Personality Traits and Party Identification Over Time

Bert Bakker, David Nicolas Hopmann, Mikael Persson

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Why do some people stably identify with a party while others do not? This study tests whether and how the direction, stability and strength of party identification are associated with big five personality traits, using panel data from a representative sample of German citizens. First, the study confirms that personality traits are related to identification with different political parties. Second, it moves beyond previous research by showing that personality traits are related to the strength and variation in party identification over time. The implications of the study for the classical perspectives on party identification, as well as the personality and politics literature, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)197-215
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • German socio-economic panel (GSOEP)
  • Party identification
  • Personality

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