Does Your Personality Type Decide Your Political Opinions?

As a political nerd, I’ve always wondered where people’s political opinions and beliefs come from. While I can accept that our politics are often influenced by our experiences, a completely non-scientific scan of my friends and family told me that politics seem to be — at least in part — innate. Have you ever had a political discussion that genuinely changed the other person’s mind? No, me neither: we stick to our political thoughts and beliefs come what may, helped along by a generous dose of confirmation bias.

Superficially, politics should be very simple: here are the facts. Here are the truths. Here are the potential solutions. Here are the decisions that have been implemented. Simple, straightforward, and easy— but politics is anything but simple, straightforward and easy. In a world of fake news, fake truths and fake discourse, the waters have been muddied, and convincing anyone to change their mind politically is nigh-on impossible.

Then, slowly, I began to wonder if there was a connection to personality type. Our personality type is innate, something we have no control over. Could it shape our political opinions? Were there clues in the 16 personalities that suggested how someone might think and behave politically?

It was worth looking deeper, and I think I’ve come to a few conclusions.

First, we need to define political opinions.

Right and left wing

The “wings” of political thought have long been established, and are a far better indicator of political opinion than being restrained to party lines. As a result, we’re going to stick to using the wings to describe political opinion rather than specific parties, not least because party politics is changeable. The wings, however, are eternal.

  • Left wing. The left wing is associated with liberalism. Left wingers are usually progressive in their attitudes. They believe that government should serve the people rather than corporations; it is unlikely that left wingers will embrace the concept of a completely free market. Left wingers are more likely to believe in stringent regulations and higher taxation to fund social areas such as education, healthcare, transportation, and infrastructure. They are more likely to be socially liberal.

Pop Culture Example: Rebecca Bunch of Crazy Ex Girlfriend

Political Example: Bernie Sanders

  • Right wing. The right wing is associated with conservatism. Right wingers are more traditional in their attitudes. They believe that government involvement in people’s lives should be minimal, and that competition should be the deciding force in the marketplace. Right wingers are more likely to believe in deregulation and low taxation, and often believe education, healthcare, transportation and infrastructure should be provided by private corporations. They are less likely to be socially liberal.

Pop Culture Example: Karen Walker of Will and Grace

Political Example: Paul Ryan

However, we also need to add a third category:

  • Centrists. As the term suggests, centrists agree with aspects of both left and right wing ideology. It is more difficult to ascertain an exact description of centrists, as the majority of centrists are self-determining. In the majority of circumstances, centrists embrace the progressive nature of the left wing on social issues, but are fiscally more conservative.

Pop Culture Example: Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation

Political Example: Barack Obama

So, with these distinctions outlined, I’m now going to go through the 16 personality types and see if it’s possible to predict the political opinions each one correlates to.

INTJ: “The Mastermind”

For INTJs, their ability to dream and think big makes them natural candidates for the left wing. After all, this is a personality type that thrives on solutions and doing things differently, which defies the traditionalist perspective of right wingers. The INTJ desire for self-improvement can be expanded on a social scale, meaning that they are always looking for bettering the world around them.

However... INTJs are also deeply practical and logical. They understand that the world needs to be carefully strategized, and are more likely to be able to compromise with those they disagree with— something left wingers often struggle to do. Due to this, I believe that INTJs are most likely to be centrists, with a left-leaning view on social issues.

Conclusion: Centrists

INFJ: “The Counselor”

The idealism of INFJs combined with their desire to help means that there’s not a huge amount of discussion to be had here! I believe INFJs are most likely to be left wing, particularly in regard to social issues. Like INTJs, INFJs extrapolate their desire for self-improvement into societal improvement. They are also more likely to keenly feel issues created by inadequate healthcare or poverty, which motivates them to change the world and challenge the status quo.

Conclusion: Left Wing

INTP: “The Architect”

INTPs aren’t particularly good at conforming. They’re non-traditional, which tends to veer away from right wing thinking, and they’re unconventional. The innate INTP desire to do things differently doesn’t align with right wing values, which tend towards conservatism— something INTPs often find irritating and confusing.

