Erik Gahner Larsen

New article in European Journal of Personality: The Generalizability of Personality Effects in Politics

I have an article in the new issue of European Journal of Personality (together with Joseph A. Vitriol and Steven G. Ludeke). The article is called The Generalizability of Personality Effects in Politics.

The abstract is here:

A burgeoning line of research examining the relation between personality traits and political variables relies extensively on convenience samples. However, our understanding of the extent to which using convenience samples challenges the generalizability of these findings to target populations remains limited. We address this question by testing whether associations between personality and political characteristics observed in representative samples diverged from those observed in the sub-populations most commonly studied in convenience samples, namely students and internet users. We leverage ten high-quality representative datasets to compare the representative samples with the two sub-samples. We did not find any systematic differences in the relationship between personality traits and a broad range of political variables. Instead, results from the sub-samples generalized well to those observed in the broader and more diverse representative sample.

In the article, we rely on a series of representative datasets to assess whether Big Five personality traits have similar effects on political outcomes for different sub-populations. In brief, we find no empirical support that any of the subsamples we examine differ from the population at large. Here is a figure from the article where we show the findings when looking at students as the sub-sample:

You can find the article here. The replication material is avaiable at the Open Science Framework and GitHub.