political personality dimensions

The following is a summary of the dimensions of measurement used in the political personality quiz that together define each of the 32 political personality types. For more details about the traits themeselves click on the links.

Autocrat/Democrat (A/D)

This is a question of governance and attempts to measure “how do we decide” by a simple question of who participates "include many" or "include few".

Do you think that decisions should be made in an environment where everyone has an equal voice, or do you think that people should either “lead, follow, or get out of the way.” Just because we may live in a democracy, does not mean that we all share the same vision about how government should work.


: Authorities and/or elites know what’s best, rather than public opinion.


Public decisions are best made by the many rather than the few.

Big State/Small State (B/S)

: This is a measure of economic philosophy, involving more or less intervention by the state. How much should government provide? How much in taxes should we pay? These are among the most basic questions of politics.

Big State

: The state should take a strong role in the provision of many public and social services, and regulate economic development

Small State

: The state should provide only essential "public goods" and let the market regulate itself with minimal controls

Individualist/Collectivist (I/C)

This is a measure of social philosophy, involving more or less intervention in personal choices. While we all like to get our own way, we have differing ideas bout protecting the social freedoms of others.

Do you want to live in a country that encourages individuality or one that reinforces solidarity?

Whereas the Big state vs. small state dimension is mainly about economic issues, individualist vs. collectivist is about social issues. We separate these because people who prefer the comforts of a big state may also be very protective of theirs (and others) social freedoms.


: the degree to which we’re accountable for our own successes and failures. Individual destinies are largely self determined; people should get what they pay for and pay for what they get.


: the degree to which we’re accountable to other people in our community, and their expectations of our behavior. The community is responsible for the individuals and the individual is accountable to the community.

Idealist/Rationalist (L/R)

This is a measure of “how do we know what is right”, do we deduce it or is it prescribed somewhere? This dimension is more about how you come to your opinions than what those opinions are, this dimension mixes epistemology and ethics. Are you a Captain Kirk or a Doctor Spock? For lack of a better word, we use “idealist” for those who tend to make decisions based on emotions, intuition, precedents or a general sense of what is right or wrong. “rationalists” on the other hand like to coolly balancing the costs and benefits? Some will say that providing foreign aid to poor countries is “the right thing to do” others will say it is a “good investment”. This dimension measures which of these two approaches best characterizes what criteria are most important in what makes for “right decisions”.


: We find the “good” by interpreting history, metaphors, sacred texts, intuitions or feelings.


: We find the “efficient” or "correct" by deducing it from first principles.

Narrow Focus/Wide Focus (N/W)

This is a measure of scope how big is one's "circle of concern", or what range of topics they will care to participate in. Are you thinking globally or locally? You spend more time thinking about things in your neighborhood, and about issues that directly affect you and your family? Alternatively do you follow closely developments in the international scene? Which level of government can you see yourself being elected at?

narrow focus

Priorities for action are to change what is near and immediate to the individual and their family. Prefers small and incremental changes to system wide "revolutions"

wide focus

Those with a preference for wide focus take global or long term perspective and think often in terms of systemic changes.

Human-centric/Eco-centric (H/E)

This is a measure of how biased one is toward the needs of humans relative to the needs of other species. As the environmental crisis is a increasingly big part of political debate, we have included a dimension that specifically tests for attitudes about the environment. "The environment" is a different kind of issue in politics - whereas other issues often involve balancing competing interest groups, environmental questions tend to pit humanity against the "rights" of other species - and trees don't vote.


This view holds that human beings are the most important species of life on the planet. While conservation of nature is important, this is done mainly from a perspective of human utility.


This perspective holds that human beings are just another species, and that all species have inherent value and a right to exist. Generally favors the precautionary principle and limits to growth.