Conclusion: Left Wing

INFP: “The Healer”

Again, this one seems rather simple to judge: INFP’s tend to buck conformity, instead preferring to devise their own solutions to life’s ills. Their open-mindedness also allows them to conceive of the possibility of progress, and their desire to help others is an important motivator.

Conclusion: Left Wing

ENTJ: “The Commander”

ENTJs are a tough group to categorize. Their ability to see the need for, and then implement, solutions sounds almost progressive, which could be construed as left wing. However, there are a few mitigating factors that have led to the conclusion that ENTJs are more likely to actually be right wing. Their tendency towards practicality over emotional decision-making is inherently right wing, and their preference for logic and order also trend in this direction.

Conclusion: Right Wing

ENTP: “The Visionary”

With a nickname like “The Visionary”, it’s tempting to immediately call ENTPs left wing, but further analysis of this personality type actually suggests centrism is a more likely calling for this personality type. The ENTP core ability to “leave people be” doesn’t quite align with the activism most commonly found on the left, but their contentment to challenge the status quo doesn’t align with the right either.

Conclusion: Centrism

ENFJ: “The Teacher”

ENFJs focus on humanity as a whole, constantly looking to implement ideas and solutions for what they perceive to be wrong with the world. Their values are incredibly important to them. All of this makes them natural candidates for left wing ideas, though a strong dose of practicality helps them to make their ideas a reality, so there’s a small lean towards centrism too.

Conclusion: Left Wing

ENFPs: “The Champion”

ENFPs are easy to evaluate as being more likely to ascribe to left wing values. They want to engage with people, better their lives, and their attitude to life is that diversity is always a good thing. They may not be the most practical organizers, but their enthusiasm for change and genuine interest in people seems to make their political wing obvious.

Conclusion: Left Wing

ISFJ: “The Protector”

With a name like “the protector”, it seems that this personality type is immediately heading towards left wing values; but this doesn’t quite seem to be the case. ISFJs are dedicated people; they thrive on and seek to protect tradition and convention, and they see protection of these things as helping to defend the people they care about— and humanity as a whole. Their compassion is endless, and they care deeply about preserving the world as it is. As a result...

Conclusion: Right Wing

ISFP: “The Composer”

ISFPs are a true conundrum of a personality type. Their tolerance and willingness to embrace the strange and unusual trends towards a left wing perspective, but in truth, they are more likely to be apolitical. This personality type just doesn’t trend towards strong political viewpoints; they are interested in people, but less in the fundamental mechanisms of politics. So while there is a conclusion to be made here, this apolitical element is an important consideration.

Conclusion: Left Wing

ISTJ: “The Inspector”

ISTJs are one of the easier personality types to assess for political leanings. Their need to follow rules and conform to the status quo is almost stereotypically right wing. Their reliability and practicality helps to further this assessment.

Conclusion: Right Wing

ISTP: “The Craftsman”

ISTPs are very similar to ISFPs in that they seem to be more likely to be apolitical. Their lack of judgement and high level of tolerance leans them towards the left wing, but you won’t find an ISTP on a picket line or at a protest. They are calm, measured and practical, leading to the conclusion that they are...

Conclusion: Centrists (with a left leaning on social issues)

ESFJ: “The Provider”

ESFJs are a simple personality type to call, with their worldview neatly aligning with the values of conservatism and high moral standards that are associated with the right wing. They focus on the people they care for, rather than immersing themselves in societal issues, and value the ability to provide and assist their own family rather than relying on others (or the government) for help.

Conclusion: Right Wing

ESFP: “The Performer”

ESFPs are among the personality types who will not be particularly politically involved. They focus heavily on the enjoyment of life, with little interest in the nuts and bolts of political theory. While they care for people deeply, their sense of practicality and ease at which they can build bridges with people make their political leanings slightly easier to judge, but it seems unlikely ESFPs will be particularly politically engaged.

