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Political Discontent

Personality and Populism

So who are these populist voters? In ‘The psychological roots of populist voting: Evidence from the United States, the Netherlands and Germany’ (2015), authors look for personality traits that might indicate a preference for populist parties.

So who are these populist voters?

In their article ‘The psychological roots of populist voting: Evidence from the United States, the Netherlands and Germany’ (2015), Bert N. Bakker, Matthijs Rooduijn and Gijs Schumacher, look for personality traits that might indicate a preference for populist parties. They work with the congruency model of political preference, that states that voters seek politicians and parties similar to their own personality. And they find that voting for populists is rooted in low Agreeableness – one of the Big Five personality traits used in social sciences. Because low agreeable individuals are inclined to be highly sceptical of the behaviour of others, they are highly sensitive to populist parties’ anti-establishment message and therefore more inclined to support these parties.