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Extraversion Probably Does Not Cause Political Participation. Evidence from Two Genetically Informed Designs
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4327-447X
2023 (English)In: Political Psychology, ISSN 0162-895X, E-ISSN 1467-9221, Vol. 44, no 6, p. 1301-1318Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A substantial literature in political psychology has emphasized the importance of personality traits for understanding differences in political participation. One such trait is extraversion. However, the causal status of this relationship is complicated by a number of issues, not least genetic confounding stemming from the heritability of both personality traits and political participation. This study confirms the well-established naive relationship between extraversion and participation, but goes on with (a) a discordant MZ twin design and (b) a new approach using measured genetic variation, or a polygenic index, in the given trait (extraversion) to assess the causal nature of this relationship. First, utilizing variation in extraversion and participation within identical twin pairs shows that twins with higher extraversion do not participate more. Second, random variation within fraternal twin pairs in a polygenic index of extraversion does predict trait extraversion, but does not predict political participation. In summary, previously identified associations between extraversion and political participation are not likely to be causal, but instead reflect common underlying familial factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2023. Vol. 44, no 6, p. 1301-1318
Keywords [en]
cotwin design, extraversion, personality, political participation, polygenic index
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology) Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-522425DOI: 10.1111/pops.12901ISI: 000995338200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-522425DiVA, id: diva2:1836513
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 201-9-00244Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P1-80782:1Available from: 2024-02-09 Created: 2024-02-09 Last updated: 2024-02-09Bibliographically approved

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Ahlskog, Rafael

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