dominance is believed to involve individual discrimina- tion, institutional discrimination, and behavioral asymmetry. These concepts are related yet separate constructs, and con- ceptual distinctions can be made between them. For instance, right-wing authoritarianism involves rigidity and lack of cogni- tive complexity; however, these individuals are often passive. In contrast, those who are high in social dominance orientation are more socially aggressive and hostile. Conservatism, on the other hand, involves tender, versus tough, mindedness and may therefore overlap with both these dimensions.

Right-wing attitudes have been explained in various ways. For instance, psychodynamic theory sees authoritarianism as an interaction of various conscious and unconscious mental or emotional processes involving submissive tendencies toward authority, which are caused by a strict upbringing (Adorno et al., 1950). Social psychologists view conservative attitudes as predominantly resulting from social forces; for instance,

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conservative people are argued to be heavily infl uenced by tra- ditional institutions and their parents’ values. Discrimination and social dominance are also explained from a social perspec- tive, involving in-group and out-group principles (or forces). That is, individuals who are similar (physically or psychologi- cally) to the members of the group tend to be “placed” within an in-group, whereas individuals who are different to these members are placed within an out-group.

Despite this traditional explanation of social attitudes, researchers within the fi eld of differential psychology have pointed out that personality may operate as a strong infl uenc- ing factor of such attitudes. Accordingly, it has been argued that certain personality characteristics may “predispose” people to hold more or less of right- or left-wing attitudes. Research investigating the relationship between personality and social attitudes has confi rmed this hypothesis. Specifi cally, studies examining the role of the Big Five personality traits in political convictions have found signifi cant and consistent links between several personality traits and right-wing attitudes.

According to this research, the strongest personality cor- relate of political attitudes is Openness to experience. As one would expect, this trait is negatively associated with conserva- tism and authoritarianism (a construct put forward by Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswick, Levinson, & Sanford, 1950). For instance, Riemann, Grubich, Hempel, Mergl, and Richter (1993) and Van Hiel and Mervielde (1996) reported correlations in the order of –.57 and –.42, respectively, between Openness and conservatism in European samples. Similar results have been reported for larger U.S. samples. For example, McCrae (1996) reported a correlation of –.35 between Openness and authori- tarianism, while Trapnell (1994) reported more variable cor- relations of Openness with conservatism (from –.18 to –.64) on one hand, and authoritarianism (–.29 to –.63) on the other. Some predicted a quadratic relationship between Openness and political ideology, such that extreme attitudes (both left and right) are associated with lower Openness scores (Greenberg

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& Jonas, 2003; Wilson, 1973). Thus, higher Openness would be associated with moderate political views and more critical attitudes toward authority: “questioning authority is a natural extension of an open individual’s curiosity” (McCrae & Costa, 1997, p. 837). However, Stone and Smith (1993, p. 154) argue that political psychologists tend to “base their case on intuitive evidence . . . concerning apparent similarities between regimes of the far left and far right, rather than on a system review of the empirical data on any personality and ideology.” There is also evidence for the negative relationship between Openness and prejudice, including racial discrimination. Thus, having an open mind would dispose people to be more tolerant toward other groups and perceive them as equal (Flynn, 2005). As you will recall from Chapter 1, Openness is characterized by intel- lectual curiosity, aesthetic sensitivity, vivid imagination, behav- ioral fl exibility, and unconventional attitudes. According to the literature, therefore, people who hold right-wing attitudes tend to be less perceptive, sophisticated, knowledgeable, cultured, artistic, curious, and analytical.

CONCLUSION

Political attitudes are often seen as malleable, shaped by past experiences or the environment that a person has encountered. Yet, research shows that personality is a signifi cant and consis- tent predictor of such attitudes. This suggests that personality will shape the way a person reacts to past experiences and envi- ronments, by infl uencing the type of attitudes that are absorbed and rejected, and the extent to (or intensity by) which these attitudes are absorbed or rejected. Such fi ndings are interesting because social attitudes and prejudice have almost universally been explained in terms of social or cultural processes, such as in-group versus out-group membership. However, as the research above shows, central to differences between people,

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in terms of the political attitudes they hold, are dispositional personality traits, such as Openness to experience.

