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Sunday, July 22, 2018
Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
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Surprise, surprise: members of the #MAGA set are a lot like Trump himself. We already know that many of Trump’s supporters are prejudiced, authoritarian, and selfish. Now, a new study shows that Trump voters have even more in common with the president than already thought.

In addition to his megalomania, misogyny, racism, and tacky taste in home decor, a few obvious characteristics define Donald Trump: he’s selfish, seeks power over others, is preoccupied with wealth, and prefers conformity and tradition. These four are all traits commonly found in his supporters, as Ryne A. Sherman, a psychology professor at Texas Tech University, shows in a new study.

PsyPost summarizes the study’s results:

“Using an online survey of 1,825 American adults, Sherman found that Trump supporters tended to have little interest in supporting social welfare programs, a strong desire for power over others, a strong desire to make money, a preference for financial risk taking, and a preference for strictly adhering to social traditions.”

People who voted for Trump agreed with the following statements:

  • “People who are poor just need to work harder”
  • “In life, winning is the only thing that matters”
  • “A company’s main focus should be profits”

And they largely disagreed with statements like:

  • “Building relationships is more important than building profit”
  • “Happiness is more important than money”
  • “Protesters are the most patriotic citizens”

The results confirm Sherman’s thesis that human behavior (such as voting habits) is driven by people’s core values. Shared values were a key factor in building support for Trump during his campaign, and could explain why his message resonated so strongly with so many despite political pundits’ assertions that his inexperience and volatility made him unelectable.

“We tend to like people (and organizations) that share our values,” Sherman told PsyPost. “Those who felt more similar to Trump in terms of his values were more likely to support him.”

Liz Posner is a managing editor at AlterNet. Her work has appeared on Forbes.com, Bust, Bustle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter at @elizpos.