Socio-Demographics and Political Ideology: A Multinational Analysis


With an increasingly polarized nature of interparty conflict in politics across the world, researchers in the fields of political science and psychology are eager to determine the antecedents of individuals' attachment to either liberal or conservative ideologies. While some recent developments illustrate the relationship between political attitudes and biological genes, others associate liberalism and conservatism with personality traits such as adventurousness and conscientiousness. In this paper, I aim to explore the influence of socio-demographic factors on individual's political attitudes. A series of ordinal logistic models are estimated using the 2010-2014 World Values Survey data, which was collected from 90,350 individuals in 55 different countries. This data contains information on self-reported political position (on the liberal-conservatism continuum), country of residence, income, gender, age, and education level. Results show that males are more likely to possess a conservative view, while individuals with lower income tend to be liberals. I also find that country of residence plays a vital role in determining one's political attitude. A positive relationship between liberalism and education level is evident. More importantly, the aging population is associated with conservativeness. As these socio-demographics vary over time, these findings imply that political attitudes are not stable but indeed malleable.

Author Information
Surat Teerakapibal, Thammasat Business School, Thammasat University, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2017
Stream: Qualitative/Quantitative Research in any other area of Psychology

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon