American Presidential Candidates' Self-Reliance Spirit and Voters' Evaluations of Their Personal Traits

미국 대통령 후보자의 자립정신과 인격적 특성에 대한 유권자 평가

  • 김창남 (경희대학교 언론정보대학원)
  • Received : 2010.09.28
  • Accepted : 2010.10.25
  • Published : 2010.10.28


In the United States, a marked emphasis on personal achievement has been among enduring values characterizing American culture from the beginning of the republic. Particularly, Americans have attached great value to the spirit of self-reliance in striving for personal achievement. However, there have been few empirical studies focusing on the effects of Americans' self-reliant spirit on American electoral politics. Through a field experimentation focusing on the voters of Portage County in Ohio, this study examined the effects of Americans' self-reliant spirit on the evaluations of presidential candidates' personal traits, which constitute the candidates' character. The results of this study demonstrated that American voters evaluated those presidential candidates who were described as self-reliant significantly more favorably than the presidential candidates who were not so described, for 8 out of the 11 personal traits. The findings provide meaningful evidence for ascertaining the potential and legitimacy of the influences of the spirit of self-reliance, in the American society including electoral politics.


the Spirit of Self-reliance;Personal Achievement;Cultural Values;Electoral Politics;Personal Traits;American Presidential Candidates;Voters' Evaluations


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