Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
Loading

Featured Posts        



categories        



Links        



archives        



meta        




Oct 14th, 2019




During the War of 1812, attorney Francis Scott Key witnessed the 25-hour bombardment of Fort McHenry from a British troopship anchored some four miles away. He had boarded the ship to negotiate the release of an American civilian imprisoned by the British, and had been detained aboard as the bombardment began. On September 14, 1814, as the dawn’s early light revealed the U.S. flag flying over the fort, Key exultantly began scribbling on the back of a letter the initial verse of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which would become the American national anthem.

Key’s Manuscript

The U.S. National Anthem in a word-by-word visual score performed by OneRepublic.

Interpretation of The Star-Spangled Banner by OneRepublic

O say can you see,
O = tire / say = finger point / can = pop / you = Uncle Sam / see = face
by the dawn’s early light,
dawn = jogger / early = alarm clock / light = bulb
What so proudly we hail’d
proudly = baby / we = family, barn, Jeep / hail’d = cab
at the twilight’s last gleaming,
twilight’s = desert sunset / last = cookie / gleaming = Jeep hood
Whose broad stripes and bright stars
broad = Broadway street sign / stripes = referee / and = & / bright = blinding light / stars = Marilyn Monroe
through the perilous fight
through = snow / perilous = rocks / fight = pillow
O’er the ramparts we watch’d
ramparts = obstacle course / we watch’d = spectators
were so gallantly streaming?
gallantly = astronaut, firefighter / streaming = video
And the rocket’s red glare
rocket’s = boy, space shuttle / red = sneaker, skateboard / glare = reflecting lake
the bombs bursting in air,
bombs bursting = kids touching hands / in air = Jeep parachute airdrop
Gave proof through the night
Gave = father car keys son / proof = driver’s license / through = tunnel / night = Jeep, tent
that our flag was still there,
our flag = views of Old Glory / was = George Washington Bridge / still = barn in winter / there = Iwo Jima
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O = dust circle / say = Scrabble / does = graffiti / that = man / star-spangled = sparks / banner = football Wildcats / wave = driver, surfer
O’er the land of the free
land = desert landscape / free = skydive freefall
and the home of the brave?
home = baseball homerun / brave = law enforcement officers, military veteran



Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Sen. Kamala Harris at the first Democratic presidential debate, Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

Research conducted at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics under the direction of Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., is projecting the winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

The Personal Electability Index (PEI) developed at the unit projects that none of the seven Democratic contenders assessed by the USPP will be able to defeat Donald Trump.

This election-outcome forecast is at variance with a contemporaneous ABC News/Washington Post poll, conducted June 28-July 1, 2019, that shows Trump losing against or statistically tied with the five Democratic front-runners:

Among all adults …, Joe Biden leads Trump by 14 points. But that narrows among the other four Democrats tested against Trump in this poll – an 8-point lead for Kamala Harris, a slight 7 points for Elizabeth Warren, 6 for Bernie Sanders and 4 for Pete Buttigieg. The latter two don’t reach statistical significance.

Among registered voters, moreover, Biden still leads, by 10 points, but the other races all tighten to virtual or actual dead heats – Trump a non-significant -2 points against Harris, -1 against Sanders and exactly tied with Warren and Buttigieg.

The PEI (derived from Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria scale scores) has accurately predicted, before Super Tuesday, the outcome of every presidential election since 1996.

The PEI heuristic model employs candidate personality traits, as publicly perceived, to predict which contender will resonate most favorably with independent and unaffiliated voters who base their voting choice primarily on the candidate’s personal qualities as publicly displayed rather than on party-political affiliation or allegiance.

The PEI model’s predictive utility in recent presidential election cycles appears to derive from the practically even division of the nation into reliably Republican and Democratic voting blocks, essentially yielding the balance of power to politically independent and unaffiliated voters comprising as much as one-third of the electorate.

Research on the psychology of politics conducted at the USPP reveals that voters respond favorably to candidates who are outgoing (extraverted), self-confident (productively narcissistic), and dominant; and negatively to candidates who are introverted and overly conscientious.

First, extraversion (Scale 3: Outgoing) conveys energy, drive, and charisma; the candidate passes the so-called “beer test.”

Second, self-confident, adaptive narcissism (Scale 2: Ambitious) is publicly perceived as leadership competency; legitimately or not, confidence conveys competence.