Conclusion: Centrist

ESTJ: “The Supervisor”

ESTJ is perhaps the easiest of all 16 personality types to apply a political philosophy to. ESTJs like things to be ordered, believe convention and tradition are vitally important, and their nature lends towards obeying the rules rather than trying to establish new rules. As a result, this one is pretty simple!

Conclusion: Right Wing

ESTP: “The Dynamo”

ESTPs are fairly difficult to judge in terms of politics. Their energetic approach to life, and the fact they are “doers” rather than “thinkers” helps to identify their wing, but realistically, ESTPs are a personality type that can go either way. However, the personality types they tend to find the most challenging to interact with are of the left, and this combined with their “find the solution at all costs” approach, means that...

Conclusion: Right Wing

Final thoughts

If, as I believe, our personality type shapes our political opinions, then it’s easier to see why political discussion is so difficult. When someone presents an idea to us that disagrees with our fundamental beliefs about how the world works, it chafes against the very nature of our sense of self. This opens us up to being more influenced by fake news, confirmation bias, and propaganda; we’ll seize anything that helps us to feel at ease with the opinions we innately hold as part of the very core of who we are.

Antonia Kelly

Antonia Kelly is a freelance writer and editor. She’s a dead-on INTP with a love of politics that borders on the obsessive, and her interests include activism, feminism, history, and — for reasons she doesn’t quite understand — watching WWE wrestling. She lives with her husband and two incredibly pampered cats in Leicestershire, England.

Comments

Greg Wochlik (not verified) says...

I am an INTJ. I have taken a political view test. Your conclusion (left-leaning centrist) is absolutely spot on!

Douglas.cordeiro (not verified) says...

I think that you have forgot about a lot of other political alignments, such as left anarchists, right and center anarchists, etc. Don't you should use a more acurate model than wing like Nolan modelo.

For example outside US the liberal vs conservative is not always so clear and also not always have the same meaning.

For instance here in Brazil we have literaly comunists among ours politicians,also social democrats, socialists, economical conservatives, social and religious conservatives, the ones who are not aligned to any political compass, but the money. And we have also somes who says that we should be ruled by ditectorship. 

 

Also I never think that a INTJ could be nothing else a anarchist, broad from comunism to free-market anarchism.

Jara (not verified) says...

Interesting theory, Antonia. I believe that we move away from seeking political solutions to our problems the more mature (i.e., personally accountable) we become.

Last night, I tore up and trashed a political mailer claiming that voting is "the most important weapon for effecting change". I've come a long way from rabid political activism now that I see how powerless politicians are to fix what's wrong and how powerful prayer is for changing me and solving root problems. My family is heavily involved in politics (as elected officials, campaign managers, advisors, etc.), so I'm breaking away from that tradition, which illustrates your theory about my personality type. ;-)

Acts of the Apostles 4:1‭-‬37 NLT

While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of men who believed now totaled about 5,000. 

The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest. They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?” 

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. For Jesus is the one referred to in
the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” 

The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say. So they ordered Peter and John out of the council chamber and conferred among themselves. 

“What should we do with these men?” they asked each other. “We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again.”

So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” 

The council then threatened them further, but they finally let them go because they didn’t know how to punish them without starting a riot. For everyone was praising God for this miraculous sign—the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years. 
As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: 

“O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant, saying, ‘Why were the nations so angry? Why did they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the Lord and against his Messiah.’ 

“In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed. But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will. And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 

After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness. All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.

For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.

Jessica Rachel (not verified) says...

Interesting, and I've wondered about these correlations too. However, I am an ISFJ and could not be more 'left wing' as are my two ISFJ friends. I know we are considered to be very traditional, but for me it's much more important to protect all people than to protect outdated or unjust traditions. There are other ways for ISFJ to find the stability and structure they crave and to find their place in an orderly system- for instance, I am in school to be a nurse. One of my ISFJ friends is on the same path as I am, to be a nurse, and the other is a guidance counselor at a college. Medicine and education are both fields with distinct roles, hierarchies and traditions. However, in my (left wing) opinion, they should be available and free to all people, regardless of their socioeconomic status. 

KIm (not verified) says...

