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Personality Traits, Political Attitudes and Voter Behaviour in the 2014 Latvian Parliamentary Elections

Europe (Central and Eastern)
Political Psychology
Janis Ikstens
University of Latvia
Janis Ikstens
University of Latvia

Although psychological aspects of voter behaviour have long been subject of scholarly interest, association of personality traits with particular kinds of political values, attitudes and behaviours has come under scrutiny rather recently. Advances in psychology have generated less time-consuming psychometric instruments to measure Big Five personality dimensions, which reinvigorated studies of linkage between personality traits, attitudes and behaviour. However, these studies have largely focused on advanced democracies.
This paper constitutes a pioneering study of linkage between personality traits, attitudes and political behaviour in Latvia. On the basis of a post-election survey, the paper will explore how personality traits affect individual ideological preferences, ideological assessment of parties and voters, interest in politics, turnout, and party choice. Big Five model of personality traits will be simultaneously measured by two more popular instruments – BFI and TIPI. Furthermore, differences among two major ethnolinguistic groups – Latvians and East Slavs – will be explored.
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