Third, social dominance (Scale 1A: Dominant) is publicly perceived as signifying strong leadership; governing requires cooperation and compromise, but campaigns reward fighters.

Fourth, introversion (Scale 8: Retiring) conveys low energy, a lack of drive, and the absence of charisma; the candidate fails the “beer test.”

Fifth, although associated with positive traits such as honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, morality, prudence, and competence, conscientiousness (Scale 6: Conscientious) at elevated levels is negatively perceived as being overly programmed, moralistic, officious, and high-handed, which doesn’t play well in retail politics.

As conceptualized by the PEI forecasting model, candidates studied in the 2020 presidential election cycle rank as follows in terms of predicted political impact as a general election candidate:

Donald Trump

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 65-77 (71 ±6); dysfunctionality adjusted 45

 

Joe Biden

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 16-29 (22.5 ±6.5)

 

Kamala Harris

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 13-27 (20 ±7)

 

Bernie Sanders

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 16-23 (19.5 ±3.5)

 

Amy Klobuchar

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 13-23 (18 ±5)

 

Beto O’Rourke

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 11-23 (17 ±6)

 

Pete Buttigieg

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 10-18 (14 ±4)

 

Elizabeth Warren

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 6-8 (7 ±1)

 

The Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics’s PEI projection is congruent with the ABC News/Washington Post poll’s finding that, among the Democratic primary front-runners, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris would pose the strongest challenge to Donald Trump in a hypothetical general election matchup.

However, as is evident in the CNN screen shot above, the PEI projection that none of the Democratic presidential candidates will be able to defeat Trump in a general election matchup is incongruent with current polling data. Similarly, a recent Fox News poll showed Trump trailing Democratic frontrunners Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris, and Buttigieg.

The PEI projection is also inconsistent with Trump’s own internal polling, which shows him losing states he won in 2016 to Biden if the election were held today, including North Carolina, Iowa, Georgia, and Ohio.

 


Update: Fox News poll shows Trump down by 10 points to Biden (July 27, 2019)


 

Detailed Personal Electability Index scores

Following are the scores of candidates studied in the 2020 presidential election cycle on the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria-based Personal Electability Index, which has accurately predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1996.

Donald Trump: PEI = 65-77 (71 ±6); dysfunctionality adjusted 45*

Scale: 1A 1B 2 3 4 5A 5B 6 7 8
Lower bound: 17 9 24 24 0 0 4 0 0 0
Upper bound: 20 14 30 27 1 0 9 3 0 1
Adjusted: 15 9 15 15 0 0 4 0 0 0

Lower bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 17] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 24] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 17] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = 0] = 65 – 0 = 65

Upper bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 27] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 30] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 20] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (3 – 3) = 0] = 77 – 0 = 77

Dysfunctionality adjusted PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = (24 – 9) = 15] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = (24 – 9) = 15] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = (17 – 2) = 15] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = 0] = 45 – 0 = 45

* The dysfunctionality adjusted score limits positive points for scales 1A, 2, and 3 to 15, based on the assumption that scale elevations above 15 may be dysfunctional in some respects. (Note also that the PEI heuristic specifies that scale negative for scale 6 are assigned for scale elevations above 4 only.)

Joe Biden: PEI = 16-29 (22.5 ±6.5)

Scale: 1A 1B 2 3 4 5A 5B 6 7 8
Lower bound: 3 2 4 9 5 0 1 1 0 0
Upper bound: 6 4 10 13 5 0 1 4 0 0

Lower bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 9] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 4] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 3] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (1 – 1) = 0] = 16 – 0 = 16

Upper bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 13] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 10] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 6] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (4 – 4) = 0] = 29 – 0 = 29

Kamala Harris: PEI = 13-27 (20 ±7)

Scale: 1A 1B 2 3 4 5A 5B 6 7 8
Lower bound: 4 2 4 5 3 1 1 3 0 0
Upper bound: 8 4 6 13 4 1 2 4 1 0

Lower bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 5] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 4] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 4] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (1-1) = 0] = 13 – 0 = 13

Upper bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 13] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 6] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 8] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (4 – 4) = 0] = 27 – 0 = 27

Bernie Sanders: PEI = 16-23 (19.5 ±3.5)

Scale: 1A 1B 2 3 4 5A 5B 6 7 8
Lower bound: 9 5 5 3 2 0 4 3 0 1
Upper bound: 13 11 9 4 5 1 12 5 0 2

