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The Relationship Between Genes, Psychological Traits, and Political Participation
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2014 (English)In: American Journal of Political Science, ISSN 0092-5853, E-ISSN 1540-5907, Vol. 58, no 4, 888-903 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent research demonstrates that a wide range of political attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors canbe explained in part by genetic variation. However, these studies have not yet identied themechanisms that generate such a relationship. Some scholars have speculated that psychologicaltraits mediate the relationship between genes and political participation, but so far there havebeen no empirical tests. Here we focus on the role of three psychological traits that are believed toinuence political participation: cognitive ability, personal control, and extraversion. Utilizinga unique sample of more than 2,000 Swedish twin pairs, we show that a common genetic factorcan explain most of the relationship between these psychological traits and acts of politicalparticipation as well as predispositions related to participation. While our analysis is not adenitive test, our results suggest an upper bound for a proposed mediation relationship betweengenes, psychological traits, and political participation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2014. Vol. 58, no 4, 888-903 p.
Keyword [en]
Genes, political participation
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-219244DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12100ISI: 000343869800008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-219244DiVA: diva2:698688
Nature, nurture, and political attitudes and behavior
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-02-24 Created: 2014-02-24 Last updated: 2014-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Oskarsson, Sven
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