The personality of the presidency candidates
- 1,198 views
Not only was 2011 a tumultuous year in the parliamentary politics of the Republic of Ireland, but it also witnessed the first presidential election in over a decade. Due to the largely titular nature ...
Not only was 2011 a tumultuous year in the parliamentary politics of the Republic of Ireland, but it also witnessed the first presidential election in over a decade. Due to the largely titular nature of the role, it represented a valuable opportunity to examine voters’ impressions of the personality of the candidates, and how those impressions translated into votes. Previous research has demonstrated solid theoretical basis for this examination: observers frequently interpret an actor’s behaviour in terms of personality (the ‘fundamental attribution error’, Jones and Harris, 1967); nonverbal images of candidates influence voter decision making (Todorov, Mandisodza, Goren, & Hall, 2005); and inferred personality traits can be predictive of electoral success (Immellman, 2005). The opinions of the Irish electorate were sought over the course of the 2011 Presidential campaign. 391 subjects (215 male, 174 female; mean age 39.92, range 18-76 years) who declared being eligible to vote took part in an online survey. Participants completed the Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI; Gosling, Rentfrow, and Swann, 2003) for their impressions of each candidate, as well as questions regarding their voting intentions which were then compared with the result of the election. Analysis indicates weak to moderate but significant positive correlations between each of the five personality traits and first preference votes, but also patterns of divergence across candidate affiliation. These results suggest that voting behaviour is not only influenced by holistic impressions of the candidates’ personality traits, but that these are moderated by candidate affiliation, presenting a dilemma for potential political leaders.
- Total Views
- Views on SlideShare
- Embed Views