PERSONALITY AND RELIGIOUS ATTITUDES

Pretty much every known culture to mankind has some form of religious conviction. Religion is a universal aspect of society and, it seems, human nature. It is also arguably the most dominant social factor to have infl uenced modern history. Today, religion is, as ever, at the forefront of newspapers, radio, and television. Religion may have different meanings as well as consequences. From an individual difference perspective, it has been studied in terms of differences in religiosity. Since the 60s, psychologists have attempted to capture the concept of religiosity, as well as investigate individual differences in this construct.

Two main aspects of religiosity have emerged through research; these are religious orientation and religious coping. Religious orientation can be separated into intrinsic and extrin- sic orientation toward religion. Intrinsic orientation comprises strong feelings, strong personal beliefs, and strong commitment toward religion. It is the more common view we have of religi- osity, as something internal and emotional, which infl uences a person’s way of being and thinking. An extrinsic orientation, on the other hand, refl ects a person’s use of religion for purposes of protection and consolidation, as well as participation and social status. It is a more practical and perhaps indirect way of using religion, where religiosity is a means to an end rather than an end in itself.

As with political attitudes, religious attitudes are socially learned. People have no genes for Christianity, Islam, or Judaism. Religious attitudes clearly need to have been taught to the person by his or her family, friends, or society. Nevertheless, there are often substantial differences between people in how religious they are, even within the same families and

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(homogenous) social environments. So, it is not impossible to conceive that these individual differences in religiosity are the result, not of differences in the social environment that people are exposed to, but rather of dispositional traits.

Several theorists argued that this may indeed be the case. For instance, according to Hans Eysenck (1916–1997), reli- giosity refl ects tender-mindedness, such that tender-minded individuals are more likely to have stronger religious orienta- tions. Given that low Psychoticism comprises attributes such as empathy, responsibility, and, in particular, conformity, Eysenck hypothesized this personality dimension to be inversely related to religiosity.

The link between religiosity and Psychoticism has been investigated in a large number of studies. This research has largely confi rmed Eysenck’s hypothesis in that Psychoticism has been found to consistently and strongly predict religiosity, with the fi ndings generalizing across cultures and denominations (Saroglou, 2002). Furthermore, Psychoticism has been found to be inversely related to both religious orientation and religious coping. This personality dimension, in addition, predicts the frequency of religious activity, for instance, how often a person attends church or engages in personal prayer. Empirically, the (negative) relationship between low Psychoticism and religious orientation is well established; but it is also rather interesting. It suggests that people who are more religious are less aggressive, less impulsive, less unfriendly, less insensitive, and less antiso- cial. Perhaps this explains why the majority of people with a religious orientation often feel misrepresented by the minority of those that capture the attention and coverage of the media as a result of violent and aggressive extremist acts.

Less research has looked at the Big Five personality factors in relation to religious orientations. However, this trend has been shifting. Initially, studies suggested that high Agreeableness and high Conscientiousness were related to religiosity, con- fi rming the religiosity–low Psychoticism relationship found in the literature (given that the Five Factor Model [FFM] explains

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Psychoticism as low Agreeableness and low Conscientiousness). Recently, a meta-analysis conducted by Saroglou (2002) showed that there were associations also between other Big Five factors and religiosity. Saroglou classifi ed religiosity into four types roughly corresponding to: (1) intrinsic religiosity, (2) extrinsic religiosity, (3) spirituality, and (4) religious fundamentalism (the intrinsic and extrinsic distinction corresponding to the traditional view of religiosity). While previous research with Eysenck’s PEN model had revealed mixed results in regard to Eysenck’s Neuroticism and Extraversion dimensions, Saroglou found all Big Five traits to be related to religiosity. The results of the meta-analysis showed that Extraversion was related to intrinsic religiosity and spirituality, Neuroticism was negatively related to intrinsic religiosity and positively related to extrinsic religiosity, and Openness to experience was positively related to spirituality and negatively related to fundamentalism.