Lower bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 3] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 5] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 9] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 1] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (3 – 3) = 0] = 17 – 1 = 16

Upper bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 4] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 9] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 13] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 2] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (5 – 4) = 1] = 26 – 3 = 23

Amy Klobuchar: PEI = 13-23 (18 ±5)

Scale: 1A 1B 2 3 4 5A 5B 6 7 8
Lower bound: 11 3 7 4 5 0 1 13 0 0
Upper bound: 20 3 11 6 5 0 3 17 0 1

Lower bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 4] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 7] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 11] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (13 – 4) = 9] = 22 – 9 = 13

Upper bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 6] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 11] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 20] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 1] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (17 – 4) = 13] = 37 – 14 = 23

Beto O’Rourke: PEI = 11-23 (17 ±6)

Scale: 1A 1B 2 3 4 5A 5B 6 7 8
Lower bound: 1 5 4 6 5 1 1 1 0 0
Upper bound: 3 13 6 14 7 3 3 2 3 0

Lower bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 6] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 4] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 1] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (1 – 1) = 0] = 11 – 0 = 11

Upper bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 14] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 6] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 3] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (2 – 2) = 0] = 23 – 0 = 23

Pete Buttigieg: PEI = 10-18 (14 ±4)

Scale: 1A 1B 2 3 4 5A 5B 6 7 8
Lower bound: 2 2 4 4 5 1 0 3 2 0
Upper bound: 3 4 9 8 7 2 1 5 4 1

Lower bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 4] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 4] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 2] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (3 – 3) = 0] = 10 – 0 = 10

Upper bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 8] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 9] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 3] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 1] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (5 – 4) = 1] = 20 – 2 = 18

Elizabeth Warren: PEI = 11-15 (13 ±2)

Scale: 1A 1B 2 3 4 5A 5B 6 7 8
Lower bound: 9 2 4 3 1 0 2 4 3 1
Upper bound: 11 3 8 4 4 3 3 12 7 4

Lower bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 3] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 4] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 9] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 1] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (4 – 4) = 0] = 16 – 1 = 15

Upper bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 4] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 8] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 11] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 4] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (12 – 4) = 8] = 23 – 12 = 11

Elizabeth Warren (updated 9/25/2019): PEI = 6-8 (7 ±1)

Scale: 1A 1B 2 3 4 5A 5B 6 7 8
Lower bound: 8 0 4 1 0 1 2 9 2 2
Upper bound: 11 2 6 2 1 1 3 12 4 3

Lower bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 1] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 4] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 8] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 2] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (9 – 4) = 5] = 13 – 7 = 6

Upper bound PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = 2] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 6] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 11] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 3] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (12 – 4) = 8] = 19 – 11 = 8

 


PEI Scores for Democratic and Republican Nominees, 1996-2016

For historical context, here are the personality-based electability scores for all major-party nominees since 1996, published before Super Tuesday in presidential election years, with the successful candidate listed first:


 

Related report

Projecting the Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election: The Personal Electability Index (Feb. 29, 2016)



CNN’s “The Point with Chris Cillizza” reports:

The entrance of former VP Joe Biden into the 2020 field has altered the race’s dynamics in lots of ways but none more notable than this: Electability is now front and center.

Biden’s entire candidacy is based on the idea that (a) beating Donald Trump is all that matters and (b) he is by far best positioned to do so.

(Recent CNN polling suggests former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke is actually the strongest general election candidate against Trump right now. O’Rourke led Trump by 10 while Biden held a 6-point edge in a head-to-head match up with Trump.) …

USPP analysis

In contrast to the above analysis by CNN’s “The Point,” the Unit for the Study of Personality’s Presidential Electability Index (PEI), which has accurately predicted — before Super Tuesday — the outcome of every presidential election since 1996, suggests that Joe Biden will be a stronger candidate than Beto O’Rourke in a general election matchup with Donald Trump.

The PEI heuristic model employs candidate personality traits, as publicly perceived, to predict which contender will resonate most favorably with independent and unaffiliated voters who base their voting choice primarily on a candidate’s personal qualities as publicly displayed rather than on party-political affiliation or allegiance.

Below are the PEI scores for Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Beto O’Rourke, based on studies conducted at the USPP.

