A psychographic measure is a variable that represents a personal characteristic of an individual that is not [Page 635]a physical trait, as are demographic measures (age, gender, height, etc.). Rather, psychographic variables include personality traits, lifestyle preferences or interests, values or beliefs, and attitudes or opinions.
Because psychographics are not directly observable, as are many demographics, nor do they have a "factual" basis as do demographics, their measurement is less precise. Surveys are routinely used to measure psychographics, and they can serve as powerful independent variables in helping explain many dependent variables of interest. For example, in political science, understanding why people vote for the presidential candidates they do is heavily explained by psychographics such as party affiliation, socioeconomic class, religion, veteran status, sexual orientation, and ...
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