I saw this and I really admire how you found a thread of scientific and factual information, between personality types and political opinions. Opinions is key here, and confirmation bias as well. These opinions, do seem innate and yes, agreed, no one seems open to listening to other's veiwpoints, or changes their mind during political discussions. These "opinions" are guarded and discussions can get heated. In my "opinion" however, you may as well bring out a crystal ball and ask it how the economy is going. Only some economists can really estimate that and they have facts on thier table that the general public doesn't. Even then, economy is like guessing a future turnout for them too. I am also an INTP and I can say this, I'm definitely not a conservative. Maybe more in the middle though. I read once that the battle between the two sides did not begin until after the 50's and such hatred bewteen the different views was not even considered. That this era of fighting and opinions is actually a late trend and one that worries me. Everyone wants what they think is best for the country. Its just a difference of how.

Xander (not verified) says...

I thought, maybe this person is on to something, but when they described Barrack Obama as a centralist all thought and reason went down the tubes.

Ree Gee says...

Agreed.

Sophia Hart (not verified) says...

Totally!

MM says...

Agree!

When I read Barrack Obama as a centrist I just shook my head and chuckled.

When I read the authors notes on her political position, it shed some light on her descriptions of US politics and bias.

I'm an INTP and conservative.

MW (not verified) says...

I agree. The author has major confirmation bias. I’m INFP and despite my “bleeding heart liberal” personality, I am a “heartless” conservative/libertarian. :-)

Kirsten Marie (not verified) says...

My same thought. 

Centrist - In Spite of What My Right and Left Friends Say (not verified) says...

100% correlation is hardly to be expected, but to sieze upon the example of a "Centrist" that she uses and then for "all thought and reason" to go "down the tubes" is stark testimony to just how difficult it is to even carry on rational discussion across the unfortunate, great American political divide.

Real American citizen here - I may be misled, misinformed and prone to bias confirmation, but I am not fake and I am not pursuing any political agenda for its own sake. We all need to open our hearts and open our minds.

I'm FiNe (not verified) says...

I'm a 52 year old man in the USA.  My best fit type is INFP.  I do think that the pattern of INFPs being left leaning is accurate.  I would call myself a Counter-Centrist based upon how you defined Centrist: I lean left on economic issues, finding a proper moral response tends towards equalizing large gaps in resource sharing; and I lean right on personal-interrelational issues, such as marriage, abortion, and euthenasia.  I lean left regarding capital punishment, war, and response to environmental issues.  Regarding gender issues I lean left when it comes to male expecations, left when it comes to female inequities, left when it comes to supporting people who don't identify with a gender or gender expectations but very right wing regarding intentional displays of androgyny, left when it comes to supporting people emotionally who are transgender, but quite, quite right wing when it comes to public action/access and gender reassignment.  I am highly right wing regarding control of drugs and in punishing those who distribute drugs.  I am highly left wing regarding big pharma and its manipulation of the health care system in the US (health care should never be free market or resemble free market).

I am surprised that an Anarchist and/or Libertarian option(s) wasn't/weren't considered.  There are some types that seem to tend toward extremely limited government involvement (I think this is far beyond typical right wing) but nonetheless see a government needed for some limited functions.  Others don't see the need for a formal government at all, thinking that localities can somehow manage to get along without formal rules (I think this is far beyond typical left wing).  I would see INTJ possibly tending towards Libertartian and INTP as possibly tending towards Anarchistic.

Regarding ESTP I think that whatever system allows them to do what they want and avoid doing what they don't want (whatever happens to be in their best interest) will be how they act.

Pensieve (not verified) says...

It made me sigh to read, regarding my type (INJF), that my "idealism" and "desire to help others" leaves "not a lot of room for discussion" -  I of course must be left wing.

Why would a desire for "societal improvement" necessarily equate with a belief in "stringent regulation" and "higher taxation" and so forth?  Why is it assumed that my "idealism," my concern for the disadvantaged and the poor must coincide with left-wing solutions?

What if one believes that a flourishing market helps individuals to flourish and that the best interests of corporations and people are not always at variance? 

