February 2008 Poll - Discussion

Type and Liberal-Conservative Orientation

As discussed elsewhere on this site , some research suggests a relationship between S-N preferences and self-identified liberal-conservative political orientation. That is, to the extent that conservative orientations involve preferences for sustaining traditional institutions and a cautious approach to change, then a conservative orientation appears to reflect S preferences. To the extent that liberal orientations involve a preference for change and new possibilities, then a liberal orientation appears to reflect N preferences.

We tested statistically for this possible relationship in the November 2007 Poll and found support for the S-N effect. We replicated the analysis for the February 2008 Poll using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with self-reported liberal-conservative orientations (n = 102) as the dependent variable and type preferences as the independent variables. We first tested for all main effects and all two-way interactions. Results again indicated a significant overall effect produced primarily by the S-N preferences.



Intuition (and Feeling?)


Sensing (& Thinking?)


Similary to the November 2007 analysis, the February 2008 results also indicated a near-significant effect (p = .07) for the T-F preferences (with Ts more conservative and Fs more liberal).

Finally, no support was found for a "type dynamics" effect (i.e., no interaction effects were significant). However, the interaction between E-I and J-P approached statistical significance (p = .08).

To explore the potential effects of demographic variables, we conducted a multiple regression analysis. Political orientation again was the dependent variable. Independent variables included each of the sets of type preferences as well as age, sex, APT membership, and total scores on the test of type knowledge. Results indicated a significant overall effect with T-F preferences and age as the primary predictors: Thinking preferences were associated with a more conservative orientation and age was associated with a more liberal orientation. These results provide further support that the T-F preferences may play a role in political orientation. However, the non-significant findings for the S-N preferences are not consistent with results from prior studies. In part, these results may be due to the fact that age correlates signficantly in the February 2008 sample with S-N preferences (as well as test scores and APT membership). The age variable thus may reflect indirectly, to some extent, the S-N influence.

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