Regions where voters have neurotic personalities in the US voted for Donald Trump

Regions where voters have more neurotic personality traits were more likely to vote for Donald Trump in the US 2016 election, researchers found.  

These personality traits predicted Trump support in battlefields such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio, as well as the Midwestern ‘Rust Belt.’ 

The team found that in the area known as the ‘temperamental and uninhabited region, people tended to have higher neuroticism than the others, and are moderately high on openness – an area that Trump ‘went five-for-five in sweeping’ during the primaries.    

More than three million Americans were surveyed in this personality study, included 44 questions about their habits and dispositions, as reported by The Atlantic.

The study was conducted by researchers from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Ilmenau University of Technology, University of Cambridge, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Melbourne University and The University of Texas at Austin.   

Scroll down for video 

The team found that in the area known as the 'temperamental and uninhabited region, people tended to have higher neuroticism than the others, and are moderately high on openness - an area that Trump 'went five-for-five in sweeping' during the primaries

The team found that in the area known as the ‘temperamental and uninhabited region, people tended to have higher neuroticism than the others, and are moderately high on openness – an area that Trump ‘went five-for-five in sweeping’ during the primaries

Sam Gosling, co-author and UT Austin psychology professor, told DailyMail.com in an email: ‘In one sense I was surprised because, if anything, neuroticism has been historically associated with a small tendency to vote for liberal candidates and positions (although that effect is small compared to the effect of the Openness personality trait). 

In another sense I wasn’t surprised because a good way of thinking about neuroticism is as a sensitivity to dangers and what might go wrong, so people who are neurotic should be particularly susceptible to campaigns that play on fears. 

‘Of course, other parties could have used a fear-based campaign too (e.g., you could imagine liberal causes using a fear-based campaign drawing on the dangers of climate change) but they didn’t. In the 2016 U.S. Presidential election those places high on neuroticism happened to have a big impact on the election.’ 

 The study authors compared each county’s level of neuroticism to whether those counties later voted for President Trump in the 2016 election, and whether they had historically voted for Republicans.   

In the 50 US counties, there was a nine percent increase in Republican votes from 2012 to 2016 and those with the lowest fear and anxiety showed a shift of only 2 percent

In the 50 US counties, there was a nine percent increase in Republican votes from 2012 to 2016 and those with the lowest fear and anxiety showed a shift of only 2 percent

In the 50 US counties, there was a nine percent increase in Republican votes from 2012 to 2016 and those with the lowest fear and anxiety showed a shift of only 2 percent

Regions where voters have more neurotic personality traits were more likely to vote for Donald Trump (pictured) in the US

Regions where voters have more neurotic personality traits were more likely to vote for Donald Trump (pictured) in the US

Regions where voters have more neurotic personality traits were more likely to vote for Donald Trump (pictured) in the US

‘This particular configuration of traits depicts the type of person who is reserved, aloof, impulsive, irritable, and inquisitive,’ Jason Rentfrow, a psychologist at the University of Cambridge, wrote in the study. 

‘To which we on the East Coast say, You talkin’ to me?’

Lead author Martin Obschonka, a psychologist and associate professor in entrepreneurship at QUT said: ‘The models traditionally used for predicting and explaining political behavior did not capture an essential factor that influenced people’s voting decisions in 2016.’

‘We propose a kind of ‘sleeper effect.’

‘Under normal conditions these traits have no influence, but in certain circumstances, widespread anxiety and fear in a region have the potential to profoundly impact the geopolitical landscape.’

For this study, the team investigated personality data of 417,217 British and 3,167,041 United States participants.

They then tested regional levels of fear, anxiety and anger, which were compared to the traits historically correlated with political orientation (openness and conscientiousness) to measure the link between regional psychological climate and 2016 voting behavior.

Researchers also considered the role of region's industrial heritage, political attitude, racial composition, educational attainment and economic conditions. And in the U.S., these personality traits also predicted Trump support in battlefields such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio, as well as the Midwestern 'Rust Belt' - pictured is a rally in Michigan

Researchers also considered the role of region's industrial heritage, political attitude, racial composition, educational attainment and economic conditions. And in the U.S., these personality traits also predicted Trump support in battlefields such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio, as well as the Midwestern 'Rust Belt' - pictured is a rally in Michigan

Researchers also considered the role of region’s industrial heritage, political attitude, racial composition, educational attainment and economic conditions. And in the U.S., these personality traits also predicted Trump support in battlefields such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio, as well as the Midwestern ‘Rust Belt’ – pictured is a rally in Michigan 

Researchers found a link between regions with higher levels of anxiety and fear with Trump votes, and an even stronger influence of such traits when considering Trump gains since the 2012 election, when Mitt Romney was the Republican candidate.

In the 50 US counties, there was a nine percent increase in Republican votes from 2012 to 2016. 

‘This finding supports our initial suspicion that the regions highest on neuroticism are particularly receptive to political campaigns that emphasize danger and loss and that previous campaigns have not tapped into these themes as strongly as we saw in 2016,’ said Gosling.

Researchers also considered the role of region’s industrial heritage, political attitude, racial composition, educational attainment and economic conditions. 

And in the U.S., these personality traits also predicted Trump support in battlefields such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio, as well as the Midwestern ‘Rust Belt.’

Higher population density, economic earnings, educational attainment and openness traits were negatively related to Trump votes, while conscientiousness showed little to no effect in either case.

‘Much as the consequences of a region’s fearful or anxious tendencies may remain hidden until certain conditions are met, there may be other regional characteristics that have the potential to influence geopolitical events but the necessary conditions have not yet materialized,’ Gosling said.

 

link

(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *