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Personality influences party affiliation

Nov. 3, 2008 at 1:04 AM

DURHAM, N.H., Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Personality influences whether voters craves social stability or social change, affecting the way people vote, a U.S. researcher suggests.

John Mayer, a professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire, says each person creates a mental world and these mental models guide how people perceive the world and what people prefer or abhor.

"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," Mayer says in a statement.

Certain personality characteristics generally influence whether a person is a liberal or a conservative. Mayer says liberals often:

-- View social inequities as unjust requiring reform.

-- Prefer atheists, tattoos, foreign films and poetry.

-- Exhibit creativity, which entails the capacity to see solutions to problems, and empathy toward others.

Mayers says conservatives often:

-- Are more likely to be a first-born, who identify more with their parents, predisposing them to a greater investment in authority and a preference for conservatism.

-- Have a fear of death, reflecting a need for security.

-- Have the ability to meet their own and others' demands.

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