October 2008 Poll - Discussion

The Temperament Groups and Political Orientations

Temperament theory involves a perspective about how type preferences combine to produce psychological subtypes which seem quite relevant to politics.  Indeed, Keirsey's work on presidential temperament made this connection some time ago.

Though the naming of the temperaments continues to evolve (and the theoretical frameworks differ somewhat between type theory and temperament theory), from an MBTI® perspective the temperament groupings include: SJ, SP, NT, and NF.

In general, the effect of the temperament types was significant for all of the political orientation measures. The primary differences for each dependent variable seem to be:

  • Self (General): The NF types scored significantly more liberal than the SJ and the NT types.
  • Self (Social): The SJ types scored significantly less liberal than the NF and NT types, although the NF types scored as significantly more liberal than the SJ and NT types. (That is, in terms of perceiving one's self as socially liberal: NF > NT > SJ).
  • Self (Economic): The SJ types scored significantly less liberal than the NF and NT types, although the NF types scored as significantly more liberal than the SJ and NT types. (That is, in terms of perceiving one's self as economically  liberal: NF > NT > SJ).
  • Attitudes (Social): The SJ types scored significantly less liberal than the NF types.
  • Attitudes (Economic): The SJ types scored significantly less liberal than the NF and NT types, although the NF types scored as significantly more liberal than the SJ and NT types. (That is, in terms of  liberal economic attitudes: NF > NT > SJ).

A general trend across the temperaments also may be of interest.  In general, scores on the social self-perception and social attitudes measures were the most liberal; scores on the economic self-perception and economic attitude measures were more moderate.  Scores on the Liberal-Conservative Self-Perception: General fall in the middle.  

Note: Higher scores indicate more Conservative responses.  Scores above 5.0 indicate Conservative orientations and scores below 5.0 indicate Liberal orientations. Results for the analysis can be found here (ANOVA) and here (Kruskal_Wallis). (Note: Higher scores in the ANOVA printout indicate more Conservative responses, except for the Liberal-Conservative Attitudes-Economic where higher scores indicate more Liberal responses.)

 

Summary of Significance Tests: Temperaments
       
Liberal-Consevative Measures F-Test   Kruskal_Wallis Test
       
Self: General p = .000*   p = .000
Self: Social p = .000*   p = .000
Self: Economic p = .000*   p = .000
Attitudes: Social p = .001*   p = .025
Attitudes: Economic p = .000   p = .000
       
*Test assumptions not met      
       

 

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