Donald Trump

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 37-45

 

Joe Biden

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 16-29

 

Beto O’Rourke

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 11-23

 


 

Update: June 27, 2019

With the notable exceptions of Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg, a Monmouth University poll of likely 2020 New Hampshire Democratic primary voters, conducted May 2-7, 2019, lines up well with ratings of leading Democratic contenders on the Unit for the Study of Personality’s Presidential Electability Index (PEI), which has accurately predicted — before Super Tuesday — the outcome of every presidential election since 1996. (Warren’s PEI score ranks lowest among the seven candidates assessed by USPP investigators, while Buttigieg ranks slightly higher, coming in at sixth.)

Image (truncated) credit: Monmouth University Polling Institute

Below, ranked in descending order of general election electability, are the PEI ratings for the seven Democratic primary contenders studied at the USPP this election cycle, namely, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, and Elizabeth Warren.

Joe Biden (Monmouth net favorability: +65)

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 16-29 (22.5 ±6.5)

 

Kamala Harris (Monmouth net favorability: +50)

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 13-27 (20 ±7)

 

Bernie Sanders (Monmouth net favorability: +54)

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 16-23 (19.5 ±3.5)

 

Amy Klobuchar (Monmouth net favorability: +33)

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 13-23 (18 ±5)

 

Beto O’Rourke (Monmouth net favorability: +29)

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 11-23 (17 ±6)

 

Pete Buttigieg (Monmouth net favorability: +47)

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 10-18 (14 ±4)

 

Elizabeth Warren (Monmouth net favorability: +39)

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 11-15 (13 ±2)

 


Related link: 2020 Presidential Candidates



Student Research Collaborators Present Findings at Scholarship Day

Paige Steinberg, Madison Sharp, Skya Jandt, Christian Giminez, and Sarah Lommel present their poster, “The Personality Profile of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden,” at Scholarship Day, College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN, April 25, 2019. (Click on photo for full-size image)

ST. JOSEPH, Minn. (April 25, 2019) — Psychological profiles of selected Democratic presidential candidates in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, and of China’s President Xi Jinping, were presented at “Celebrating Scholarship and Creativity Day,” an annual event to recognize students, faculty, and staff who have undertaken significant research, scholarship, or creative works during the current academic year at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict.

Undergraduate students in a Personality Psychology course at the colleges conducted their research under the auspices of the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, directed by Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology.

Biographical and life history data concerning the the designated political leaders were collected from media reports and synthesized into personality profiles using the third edition of the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria (MIDC), which yields 34 normal and maladaptive personality classifications congruent with DSM-III-R, DSM-IV, and DSM–5.

 

The Personality Profile of Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

By Sarah Lommel, Madison Sharp, Christian Gimenez, Paige Steinberg, and Skya Jandt


Click on image for larger view

Abstract: Joe Biden’s primary personality patterns were found to be Outgoing/congenial and Accommodating/cooperative, complemented by secondary Ambitious/confident and Dominant/asserting features. In summary, Biden may be characterized as a conciliatory extravert.

Presidential Electability Index range: 16-29

Updates » The Personality Profile of Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 16-29 (22.5 ±6.5)

 
 

The Personality Profile of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris

By Josie Thelen, Amber Lauer, Lauren Redmond, Kailee Gallagher, and Courtney Conlin

Josie Thelen, Amber Lauer, Courtney Conlin, Lauren Redmond, and Kailee Gallagher present their poster, “The Personality Profile of 2020 U.S. Presidential Contender Kamala Harris,” at Scholarship Day, College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN, April 25, 2019. (Click on photo for full-size image)


Click on image for larger view

Abstract: Kamala Harris’s primary personality patterns were found to be Outgoing/congenial, Dominant/asserting, and Ambitious/confident, complemented by secondary Accommodating/cooperative and Conscientious/respectful features. In summary, Harris may be characterized as a dominant extravert.

Presidential Electability Index range: 13-27

Updates » The Personality Profile of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 13-27 (20 ±7)

 
 

The Personality Profile of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar

By Rachel Nelson, Justine Revermann, Madeline Koebnick, Emily Eng, Krystal Her, and Jason Omann

Jason Omann, Rachel Nelson, and Krystal Her present their poster, “The Personality Profile of 2020 U.S. Presidential Contender Amy Klobuchar,” at Scholarship Day, College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN, April 25, 2019. (Click on photo for full-size image)


Click on image for larger view

Abstract: Amy Klobuchar’s primary personality patterns were found to be Conscientious/dutiful and Dominant/controlling, complemented by secondary Ambitious/confident and Accommodating/cooperative features. In summary, Klobuchar may be characterized as a conscientious enforcer.