The insistence that a compassionate society can be achieved only through one set of solutions and that those who disagree must, perforce, lack compassion, is one reason why each political side shouts at each other rather than talks with each other.

In "Sixteen Personalities" we find INFJ's described as "people who tend to see helping others as their primary purpose in life" (ain't that the truth!) "but while people with this personality type can be found engaging in rescue efforts and and doing charity work, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue sthat people need not be rescued at all."

Americans have always held passionate political beliefs, but even when the stakes seemed higher (Go to war over slavery?  Enter either of the World Wars?) we may have been more civil with each other than we are now.  Listening to "the better angels of our nature" has been exchanged for 24/7 demonizing of those who disagree. As someone with an INFJ's innate desire for harmony, that's the most distressing aspect of political life today.

Trudy S. (not verified) says...

This article is spun from air and yr reply makes sense. First the author describes libertarian ideas not today's neomarxist globalism. Also people of a certain IQ, not held hostage in an extremist setting change their color every day in droves when confronted with real world numbers.  Ask Dave Rubin, Candace Owens (Red Pill Black) especially now that the Democrats cant deliver on economy and conservatives are investing and succeeding big in cleaning up inner cities, work and skills programs and help w addiction recovery. 

Christopher Mathew (not verified) says...

I feel exactly the same as you do! Beliefs on "what is right" can lead to increasingly vitriolic criticism between both sides, and instead, we should work together to bridge the divide. I also don't think that idealism is entirely for the left, those who are centrist and right-leaning can also be idealistic. The author assumes that most centrists are economically conservative and socially liberal, but in almost all cases, it's the opposite. There's also a lot of gray between the two sides, like (although now they rarely appear) conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans, and people should not be assumed to be supporting a certain ideology just because of their personality type. There are plenty of INFJs who are centrists or are right wing. There is a lot of discussion to be had here, contrary to the author, politics isn't as clear-cut as she thinks. 

Conor Cook (not verified) says...

As a conservative INTP, I don't fit this model, but I've noticed that I don't seem to align with many of the INTPs on forums etc.  My conservatism doesn't really align with the description here, however, and I think that my traditionalism is definitely shaped by my Catholic faith, which, when honestly considered, tends to avoid any kind of categorization.

Ask an ENTP (not verified) says...

This is a great subject to tackle within a personalities sphere of thinking. *Most* NT's and SJ's lean right, and *Most* SP's and NF's lean left--but that's all I'd really read or been able to triangulate within credible circles of thought out there--and your astute breakdown gives sound rationale beyond those general groupings. 

I find it ironic (pop culture 'ironic') that you've ably discerned the identity politics of each of the types like this; particularly since right-wing thinkers typically dislike identity politics and feel deeply that the individual represents the ultimate and most respectable minority.

So where am I? Well, as a dead-on example of the ever-intriguing ENTP (note the unrestrained ego mixed with sheer analytical joy) my glance over your analysis tends to agree with the lot of it--I find no blatant errors aside from those you as a talented writer aptly qualified early in the article. Obama for example was indeed an ENTP and thus centrist raised up through the ranks of a dank left-leaning sphere of influence, and I (a conservative myself) noted the attempt to reach the right thinkers and 'reason' with them to see his point of view. Did they acquiesce? Could they ever? Not a chance, because right thinkers generally want America to be 'great', not leveled-off to become power-peers with the infirm-and-usually-inferior global culture. A strong America has pulled the world out of poverty and oppression; what other nation would war with itself to free a subset of labor that costs nothing? Totally free labor is what the slaves were--America clawed itself out of the moral gutter--and without a sound industrial/economic replacement for that labor. I won't recount all American history, but both the intention and outcomes have been honorable to the extreme compared with world history prior to the US of A. Instead of proposing something like the UN, the Nazi's (had they won) would have consumed the planet. America is so non-imperialistic it's hilarious. So a digression that Obama represented--into becoming power-peers with the likes of Russia and China just isn't going to be in the cards for the American right-wing--won't happen under even a well-meaning hero-complex centrist-leftist ENTP like Obama. Just no. There was too much to lose. 

We're all unique mashups that start, really, from our personality's neurological genetic foundation. I happen to be: crazy-as-any ENTP that acts exactly like Tony Stark/Benjamin Franklin, Star Trek super-geek, registered-yet-disappointed Republican, raised-in-poverty former-roofer-turned-business-owner, California political refugee, super happy lds mormon, part-time inventor, father of 3 brilliant kids and husband to a total babe INFJ, Daughtry/Imagine Dragons fan, MBTI researcher, wannabe muscleman and quintessential all-American gun-toting, God-fearing surprisingly centrist and scarily believe-it-or-not-openminded dude. So, we're all quite different and super-unique.

Anyway, your analysis is as close as I've ever seen to an accurate and widely applicable model showing the personality/political relation.

John Wilder (not verified) says...

As a classic ENTJ I could not be more right wing, rabidly anti-abortion, have written a scientific refuation article totally debunking CO2 caused global warming.
 I salute the flag and stand for the national anthem and believe that the millionaire spoiled athletes should  be fired for disrespecting the country, the miilatary and our flag.
 I believe in rights for gays which would include a civile union but not marriage.

ashaw9813 says...

Before I go any further, I am not American, rather a British national who has lived and worked for the last 22 years in either the Netherlands or Germany (as EU residence laws have allowed me to do). I can also speak four languages (the last three all learned extremely methodically!).

Even with your explanation I find the terms "right" and "left" extremely nebulous, and the terms "conservative" and "liberal" cover a multitude of sins.  

I am an ISTJ, and I am one of the following - a "pragmatic moderate", "a pragmatic centrist", or a "pragmatic liberal". That depends upon the issues. The one word missing from that is "conservative". That might only apply to my support for law and order and the policemen and women who often bravely enforce that - maybe, though I would contend that most moderates, centrists and liberals also support their police services.

To bear in mind, the rules, laws and status quo are not necessarily conservative or even beloved by conservatives. In the Netherlands and Germany, it would be fair to say that they tend to be moderately liberal - I am, personally, certainly more comfortable living in a liberal leaning country like these two (and organisation - a very significant concern for an ISTJ - is a much more pronounced fact of life in both than was the case in the utterly conservative UK). 

The thing with being a pragmatist is that you look at the facts and see what works. With politics as with everything else. A pragmatic liberal is, in my opinion, more likely to succeed than a polemical conservative (in the same way a polemical liberal would be less likely to succeed than a pragmatic conservative).

Tradition - only if it works! As an example of that I spent most of my career (from which I have now retired), working in IT - a career that did not even exist when I was a child growing up - learning new skills as the job required. A good career path for an ISTJ to follow, or so I have been told! So there is no need to be bound by tradition! We would still all be driving around in horses and carts if that were the case.

Doug Rees (not verified) says...

It seems to me that the Internet, which is supposed to bring people together, may actually have the opposite effect. Before the Internet, we tended to interact with people having a wide range of political beliefs, and we had to learn to get along with at least most of them. But the Internet enables us to form virtual communities made up of people with virtually identical views. We can bypass the whole business of having to adjust to other people's views, and associate with people who do nothing more than stroke our egos and confirm the views we already hold. So we get more and more polarized into hostile groups, each ensconced in its own castle protected by an intellectual moat.

Andrea F (not verified) says...

You say, " They believe that government involvement in people’s lives should be minimal, and that competition should be the deciding force in the marketplace. "  (Conservatives.)

 

Yet their behaviour says otherwise.  Perhaps it's because so many of them are 'religious' - dogma usually has lots of loopholes and 'yes, buts' included.

Competition is great - until you lose...:-)

 

AnneM (not verified) says...

i know at least four ISFJs who are liberal, a few ISTJs and ENTJs who are liberal. I know a conservative ENTP. The logic seemed reasonable, but I’m not sure it’s accurate.

lajortiz (not verified) says...

this whole article is inherently left wing identity politics. everyone should be able to reason logically with one another , the problem is only when a persons emotions supersede his intellect, only then does his personlity type  come into play which is why liberals often shut down the intellectual part during debates with conservatives, and either emote or get nasty. this is probably also why the liberals attack trump constantly with total zany off the wall attacks

Adi Hunter (not verified) says...

