The association between agreeableness, extraversion, and support for secessionist movements: Evidence from a large survey of more than 33,000 respondents in Catalonia

Joan Barcelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Does personality influence attitudes toward secessionism? Personality traits are important determinants of a wide range of political attitudes and behaviors. Prior work has mainly focused on the study of personality during regular processes of democratic political systems (e.g., vote choice, turnout, information acquisition, etc.). By contrast, this paper assesses that personality traits have an influence over the decision of individuals to support a secessionist movement. To test this, I rely on a survey distributed to more than 33.000 respondents in Catalonia, a region with a salient secessionist movement. Beyond the effects of demographic characteristics, political factors, descent-based attributes, economic considerations, and even identity attachments, the results confirm that the personality trait of Agreeableness is associated with supporting the Catalan secessionist movement. Although less consistently, there is some preliminary evidence that extraverted individuals are more likely to support the movement. I conclude that combining insights from political science, sociology and psychology in the study of dispositional and situational determinants of attitudes toward secessionism is fertile research ground.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-107
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume107
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

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Personality
Political Systems
Sociology
Politics
Economics
Demography
Extraversion (Psychology)
Surveys and Questionnaires
Psychology
Research

Keywords

  • Agreeableness
  • Big Five
  • Extraversion
  • Independence
  • Personality
  • Political behavior
  • Referendum
  • Secessionism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Does personality influence attitudes toward secessionism? Personality traits are important determinants of a wide range of political attitudes and behaviors. Prior work has mainly focused on the study of personality during regular processes of democratic political systems (e.g., vote choice, turnout, information acquisition, etc.). By contrast, this paper assesses that personality traits have an influence over the decision of individuals to support a secessionist movement. To test this, I rely on a survey distributed to more than 33.000 respondents in Catalonia, a region with a salient secessionist movement. Beyond the effects of demographic characteristics, political factors, descent-based attributes, economic considerations, and even identity attachments, the results confirm that the personality trait of Agreeableness is associated with supporting the Catalan secessionist movement. Although less consistently, there is some preliminary evidence that extraverted individuals are more likely to support the movement. I conclude that combining insights from political science, sociology and psychology in the study of dispositional and situational determinants of attitudes toward secessionism is fertile research ground.",
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