In this paper we explore the link between personality and attitudes towards good citizenship and civic duty. To do so we recruited 371 eligible Canadian voters from a national panel, asking a variety of questions regarding their level of political participation and attitudinal questions regarding the importance of a number of behaviors typically associated with good citizenship (i.e., voting, paying taxes, staying informed, etc.). Importantly, we included two batteries of personality items: the HEXACO, which covers general personality (Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience), and the Dark Triad (psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism). The analysis reveals a consistent and important explanatory role for personality, even after controlling for standard explanatory factors such as age, gender, income, education, political interest, knowledge, efficacy, and placement on the left-right scale. Among other findings, we document a positive relationship between the endorsement of good citizenship and narcissism, and a negative relationship for psychopathy.

Civic duty, Dark Triad, Good citizenship, HEXACO, Political psychology
Personality and Individual Differences
Department of Psychology

Pruysers, S, Blais, J, & Chen, P.G. (Phillip G.). (2019). Who makes a good citizen? The role of personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 146, 99–104. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2019.04.007