Personality and attitude-activism correspondence

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Abstract

Studied personality variables as predictors of activism when the contribution of attitude was partialed out. Critical evaluation of earlier studies suggested 2 methodological improvements. First, a multiple-act criterion of activism was used. Second, sex differences were examined. Additionally, a relatively large (448 Ss) and primarily nonstudent sample was employed. Attitudes and activism regarding abortion constituted the focus of inquiry. Initial analyses indicated high overall levels of relationship between attitudes and reported activism. Women showed a higher attitude-activism correlation than men, and respondents with an anti-abortion attitude showed a higher correlation than those with a pro-abortion attitude. On the personality measures (Rotter's Internal-External Locus of Control Scale, California Psychological Inventory, and the Adjective Check List), Ss ranking high in activism after the effects of attitude were partialed out were found to be more dominant, self-confident, energetic, and effective in using their capabilities than Ss who had engaged in less activism than expected from their attitudes. Internal locus of control in the political realm was also related to higher levels of residual activism. The personality correlates of residual activism were similar in males and females and in Ss having favorable and unfavorable attitudes toward abortion. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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