Chapter

The two-dimensional structure of traits

Amanda Bittner

in Platform or Personality?

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199595365
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725593 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199595365.003.0003

Series: Comparative Politics

The two-dimensional structure of traits

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This chapter assesses the types of questions that have been asked about leaders' traits over time, seeking to better understand the nature of trait structure in the minds of voters. The dimensionality of traits is explored in the existing literature, as well as through the analysis of data from closed-ended traits questions incorporated in thirty-five election studies from seven countries. The chapter analysis suggests the existence of two main dimensions of leaders' characteristics: character and competence. Various methodological issues are explored, including missing data and factor analysis. The two trait dimensions, character and competence, provide a basis for moving forward in the remaining chapters.

Keywords: traits; dimensionality; character; competence; election studies; missing data; factor analysis; characteristics

Chapter.  10360 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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