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Personality, Ideological Attitudes, and Group Identity as Predictors of Political Behavior in Majority and Minority Ethnic Groups

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Prior research on personality and politics has largely investigated relationships using national samples from North America and Europe. In contrast, we used multigroup path analysis to assess how Big Five personality, ideological attitudes (RWA, SDO), and group identities (National and Ethnic Identification) predicted right versus left Political Behavior (party support, past voting, present voting intention) across majority and minority ethnic groups in a New Zealand national sample (N= 6,333). The effects of personality on ideological attitudes and group identities were mostly invariant across ethnic groups and consistent with prior findings. In contrast, the effects of ideological attitudes on Political Behavior varied across ethnic groups being moderately strong for the European majority but nonsignificant for the minorities. Group identities had little effect on Political Behavior. We discuss cultural and contextual factors that might account for this disconnect between ideology and politics among the minority ethnic groups.
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Keywords: Big Five Personality; Ethnic Identity; National Identity; Political Behavior; Right Wing Authoritarianism; Social Dominance Orientation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2016

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