Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Fear, populism, and the geopolitical landscape: the “sleeper effect” of neurotic personality traits on regional voting behavior in the 2016 Brexit and Trump elections

Obschonka, Martin, Stuetzer, Michael, Rentfrow, P. Jason, Lee, Neil, Potter, Jeff and Gosling, Samuel D. (2018) Fear, populism, and the geopolitical landscape: the “sleeper effect” of neurotic personality traits on regional voting behavior in the 2016 Brexit and Trump elections. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 9 (3). pp. 285-298. ISSN 1948-5506

[img]
Preview
Text - Accepted Version
Download (1MB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1177/1948550618755874

Abstract

Two recent electoral results - Donald Trump’s election as US president and the UK’s Brexit vote - have re-ignited debate on the psychological factors underlying voting behavior. Both campaigns promoted themes of fear, lost pride, and loss aversion, which are relevant to the personality dimension of Neuroticism, a construct previously not associated with voting behavior. To that end, we investigate whether regional prevalence of neurotic personality traits (Neuroticism, Anxiety, Depression) predicted voting behavior in the US (N = 3,167,041) and the UK (N = 417,217), comparing these effects with previous models, which have emphasized the roles of Openness and Conscientiousness. Neurotic traits positively predicted share of Brexit and Trump votes and Trump gains from Romney. Many of these effects persisted in additional robustness tests controlling for regional industrial heritage, political attitude, and socio-economic features, particularly in the US. The “sleeper effect” of neurotic traits may profoundly impact the geopolitical landscape.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/spp
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2018 11:48
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2020 00:11
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/86482

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics