Does your personality type predict your politics? A Truity survey of 25,223 individuals this month appears to confirm just that. While much has been made about the various factors driving increases in U.S. political partisanship, from social media bubbles to campaign tactics, this survey of those who took our Typefinder test (based on the theories of Myers and Briggs) shows that your underlying personality type may play a big role in determining your political affiliation. 

Key Findings from our Survey: 

  • Personality type is more predictive than age in determining whether or not you identify as a Republican or Democrat. 

    • Myers-Briggs theory describes a person’s personality through four opposing personality functions: Extraversion vs. Introversion; Sensing vs. Intuition: Thinking vs. Feeling: and Judging vs. Perceiving -- more on the well-established personality theory here

    • Three of these four key personality functions are more predictive of your political affiliation than age -- a remarkable finding, given that age is a key factor in predicting political affiliation in much public opinion polling (see Pew 2020 study and Pew 2015 analysis here).  

  • If you are an Intuitive type, you are almost four times more likely to be a Strong or Lean Democrat than a Strong or Lean Republican. 

    • Myers-Briggs defines Sensing vs. Intuition as one of the four core personality dichotomies, focused on how you collect information. Sensors gather facts from their immediate environment and rely on the things they can see, feel and hear. Intuitives look more at the overall context and think about patterns, meaning, and connections. 

    • Among Intuitives with a major party preference, 79% are Democrats while just 21% are Republican. In this case, your Intuition preference is actually a stronger predictor than both age and education level in determining your political affiliation! 

    • Even more Intuitive? Of those who identify with a third party, 90% are Intuitive. 

    • Within Intuition, the personality facets most telling of one’s political affiliation were how someone scored on “openness to progressive ideas” and “appreciation for the arts/aesthetics” questions.

  • 65% of Strong Democrats are Feelers, compared to only 50% of Strong Republicans. Feelers tend to have an inclination toward compassion, sympathy for the less fortunate, and a community-oriented ethos.

    • Myers-Briggs theory defines Feeling vs. Thinking as one of the four core personality dichotomies, focused on how you make decisions. Thinkers look for the logically correct solution, whereas Feelers make decisions based on their emotions, values, and the needs of others. 

    • Feeling attitudes that correlate with Democratic lean, are a consideration for “personal factors in decision-making,” a tendency to “feel sympathy for the less fortunate,” and a preference for “cooperation over an ‘every man for himself’” ethos.

  • People who are “Judgers” tend to more frequently identify as Republican, with strong Republicans showing the highest Judging scores. 

    • Myers-Briggs theory defines Judging vs. Perceiving as one of the four core personality dichotomies, focused on how you organize your environment. Judgers prefer structure and like things to be clearly regulated, whereas Perceivers like things to be open and flexible and are reluctant to commit themselves. 

    • Democrats are slightly lower than average on Judging, but the lowest scorers of all are those who identify as Third Party members (only 36% of the third party responders are Judgers). This might be due to the connection between Judging and structure; strong Perceivers tend to dislike hierarchy and institutions, so a third party may feel more attractive to them. 

    • Within the Judging traits, the highest correlation for predicting your Republican lean was with questions around one’s “self-disciplined attitude (rather than impulsivity)” and on “meeting expectations and fulfilling responsibilities.”

  • Republicans are more likely to be Extraverts.

    • Over 60% of Strong Republicans are Extraverts, compared to only 51% of Strong Democrats. 

    • Myers-Briggs theory defines Extraversion vs. Introversion as one of the four core personality dichotomies, focused on how you gain energy. Extraverts like to be with others and gain energy from people and the environment. Introverts gain energy from alone-time and need periods of quiet reflection throughout the day. 

    • Extraversion is the least correlated personality dichotomy in this survey, but still showed a significant link. Within Extraverted traits, the most important factors are a tendency to experience “strong positive emotions”, with the more upbeat also more likely to be conservative. Along with those who say they like to “keep busy”, being more likely to be conservative.

  • Based on this, you could say that a typical Democrat would be an INFP, while a typical Republican would be ESTJ. 

    • Democrats are most likely to be described as progressive, “Intuitive,” aesthetic, imaginative, and “Feeling.” 

    • Republicans are most likely to be described as “Judging,” disciplined, conscientious, orderly and joyful. 

  • Finally: There may be another reason it seems like you are seeing lots of Trump yard signs….

    • If you identify as a Strong Republican, you are nearly twice as likely to post a sign in your yard or wear political merchandise of a candidate you like, than someone who identifies as a Strong Democrat. 

    • Overall, people who’ve displayed any kind of party affiliation (yard signs, bumper stickers, clothing) are much more extraverted than people who haven’t. Perhaps no surprise, but interesting when noting that Republicans tend to be more extraverted than Democrats.

“Republicans tend to be more extraverted, and the link between having an extraverted personality and your inclination to advertise your political affiliation is quite strong. Although it’s perhaps not surprising in some ways -- if you are an Extravert you are much more likely to want to share your views with the world. It is striking that those who identify as a Strong Republican are nearly twice as likely to post a sign in their yard or wear political merchandise of a candidate they like, than someone who identifies as a Strong Democrat,” said Truity CEO Molly Owens. “This may add another dimension in how we draw conclusions based on displays of political affiliation."

You may ask: What good is all this if I still have to argue with my Uncle over politics this Thanksgiving?

Within the final weeks of an U.S. election cycle in which party affiliation has become even more polarized, many are finding it increasingly hard to understand how and why our family members, colleagues and partners came to their political beliefs. Using tactics used for decades in workplace organizational dynamics and relationship counseling for how to communicate better across personality types, may just help diffuse your political “discussion” with Uncle John.

“Of the four personality preferences created by Myers and Briggs, the widest gap in both political affiliation and overall differences is between Sensors and Intuitives. While the population is split roughly 50/50 on the other dimensions, a full 70% of people show a preference for Sensing over Intuition when taking a personality test.  However, per this study, if you are Intuitive, you are more than four times likely to be a Democrat than a Republican,” said Owens. “Extrapolating a bit, if you are a Democrat and your Uncle John is Republican, you can likely assume Uncle John is a Sensor -- and you are an Intuitive, and there are several tactics used in counseling psychology that you can use to have better dialogue with a Sensor."

Here are some points Intuitives can use to help you overcome the communication barrier so you can start enjoying a Sensor's company (or at least prepare yourself for holiday “discussions”).

  • The main communications difference between Sensors and Intuitives is this: Sensors prefer tangible information, whereas Intuitives prefer speculation and depth of insight. So, while a Sensor will perceive data points individually (one by one) and literally (as they are in that moment), an Intuitive will perceive them concurrently (all at once) and abstractly (as they could be in the future).  

  • Observe and be respectful of tradition: Sensors place an enormous amount of importance on the past -- institutions, loyalty, traditions, symbols, observances. Even if they don’t always agree with the foundation of that tradition (or are even aware of it), they tend to be very respectful of it -- so using language that is not flip, crass or dismissive of tradition and at least acknowledging the benefits of tradition is key, so that Sensors don’t just shut down.  

    • Hat tip topics: The integrity of governmental institutions and actors, military honor, and national loyalty for example.

  • Be concrete and clear in your arguments. Intuitives do not consciously define the steps that are needed to get from point A to point B because they instinctively leap across all the steps and make snap decisions based on an overall feeling. Communication frustration occurs because a Sensor needs those mechanical details. They want to see a practical application of the information you are giving them, and they want to follow a logical sequence from start to finish. Rather than providing a global concept, you're going to have to break down your vision and present it step-by step. Here are some things you might explain:

    • The information you have gathered on the topic, especially direct experiences you have had and other factual evidence.

    • The process you went through to think about the issue.

    • The conclusion you have reached (this should be definite and concrete).

    • How, precisely, a person could act upon the information. 

    • How your stance is relevant to the here and now, and why action is necessary (Sensors generally subscribe to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy).

  • Don’t over-rotate on the meaning of what Sensors say: Much of the frustration a Sensor has with an Intuitive comes when the conversation bounces off in all sorts of directions that may be interesting or have deeper meaning for the Intuitive, but has zero relevance for the Sensor. 

    • Suppose, for example, that you're shopping for a new car. Your Sensor partner strikes up a conversation about fuel consumption. Because as an Intuitive you focus on broader theory and metaphor, you attempt to extract a deeper meaning from the Sensor's literal words -- say about their general feelings on climate change, where none was intended. 

    • What you have actually done is put words into the Sensor's mouth. They were having a benign conversation about car value, while you were setting the world to rights. 

“Please don’t take this as a recommendation to engage your uncle in a political debate during tree-trimming this year,” added Owens. “But if you find yourself there, these time-tested tips for improving communications across very different personality types may just help.” 

Survey methodology: 

  • 25,223 individuals, sampled from October 8-October 15, 2020 via
  • Customers who completed a full TypeFinder test based on the theories of Myers and Briggs, on -- TypeFinder test. More on the methodology behind this test.

More about Truity: Truity’s personality tests are based on sound, research-backed theories, including Myers and Briggs' 16 personality types, the Big Five (Five Factor) model of personality, and the Holland Code system of career selection -- all of which have been subjected to a rigorous research process to ensure reliability and validity. Through Truity’s repository of the personality test data of +25 million customers -- and extended opt-in surveys and research, the company has studied how personality factors relate to everything from income to parenting style. Our research has been covered in major media outlets including Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and the Today Show.  

Truity was founded in 2012 to bring you helpful information and assessments to help you understand yourself and use your strengths. We are based in San Francisco, CA.