Personality and Attitudes Towards Current Political Topics

Published in: Personality and Individual Differences, v. 15, no. 3, Sep. 1993, p. 313-321

Posted on RAND.org on September 01, 1993

by Rainer Riemann, Claudia Grubich, Susanne Hempel, Susanne Mergl, Manfred Richter

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We presented a representative list of 162 political issues currently discussed in Germany and the German NEO-FFI to 184 subjects (45% university students). Principal components analysis of the attitude items reveals four factors which are interpreted as (1) general conservatism, preference for authoritarian punitiveness, (2) social welfare and support of women's equality, (3) liberalism and affirmation of technological progress, and (4) affirmation of increase in taxation for environmental protection and the development of East Europe. The first unrotated factor is identified as general conservatism. The analysis of zero and higher order correlations shows meaningful relationships between political attitudes and personality dimensions. The highest (negative) correlations are found between openness to experience and conservatism. Age and sex effects on political attitudes are reported.

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