I believe that the old left wing=liberal/ right wing=conservative dichotomy is not longer accurate. To me, a more accurate separation in today's circumstances, would be left wing=socialist/ right wing=self reliant. My observations over the years lead me to the same conclusions: your so called political affiliation (more a life conviction) is inborn/innate. Now I am working on finding if religious conviction/atheism is the same: innate or formed by your environment. What do you say?

MM.M (not verified) says...

I tend to agree with you regarding your more current thoughts on left wing=socialist, right=self reliant.

Where I have different thoughts about whether political affiliation is inborn/innate. My observations through the years leads me to believe there is early childhood conditioning through the public school system, and continues at the university level with liberal left leaning teachers and professors seem to be in the majority. 

Like I said my observations and opinion... it isn't until our youth become adults and we start seeing the outcome of their careers and the more financial successful that I've seen splitting away from the liberal agenda and voting towards conservative policies of self reliance, lower taxation etc..

I do think religion and believing in a higher power is another result of early childhood conditioning and strongly influenced by the family of origin. 

Adi Hunter (not verified) says...

MM.M interesting and logical conclusion. But I offer my case as a counter example. I was born and raised in an eastern european socialist country, where both the schooling and the system tried to educate you into socialism. Yet myself and the majority of my classmates in highschool and university were and are self reliant.

Regarding religion, I can tell you I was born skeptic. I remember my religious grandmother trying to indoctrinate me, but it didn't work. Later, when I was able to decide for myself, I went to all the religious establishments in town (all denominations), to see what they sold, and after thinking it through, I decided that I don't need an invisible friend to help me through life. Just saying...

 

Marijn C.H. Peters (not verified) says...

I am a left-wing ENTJ-A. I think that in the case of ENTJs there is a lot of diversity depending on where the ENTJ ambitions lie. Namely, ENTJs will associate their ambitions with progress, and which party progresses towards the same goals is therefore the party that the ENTJ votes for. This at least holds true for me.

Poulsen (not verified) says...

Can we connect certain personality types (based on Jung and Myers Briggs) with certain political views? Maybe to a certain degree. But it's very generalizing and takes much more work and references to justify it, than this article provides. 

This leads me to a deeper question. Can the system of personality types be regarded as knowledge that we can depend upon? I would say that it can be regarded as a theory, a tool, a guideline. We should never believe the answers as if they were religion (one should never believe religion as if it was knowledge). We made the answers ourselves. Not everyone know themselves well enough to give the correct answers. It may sound arrogant, but we are not always aware of how we would react or feel in a certain situation. Also, we don't always recognize our own reactions. I know someone who finds himself very TJ. Maybe he is... at work. In private he's lazy and melodramatic. We also need to look thoroughly at the percentages we get. If you are 53% T and 47% F, you're not a distinct T. We are all (most of us) nuanced people. 

The theory of personality types is used as a background for an explosion of online analysis and conclusions without ANY valid references to back them up. It creates unreliable information. 

I'm an INFP, almost INTP. I vote for the people with the most intelligent and humane solutions to problems.   

Nathan Thomson (not verified) says...

Your model does not account for progressive religious people. You say that centrists tend to be more socially progressive and fiscally socialist, but I find myself being the opposite. As an evangelical Christian (not American though), I find myself being more socially conservative. However, I personally find fiscal socialism to be more biblical and support programs of social welfare such as universal healthcare, maternity leave, public education, etc. 

Guest (not verified) says...

Konnichiwa! Hello from 日本(JAPAN)!

I'm an INTP. But I never, never agree that I'm the left wing.

I think I am the conservative. I support Liberal Democratic Party(自民党, Jiminto), the most major conservative party in Japan.

Well.... It is said that there are many things different between the conservatism in Japan, and in USA/UK.

Someone even says that the conservatives in Japan, are actually centre-left by global standards.

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