Personality and Turnout: Results from the Finnish Longitudinal Studies

Mikko Mattila, Hanna Wass, Peter Söderlund, Sami Fredriksson, Päivi Fadjukoff, Katja Kokko

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    21 Citations (Scopus)


    Scholars in the field of electoral participation have for long been aware that turnout is strongly connected to sociopsychological variables such as religiosity, party identification, political interest and sense of political efficacy. The impact of personality characteristics has remained largely unexplored until recently. Based on the Jyvaskyla Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development (JYLS, original N = 369), this article analyses the links between individuals' personality traits and their propensity to vote at ages 36, 42 and 50. The personality traits are measured by using the five-factor model of personality consisting of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience. The results show both extraversion and agreeableness to be positively associated with electoral participation, but the findings are not consistent at all ages. Finally, the analysis suggests that the effect of extraversion varies depending on the level of education. Whereas well-educated people are more prone to be habitual voters regardless of their level of extraversion, among less-educated respondents it has a more sizeable effect.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)287–306
    Number of pages20
    JournalScandinavian Political Studies
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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