Presidential Electability Index range: 13-23

Updates » The Personality Profile of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 13-23 (18 ±5)

 
 

The Personality Profile of Former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke

By Jada Gilbert, Grace Ekstrom, Nicole Praska, Jack Her, and Meghan Ortizcazarin

Jada Gilbert, Jack Her, and Grace Ekstrom present their poster, “The Personality Profile of 2020 U.S. Presidential Contender Beto O’Rourke,” at Scholarship Day, College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN, April 25, 2019. (Click on photo for full-size image)


Click on image for larger view

Abstract: Beto O’Rourke’s primary personality patterns were found to be Outgoing/congenial and Dauntless/adventurous, complemented by secondary Accommodating/cooperative and Ambitious/confident features. In summary, O’Rourke may be characterized as an adventurous extravert.

Presidential Electability Index range: 11-23

Updates » The Personality Profile of U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke

Beto O’Rourke

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 11-23 (17 ±6)

 
 

The Personality Profile of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

By Andrew Saunders, Thomas Lenard, Erik Balder, and Isaias Guzman

Erik Balder and Aaron Montpetit present their poster, “The Personality Profile of 2020 U.S. Presidential Contender Bernie Sanders,” at Scholarship Day, College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN, April 25, 2019. (Click on photo for full-size image)


Click on image for larger view

Abstract: Bernie Sanders’s primary personality patterns were found to be Dominant/asserting and Dauntless/adventurous, complemented by secondary Ambitious/confident and Contentious/resolute features. In summary, Sanders may be characterized as a deliberative nonconformist.

Presidential Electability Index range: 16-23

Updates » The Personality Profile of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 16-23 (19.5 ±3.5)

 
 

The Personality Profile of China’s President Xi Jinping

By Nathaniel Lutmer, Anna Faerber, and Mariah Ogden-Kellington

Mariah Ogden-Kellington, Nate Lutmer, and Anna Faerber present their poster, “The Personality Profile of China’s President Xi Jinping,” at Scholarship Day, College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN, April 25, 2019. (Click on photo for full-size image)

习近平


Click on image for larger view

Abstract: Xi Jinping’s primary personality patterns were found to be Ambitious/confident and Dominant/asserting, complemented by secondary Outgoing/congenial and Accommodating/cooperative features. In summary, Xi may be characterized as a confident, high-dominance extravert.

 


 

Related reports

The Personality Profile of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg

By Suntina Spehar, Austen Luetmer, Annie Griebie, and Cassidy Smith


Click on image for larger view

Abstract: Pete Buttigieg’s primary personality patterns were found to be Accommodating/cooperative, Ambitious/confident, and Outgoing/congenial, complemented by secondary Conscientious/respectful and Reticent/circumspect features. In summary, Buttigieg may be characterized as an ambitious conciliator.

Presidential Electability Index range: 10-18

Updates » The Personality Profile of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 10-18 (14 ±4)

 
 
The Personality Profile of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren

By Annie Griebie, Cassidy Smith, and Suntina Spehar


Click on image for larger view

Abstract: Elizabeth Warren’s primary personality patterns are Conscientious/dutiful and Dominant/controlling, complemented by secondary Ambitious/confident features and minor Reticent/circumspect, Retiring/reserved, and Contentious/resolute tendencies. In summary, Warren may be characterized as a dominant doctrinaire – highly assertive, strong-willed, outspoken, detail-oriented, organized, and ideological, buttressed by confidence in her policy positions and motivated for public service both by a sense of duty and personal ambition.

Presidential Electability Index range: 6-8

Updates » The Personality Profile of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

Presidential Electability Index

Range: 6-8 (7 ±1)

 
 

2020 Presidential Candidates


Photo composite: The New York Times

 


 

Related reports on this site

Psychological Profiles of 2016 Republican Presidential Candidates (April 24, 2015)

Psychological Profiles of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un Presented at Scholarship Day (April 27, 2018)

Donald Trump poster (S&CD 2018)



The Ingraham Angle on Fox News (March 20, 2019)


“Ingraham to Trump: You’ve stepped on your own message by focusing on McCain, Conway” — There’s too much left to be done to waste a moment on score settling, the host of ‘The Ingraham Angle’ says. (2:20)

