Personality traits, political efficacy and electoral outcomes: a survey of selected female parliamentary contestants in Kenya
Maweu, Jonathan Kathungu
MetadataShow full item record
Personality traits and political efficacy judgments independently influence the types and the level to which people participate in political activities. All reviewed studies on the role of personality traits and political efficacy judgements in political participation were done in the West, and the Eastern countries. Studies on women‟s political participation show that by November 2015, their global average stood at 22.6%, 23.4% in Sub Saharan Africa and accounted for 19% of legislators in Kenya. This study investigated effects of personality traits and political efficacy on electoral outcomes among selected female parliamentary contestants during 2007 general elections in Kenya. It used purposive and snowball sampling methods. Data was collected using the BFI and PES Scales. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse participant‟s demographic information. A One-way ANOVA was used to examine differences while a Chi-Square was used to examine associations between successful and non-successful contestants. The participants mean age was 49.45, ranging from 25 to 68 years. Their personality traits distribution was 35.71% conscientiousness, 33.33% agreeableness, 21.43% extraversion, 9.52% openness and 0% neuroticism. The distribution of political efficacies was 54.76% internal, 2.38% external and 42.86% cynicism. Chi-Square results yielded no evidence for association between personality traits and electoral outcomes χ2 (2, n=42) = 1.367, p = .242; but, the distribution of traits among participants and their differences in personality traits across electoral outcomes showed that personality traits determine electoral outcomes. The study found a positive association between external efficacy and electoral outcome χ2 (2, n=42) = 8.04, p = .005. An ANOVA yielded no significant difference in extraversion between successful (M = 4.18, SD = 1.00) and non-successful (M = 0.519, SD = .519) participants (F (1, 40) =.984, p = .327); no significant differences in neuroticism between successful (M = 2.00, SD =.54) and non-successful (M = 1.99, SD =.533) participants (F (1, 40), .005, p = .946); no significant difference in openness between successful (M = 3.89, SD =.563) and non-successful (M = 3.72, SD =.734) participants (F (1, 40), .717, p = 402). But, there was a significant mean difference in conscientiousness between successful (M = 4.43, SD =.319) and non-successful (M = 4.05, SD =.54) participants (F (1, 40) = 7.232, p. = .010); and a significant difference in agreeableness between successful (M = 4.03, SD =.266) and non-successful (M = 4.38, SD =.446) participants (F (1, 40) = 9.615, p. = .004). In political efficacy, it found a significant difference in internal efficacy between successful (M = 3.956, SD = 1.525) and non-successful (M = 4.476, SD = .5063) participants (F (1, 40) =10.69, p = .002); a significant difference in external efficacy between successful (M = 3.06, SD =.604) and non-successful (M = 2.603, SD =.7468) participants (F (1, 40) = 4.820, p. = .034); but, there was no significant difference in cynicism between successful (M = 4.437, SD = .730) and non-successful (M = 4.14, SD = .712) participants (F (1, 40) = .919, p = .191). In conclusion, the study found personality traits and political efficacy judgments as able to determine electoral outcomes. It was evident that external and internal political efficacy associated with electoral success and moderate the effect of personality traits. It is proposed that female political aspirants should seek personality assessment and counselling to enhance self-understanding, harness the strengths of their personality trait and manage its weaknesses and they should nurture personality traits and political efficacy judgements that enhance their connection and favour with the electorate.