March 22, 2006
by: jovial_cynic
According to a twenty year study from the Journal of Research into Personality, a child's initial personality is what dictates what sort of political tendancies they'll display as they get older. Ninety-five children born in the 60's were tracked for twenty years as a part of a test to track their personalities, and the findings showed that the personality traits found in the children were strongly linked to their political standings as young adults.

From the article:

The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.

The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests. The girls were still outgoing, but the young men tended to turn a little introspective.

The study doesn't go into the causes of the personality types; one could argue that children who grew up with a lack of confidence likely came from a rigid and hyper-structured home where the freedom to be expressive was likely discouraged, whereas confident children were probably encouraged by their parents to think on their own and make their own decisions, which some believe to be a more liberal outlook on life.

That said, there are probably a lot more causes than simply personality when trying to predict the political leanings of an individual. However, it does lend to the notion that people are not as free as they think they are. If political leanings can be determined by outside factors, an individual has very little choice in the matter...
np category: politics


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