Months after John McCain’s death, Trump keeps feud with him alive (Maggie Haberman, Annie Karni, and Michael Tackett, New York Times, March 21, 2019) — The president said he gave the Arizona senator “the funeral he wanted, and I didn’t get ‘thank you,’” escalating attacks on Mr. McCain that began over the weekend. …


Photo credit: The Hill


Related report on this site

In Memory of Sen. John McCain (1936-2018) (Aug. 25, 2018)



Obituary



As reported in the New York Times (March 8, 2019), the collapse of the Feb. 27-28 Hanoi summit meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump “was considered a big embarrassment” for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “because he had to return home empty-handed after Mr. Trump rejected his demand for relief from United Nations sanctions.”

Satellite imagery indicating North Korea has begun to rebuild the Sohae Satellite Launching Station at Tongchang-ri has raised fears among some analysts that the country might resume missile tests (New York Times, March 5, 2019).

Sohae Satellite Launching Station, March 6, 2019 (Credit: Pleiades © CNES 2019, Distribution Airbus Defence & Space via 38 North)

The U.S. response to these developments is critical to the progress of denuclearization talks with North Korea. In that regard, it is noteworthy that DPRK state media adopted a conciliatory tone, expressing the hope that “the whole world sincerely hopes that the peace process on the Korean Peninsula will proceed smoothly and the North Korea-United States relations will improve soon” (Rodong Sinmun, March 8, 2019).

The New York Times notes that the DPRK “has shied away from using harsh language against the United States or Mr. Trump” and that by “only indirectly blaming Washington for the failure and voicing hopes for better ties,” the Rodong Sinmun commentary “appeared to signal a willingness to keep diplomacy alive with the United States.”

That perspective suggests a path forward for the U.S., considering the political psychology of Kim Jong-un:

Chairman Kim is cooperative, willing to compromise or make concessions to resolve differences; however, he is also confident, competitive, and assertive and expects others to recognize his capabilities. As a dominant, controlling leader, he demands respect and can be tough and unsentimental in asserting himself. Finally, as an outgoing, expressive personality, he is not averse to employing dramatic, attention‑getting maneuvers to signal intent or to achieve his political objectives.

Thus, for President Trump, this is not the time to employ coercive diplomacy by reverting to “maximum pressure,” personal affronts to Chairman Kim’s dignity, or otherwise signaling hostile intent. Instead, the president should stay the course by continuing to emphasize his special relationship with Kim to accommodate his need for self-validation and permit him to save face as his nation’s supreme leader in the aftermath of the failed Hanoi summit.

In response to signals from North Korea on the resumption of rocket testing and satellite- or missile launches, there are three political-psychological inflection points for targeting resistance and gaining compliance:

  • President Trump should guard against manipulative behavior by the DPRK designed to secure short-term payoffs.
  • President Trump should be aware of and preempt Chairman Kim’s predisposition to terminate the negotiation partnership upon
    realizing the structural constraints on the ability of the president to make concessions or offer assistance.
  • President Trump should deescalate the situation by reaffirming the strength of the negotiation partnership.

——————————————

March 14, 2019 Update

North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launch Facility: No new activity since March 8 (Jack Liu, Peter Makowsky, and Jenny Town, 38 North, March 13, 2019) — Recent commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (Tongchang-ri) shows no changes to the launch pad or engine test stand between March 8 and March 13. … Full report

——————————————

March 16, 2019 Update

The U.S. and North Korea are back to talking tough (Uri Friedman, The Atlantic, March 16, 2019) — The attack dogs have been let loose. That much was clear from the stark message North Korea delivered this week after the collapse of Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam last month: Kim is considering abandoning nuclear negotiations with the United States and resuming the nuclear and missile tests that brought the two countries to the brink of war early on in the Trump administration. … The unmuzzling of the attack dogs on each side is a reminder that Trump and Kim are each contending with a hard-line faction at home that views the diplomacy they’re engaged in as a hopeless and dangerous endeavor. As [North Korea’s vice foreign minister, Choe Son Hui] noted this week, Kim decided to press ahead with diplomacy in Vietnam despite the fact that military leaders are petitioning him not to give up his nuclear program. … Full report

——————————————
March 22, 2019 Update

CNN-Politics_The-Point

March 22, 2018

FOREIGN POLICY BY TWEET

President Donald Trump’s early afternoon tweet sent the international community scrambling.

