Politics, Genes, and Temperament

I recently read an article on cnn.com about research that claims people’s political leanings are less tied to nurture than nature. Essentially, the researchers are finding that where you are born, the political leanings of your parents, friends, and colleagues, etc., play less of a role in your own preferences than your “hard-wiring”. In others words – you’re born that way.

These findings reflect the results of of several independent research studies conducted with different scientific methods – and support a theory we have had here at Keirsey Research ever since we started surveying people’s voting preferences and political beliefs several years ago. Our findings over the years have been consistent: there is a measurable correlation between temperament and political viewpoints. This doesn’t mean for example, that all ENTJ’s are Independents, but we have consistently seen substantial statistical differences between the temperaments.

Before reading below to see what we’ve found over the years, stop and see if you can predict the link between temperament and stated political party affiliation. Are Artisans more likely to be Republicans than Democrats – or perhaps Greens or Libertarians? What about Guardians, Idealists, and Rationals?


We randomly surveyed 8000 people who completed the Keirsey Temperament Sorter shortly before the midterm election, with these results. Unlike many surveys, we were also interested in people who consider themselves apolitical and don’t bother to vote.

  • Artisans are about 10% more likely to be registered as Democrats than as Republicans or Independents. They are the least likely to actually vote in an election.
  • Guardians are about 10% more likely to identify themselves as Republicans than as Democrats, and are the least likely of the temperaments to be Independents or apolitical. They are also the most likely to vote.
  • Idealists are 17% more likely to be Democrats than Independents, and 34% more likely Democrats than Republicans.
  • Rationals are the most likely to identify themselves as Independents or apolitical. For those that are party members, they are 45% more likely to be Democrats than Republicans.

Raw results:

2 thoughts on “Politics, Genes, and Temperament”

  1. Makes sense when you think about it. I’m British so assume that Democrats are most closely affiliated to the Labour party and the Republicans to the Conservative and Liberal parties. I’m an Idealist Champion (I’m apolitical and just want the politicians to be open and honest with the populous, which I don’t believe that they are being) but am disillusioned with British politics and am wondering how to vote in tomorrow’s council elections……it will not be an easy decision!

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