A popular psychology article about a recent study on anxiety and political beliefs The Unexpected Relationship Between Ideology and Anxiety. With Ann Althouse, I ask "Why unexpected?" I have been saying this since the 90s, that despite the accusations that conservatives are afraid and anxious and just can't handle all the changes and the modern world in general that it is actually the opposite: liberals cannot endure people not doing things the way they should given this frightening world that is falling apart and are just so anxious about that - and they project. I exaggerate unfairly, but the core point remains. The conventional wisdom is backward in this case - as it often is. The correlations of Big Five personality characteristics with ideology were also interesting. Not shocking to me at all, frankly.
The results are also consistent with another study using American data ... that found that people on the extreme political left reported higher rates of having mental disorders than people on the right. As I noted, research on the “Big Five” traits of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience has found that people identifying as politically liberal tend to be higher on openness to experience and neuroticism and lower on conscientiousness than their conservative counterparts (Fatke, 2017; Gerber et al., 2011). Additionally, surveys find that neuroticism is more strongly related to economic than social liberalism (Gerber et al., 2009).
The actual Finnish study based on British data is here. The data set is people who were all born in the same week in 1958, who have been followed over the years on a variety of measures. This particular study was a subset of 7,000 members of that group.