Trump tweeted the administration would withdraw additional sanctions against North Korea … even though those additional sanctions had just been announced by his own administration.

The White House declined to give details on the sudden policy shift, but said Trump was pulling back newly issued sanctions because he “likes” North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, according to CNN’s Jeremy Diamond and Kylie Atwood.

It was not immediately clear which sanctions Trump was referring to in his tweet. But just 24 hours earlier, the Treasury Department announced sanctions targeting two Chinese shipping companies that have allegedly helped North Korea skirt sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

————————————

May 5, 2019 Update

Kim Personally Supervised ‘Guided Weapons’ Test, North Korea Says

By Simon Denyer and Min Joo Kim

May 4, 2019

Excerpts

SEOUL — North Korea confirmed Sunday that it had fired multiple rocket launchers and “tactical guided weapons” from its east coast the previous day under the personal supervision of leader Kim Jong Un, with experts saying the test included a short-range ballistic missile.

The test does not invalidate North Korea’s self-declared moratorium on inter-continental ballistic missile tests, but it clearly raises tensions with Washington and Seoul. …

Earlier, President Trump appeared to play down the threat and leave the door open to diplomacy.

“Anything in this very interesting world is possible, but I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it. He also knows that I am with him & does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!” he tweeted. …

The launches set off a flurry of phone calls and meetings, with, for instance, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talking to Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono and South Korea’s Kang Kyung-wha. Special Envoy Stephen Biegun talked to his South Korean counterpart Lee Do-hoon, and South Korea’s national security director convened an emergency meeting. …

Pyongyang announced a moratorium on nuclear and inter-continental ballistic missile tests in November 2017, helping to set the stage for the talks with South Korea and the United States. But tensions have grown since the breakdown of a summit in Hanoi between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The regime is frustrated with the continued imposition of United Nations Security Council sanctions and by what it sees as unilateral U.S. demands that it disarm.

It has also repeatedly complained about continued military exercises between the United States and South Korea. It recently warned that American hostility would “as wind is bound to bring waves . . . naturally bring our corresponding acts.”

Last month, it announced that Kim had attended the successful testing of a “tactical guided weapon,” and the latest missile launch appears to be a further calibrated step to signal its frustration.

Grace Liu, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, Calif., called the launch “a signal” that the Pyongyang regime wants movement on negotiations with the United States.

In a speech last month, Kim Jong Un said he would be prepared to meet Trump for a third summit, but only if the United States fundamentally changed its approach. He also warned that his patience was running out and gave the United States until the end of the year to make a “bold decision.”

“The message here is not that diplomacy is over — remember, Kim has set the clock ticking to the end of the year,” said Ankit Panda, an adjunct senior fellow in the Defense Posture Project at the Federation of American Scientists. “Rather, this serves, like the tactical weapon tests, to show internal naysayers . . . that Kim takes national defense seriously.”

It can also be seen as a “tit-for-tat” move in response to U.S.-South Korea exercises, he said.

Shin Beom-chul, at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, noted that North Korea had also objected strongly to last month’s U.S.-South Korean training on an anti-ballistic missile defense system purchased from the United States, denouncing it as a “military provocation.”

“I view [the launch] as a way to pressure the United States,” he said. “They are reacting to South Korea’s military build up and THAAD missile defense training, while showing the possibility of carrying out a strategic provocation like a long-range missile launch.”

Such a long-range missile launch, if it happened, would devastate President Trump’s “self-proclaimed achievement in North Korea policy,” he said.

Harry Kazianis, Korean studies director at the National Interest said it was a sign of Kim’s mounting frustration and warned it had raised risks of an escalation in tension.

“Chairman Kim has decided to remind the world — and specifically the United States — that his weapons capabilities are growing by the day,” he said. “My fear is that we are at the beginning stages of a slide back to the days of nuclear war threats and personal insults, a dangerous cycle of spiking tensions that must be avoided at all costs.”

——————————————

October 3, 2019 Update

US Officials Assess North Korea Launched a Medium-Range Missile

By Barbara Starr and Ryan Browne

October 2, 2019

Excerpts

The US has assessed that North Korea tested a medium-range missile on Wednesday local time. It was fired from a launcher placed on a floating barge off the coast of the country, according to two US officials familiar with the latest assessment.

The test came a day after Pyongyang and Washington agreed to resume nuclear talks.

