Keynote Speakers - Ariel Malka

Yeshiva University

Ariel Malka

Ariel Malka is a Professor of Psychology at Yeshiva University.  He does research in political psychology, public opinion, and survey measurement.  This has included research on the psychological and contextual underpinnings of political preferences; attitudes and beliefs relevant to democratic stability; and various matters pertaining to the psychology of the survey response process, questionnaire design, and interpretation of self-report measures.

Lecture title: Understanding Relationships Between Personality and Political Preferences: The Central Role of Identity Processes Operating in Political Information Environments

About his lecture: Decades of research have attempted to document and explain relationships between personality attributes and political preferences.  These relationships are generally assumed to be organic and instrumental, in that a particular way of experiencing and reacting to the world directly leads one to favor certain political outcomes.  In this talk I present evidence that some personality-political preference relationships are indirect and expressive, in that a personality attribute comes to be linked with a political preference because of the psychological or social rewards of expressing a political identity in ways that are defined by one’s political information environment. I show how attention to this distinction between organic-instrumental and identity-expressive relationships clarifies numerous findings from the personality-politics literature.  I also discuss the normative implications of these findings for political polarization and democratic stability.”