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J Pers. 2004 Oct;72(5):995-1027.

The impact of personality on cognitive, behavioral, and affective political processes: the effects of need to evaluate.

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Psychology Department, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois 61920, USA.


Need to evaluate (NE) is a personality trait that reflects a person's proclivity to create and hold attitudes; people high in NE are especially likely to form attitudes toward all sorts of objects. Using data from the 1998 National Election Survey Pilot and the 2000 National Election Survey, NE was shown to predict a variety of important attitude-relevant cognitive, behavioral, and affective political processes beyond simply holding attitudes: NE predicted how many evaluative beliefs about candidates a person held, the likelihood that a person would use party identification and issue stances to determine candidate preferences, the extent to which a person engaged in political activism, the likelihood that a person voted or intended to vote, the extent to which a person used the news media for gathering information, and the intensity of emotional reactions a person felt toward political candidates. Thus, NE appears to play a powerful role in shaping important political behavior, emotion, and cognition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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