Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Episcopalians, self-esteem, and Big Five personality traits

Using MIDUS data, I estimated OLS regression models with Big 5 personality traits as dependent variables and self-esteem and whether or not the respondent is an Episcopalian as predictors (sample = 3,915--93 Episcopalians):

Standardized OLS regression coefficients

Extraversion
Episcopalian .00
Self-esteem .41*

Negative emotionality
Episcopalian .00
Self-esteem -.51*

Conscientiousness
Episcopalian .00 
Self-esteem .37*

Agreeableness
Episcopalian -.02
Self-esteem .17*

Open to experience
Episcopalian .04*
Self-esteem .39*

*statistically significant

In spite of being an elite religious group, Episcopalians do not differ from others except that they are a little bit more open to experience.

The more interesting finding, perhaps, is that self-esteem is strongly related to all five traits. It is positively associated with desirable traits and inversely related to negative emotionality. People who have more esteem for themselves rate their traits more highly across the board. The correlation between agreeableness and self-esteem is weaker than the others perhaps because, while agreeableness is considered to be a good trait, it also suggests the person is a "yes-man."

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The more interesting finding, perhaps, is that self-esteem is strongly related to all five traits. It is positively associated with desirable traits and inversely related to negative emotionality.

I've heard that blacks have very high self-esteem. I don't know if that's in the GSS data, but if it is it would undermine the idea that self-esteem "is positively associated with desirable traits".

bgc said...

If I understand this correctly, I find it almost unbelievable that such a distinctive group as US Episcopalians (with such a high average IQ - about plus one SD - and high social class) would not differ in personality.

silly girl said...

"openness to experience"


Isn't this characterization just a little too rose colored?

How about "thrill seeking" or at least "desire for novelty"?

"negative emotionality"

Who comes up with these names? Psychologists?

Ron, didn't you recently note that someone chided a large gathering of psychologists or some such for being so closed to conservatives? How would conservative psychologists name these categories.

Semantics matters.

Language matters

Steve Sailer said...

Can you get an IQ estimate for Episcopalians?

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