The Temporal Consistency of Personality Effects: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey

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Abstract

Personality traits have been posited to function as stable influences on political attitudes and behavior. Although personality traits themselves exhibit high levels of temporal stability, it is not yet known whether the effects of these traits are marked by comparable temporal consistency. To address this question, this research note examines data from Wave 13 (2003–2004), Wave 15 (2005–2006) and Wave 17 (2007–2008) of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). Twenty-seven behavioral and 14 attitudinal dependent variables are studied. Consistency of effects is gauged via a series of multilevel models in which personality effects are permitted to vary by year. High levels of temporal consistency are observed for personality traits as represented by the Big Five framework.

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