Does your personality influence who you vote for? The short answer is yes, according to John Mayer, professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire. As Americans go to the polls in record numbers to vote for the next U.S. president, some voters will crave social stability and others will crave social change. Liberals and conservatives divide according to these personality preferences.
“Our votes are an expression not only of which candidates are best – the Republicans, Democrats, or those candidates of another party – but also of our own way of perceiving and thinking about the world and what is good or bad about it. Our personal perceptions and thoughts in this area (and others) have been shaped over time within our personalities,” Mayer says.
Personality is interior and private, with no direct access to the outside world (everything is filtered through the senses: one’s eyes, ears, touch, etc.). For that reason, each person creates a mental world that represents the real one to a greater or lesser degree. Mental models guide each person and how he or she perceives the world, including those social features he or she they prefers or abhors.
Certain personality characteristics generally influence whether a person is a liberal or a conservative.
Mayer has published more than 100 articles, chapters, books and psychological tests, including his most recent book, “Personality: A Systems Approach.” In 1990, Mayer and Peter Salovey of Yale University coined the term Emotional Intelligence and provided the first scientific research on the topic.
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