(STUDY FINDS) — UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Many believe the more people who participate in the political process, the better it is for a democracy. A new international study finds the character of both the politicians and the voters involved can undermine that process. Researchers say narcissistic people tend to take a more active role in politics and their views don’t necessarily put the country’s interests first.
Narcissism is a personality trait which combines selfishness, a feeling of entitlement, and a need for admiration. A series of three studies in the United States and Denmark reveals that individuals displaying higher levels of narcissism are more likely to want their voices heard in the political arena. When it comes to narcissistic voters, these people tend to contact political officials, sign more petitions, donate to campaigns, and vote more often in midterm elections.
“If people who are more interested in their own personal gain and status take a greater part in elections, then we can expect candidates to emerge who reflect their desires — narcissism begets narcissism,” Peter Hatemi, a distinguished professor of political science at Penn State says in a media release.