Saroglou postulates that the link between Extraversion and religiosity may be explained by differences in the present- day expressions of religiosity, whereby religiosity today argu- ably takes a more expressive and social form than in the past. However, he is also quick to point out that the Extraversion facets of gregariousness, warmth, and positive emotionality are all conceptually related to religiosity, suggesting that there may also be a more direct link between these constructs.

The negative link between Neuroticism and spirituality poses an interesting question in regard to the causality of this relationship. That is, does spirituality lead to emotional stabil- ity or are emotionally stable people more likely to fi nd spiritual- ity? This is an intriguing research question given that the former scenario may be an important one, both in terms of explain- ing religiosity and also in terms of psychological interventions. Longitudinal studies may help to explicate this enquiry. It is also interesting to note the positive link between Neuroticism and extrinsic religiosity, which corresponds to Freud’s notion of religiosity as an obsessive act. In particular, Freud explained religious practices as analogous to obsessive actions, serving

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as defensive, self-protective measures to repress unconscious desires and impulses. Finally, the negative link between Openness and religious fundamentalism is in line with studies on Openness and political attitudes, which indicate that open individuals have moderate political views and are more critical toward authority.

CONCLUSION

The literature presented above indicates that personality plays an important role in forming religious attitudes. This is found both in relation to Eysenck’s PEN model and the Five Factors of personality. Furthermore, Saroglou’s meta-analysis indicates that similar patterns of the religion–FFM associations may be found across countries and denominations (e.g., United States, Canada, Poland, and Belgium). This is an important point for consideration. Currently, explanations for religious convictions and their links to various behaviors (e.g., a U.S. or U.K. citizen seeking military training from terrorist bodies abroad) are regu- larly based on societal or contextual factors, and sometimes on the content of the religious teachings themselves. In contrast, research into the psychology of religious personality seems to confi rm the hypothesis that religiosity corresponds to indi- vidual differences in dispositional traits. This research suggests that personality often acts as a fi lter or an amplifi er with respect to religious convictions (i.e., thoughts and feelings), as well as infl uencing the way religiosity may be manifested in behavior. It is also of interest to note the traits that religiosity is associated with. Religious persons and, in particular, those who possess intrinsic religiosity and spirituality tend to be more agreeable, more emotionally stable, less aggressive, impulsive, and antiso- cial. These are characteristics not always associated with religi- osity, perhaps because religious connotations are overshadowed by atrocities that a very few unrepresentative groups commit

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in the name of religion. Regardless of these associations, the evidence clearly points to the fact that models of religious and political convictions need to include individual difference vari- ables such as personality, in order to explain social behavior and attitudes.

PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOR

Social attitudes, be it political, religious, or otherwise, may not always infl uence social behavior; and even when there is a relationship between attitudes and behavior, one could ask the question as to how much of this relationship results from com- mon underlying factors. Psychologists have studied the causes of social behavior for decades. Although social behavior is an all-encompassing concept, the focus in this section is between prosocial and antisocial behavior.

Psychologists have generally made a distinction between these two concepts. Prosocial behaviors include altruism, volunteerism, community involvement, and social services, whereas antisocial behaviors include crime, substance abuse, and truancy. Accordingly, prosocial and antisocial behaviors are not viewed as two opposite extremes of the same dimen- sion, but rather as two different factors (even if negative correla- tions would be expected). For instance, a person may not act prosocially, but that does not mean that he or she engages in antisocial behaviors.

Predictably, there has been wider interest in antisocial than in prosocial behavior, though recent years have seen an upsurge in studies examining the link between personality and prosocial behavior (Ozer & Benet-Martinez, 2006). Prosocial activities have obvious positive, and important, implications for society. Nevertheless, it is easy to see substantial differences between people in terms of their willingness to get involved in helping others. So, what makes some people more prosocial

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