[Psychmasters] FW: Interesting Site to Explore Personality & Politics

PSY_RSM PSY_RSM at shsu.edu
Tue Oct 5 12:48:14 CDT 2004

 Hey, y'all, if you can't trust Phil Zimbardo, who can you trust?

(This IS an interesting site...)


-----Original Message-----
From: zim at stanford.edu [mailto:zim at stanford.edu] 
Sent: Monday, October 04, 2004 11:55 AM
To: spsp-discuss at stolaf.edu
Subject: Interesting Site to Explore Personality & Politics

Message From: Phil Zimbardo <zim at stanford.edu>
Position/Title: Emeritus Professor
School/Organization: Stanford U.

Dear Colleagues:

You may want to explore this site and have your students do so as well:


It has several fine features: good use of the web to collect personality
data in a special way -- as well as a variety of other materials on close
relationships, and more.

My interest is the Personality and Politics Assessment.

You take the big five personality test by checking off 40 adjectives (8
markers of each big five factors)--and get immediate feedback of your
scores. Then you judge Bush and Kerry on these same items, and indicate your
voting preference, and you get immediate feedback on your
similarity/dissimilarity to the candidate of your choice and to the other
candidate -- and averaged in with the other 7000+respondents so far, as of

Plus, of course, the researchers have a large database and can do many
secondary analyses.

The site was developed by R. Chris Fraley of U. Illinois, based on research
of Gian Vittorio Caprara -- U. Rome -- and his colleagues, including me.

In the Oct. issue of American Psychologist, Caprara and I have the lead
article, "Personalizing Politics", that describes 10 years of research on
this topic showing among other things, that we all use 5 factors to describe
our own personalities and that of celebrities, but usually only a blend of 2
factors for politicians -- they have "uniquely simple personalities" -- as
projected by voters. A similar outcome is emerging from this new data set
contrasting Bush and Kerry; what is fascinating is to discover the nature of
those factors.

Try it, you'll like it, but please do not send me email. I am going away to
lectures in Poland and Italy for 3 weeks, and have limited Internet access
-- and then I testify as expert witness in the Abu Ghraib abuses on behalf
of one of the Army Reserve guards, to try to reduce his projected sentence
based on arguments from our body of social psychological research that
applies directly to this situation. Hope that application can make a
difference in the case of this young man.

Phil Z.

Sent courtesy of Social Psychology Network

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