My Republican personality
May 18, 2012 3 Comments
After reading a recent Chris Mooney post, I was inspired to take a closer look than I have before at the American Political Science Review piece on the “Big 5″ personality factors and their relationship to political ideology. Turns out they are relying on the TIPI (Ten Item Personality Inventory) to assign these traits rather than a longer inventory. I’m sure the TIPI has been well-studied and is generally a valid shorthand for more extensive personality questionnaires, but in my case the results were quite at odds with longer personality inventories I’ve done. As mentioned earlier, “openness to experience” is typically a key element of a liberal personality and on a longer test, I did score above average. As this TIPI summary explains:
Openness is characterized by originality, curiosity, and ingenuity.
- This factor is sometimes referred to as Culture because of its emphasis on intellectualism, polish, and independence of mind.
- This factor is also sometimes referred to as Intellect because of its emphasis on intelligence, sophistication, and reflection.
Yet, what is the actual measure in the TIPI?
I see myself as open to new experiences, complex
Seems like very different thing to me. Oh, I’m a complex intellecutal alright , but I am certainly not somebody who seeks out new experiences. I’ve got real issues with the validity of these. On its face, these seems like quite different constructs. Answering this particular question honestly, I put “disagree strongly.” On a similar level, the conscientiousness measure is based on two items where my answers were in complete contradiction. I agree strongly that I am “dependable” and “self-disciplined” yet I also agree with the (reverse-coded) statements that I am “disorganized,careless” (you should see my desk!). Which is it? These are simply not the same construct. Here’s how I came out in an on-line TIPI:
Of course, a summary measure isn’t going to work for everybody and maybe I’m an outlier, but I have to admit to seeing conclusions based on this as potentially problematic. And yes, I am a damn emotionally stable extrovert.