This marks a departure from the tests of shorter range missiles Pyongyang has carried out in recent weeks. President Donald Trump has downplayed the significance of those launches calling them very standard because of their limiting range saying “many people have those missiles.”

“There have been no nuclear tests. The missile tests have all been short-ranged — no ballistic missile test. No long-range missiles,” Trump said in August.

The missile was launched from near Wonsan, a city in Kangwon Province on North Korea’s east coast and flew for a distance of 450 kilometers (280 miles) before landing in waters off Japan. It reached an altitude of 910 kilometers (565 miles), South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff said in a statement Wednesday. …

Shortly after the launch US and South Korean officials said the missile was assessed to be a Submarine Launch Ballistic type missile (SLBM), though a US official said it was launched from a barge-like platform designed to test underwater launches and not a submarine which North Korea has never demonstrate the ability to fire from.

The latest US assessment says that the missile was not underwater when it was launched from the barge.

While North Korea has launched multiple short-range missiles in recent weeks it has not launched a medium-range missile since 2017, long before the June 2018 meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was held in Singapore.

The most recent North Korean launch took place the day after Pyongyang and Washington agreed to resume nuclear talks.

Trump has yet to comment on the latest North Korean launch but a State Department spokesperson called on Pyongyang “to refrain from provocations, abide by their obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions, and remain engaged in substantive and sustained negotiations to do their part to ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and achieve denuclearization.”

Short-range ballistic missiles are considered to be missiles with a range of anything less than 1,000 kilometers, approximately 620 miles. Medium-range ballistic missiles have a range of between 1,000 and 3,000 kilometers or approximately 620-1,860 miles. …

After more than a year of refraining from missile tests, Kim’s regime has conducted 11 launches since May including Wednesday’s. Most of those are believed to be short-range missiles, and experts say they have shown impressive technological advancements.

 


 

Topical report

The Personality Profile of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un

ISPP-2018_Kim-Jong-Un_poster
Click on image for larger view



U.S. President Donald Trump’s second summit with North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam on February 27-28 ended prematurely when talks broke down without a deal after Kim insisted the U.S. lift all sanctions on his country. “Sometimes you have to walk,” the president said in a news conference.

President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un sit down to take a few questions from the press before dinner on February 27, 2019. (Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images via CNN)

Click for CNN’s latest updates and analysis and pictures from the summit.

—————————————
March 3, 2019 Update

How the Trump-Kim Summit Failed: Big Threats, Big Egos, Bad Bets


President Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, in Hanoi. “A proposal to go big’’ fell short. (Photo credit: Doug Mills / The New York Times)

By David E. Sanger and Edward Wong

March 2, 2019

Excerpts

Mr. Kim had resisted what Mr. Trump presented as a grand bargain: North Korea would trade all its nuclear weapons, material and facilities for an end to the American-led sanctions squeezing its economy.

An American official later described this as “a proposal to go big,” a bet by Mr. Trump that his force of personality, and view of himself as a consummate dealmaker, would succeed where three previous presidents had failed.

But Mr. Trump’s offer was essentially the same deal that the United States has pushed — and the North has rejected — for a quarter century. Intelligence agencies had warned him, publicly, Mr. Kim would not be willing to give up the arsenal completely. North Korea itself had said repeatedly that it would only move gradually.

Several of Mr. Trump’s own aides, led by national security adviser John R. Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, thought the chances of a grand bargain for total nuclear disarmament were virtually zero. Some questioned whether the summit meeting should go forward. …

Mr. Kim also miscalculated. He bet Mr. Trump might accept a more modest offer that American negotiators in Hanoi had already dismissed: The North would dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear complex, three square miles of aging facilities at the heart of the nuclear program, for an end to the sanctions most harmful to its economy, those enacted since 2016. …

But Mr. Pompeo, who knew the details of the North Korean program intimately from his days as C.I.A. director, opposed it. The president was told that if he settled for Yongbyon alone, he might appear to have been duped by the young leader of a country renowned for hiding pieces of its nuclear program in tunnels around the country.

Mr. Pompeo said later that Mr. Kim’s offer “still leaves missiles, still leaves warheads and weapons systems” — and a senior State Department official argued that sanctions relief would fund the production of more weapons.

It also would have let the North continue to produce uranium, a key ingredient for nuclear weapons, at a hidden enrichment center near the capital, Pyongyang — one of several suspected nuclear sites beyond Yongbyon that the United States has been monitoring from afar for nearly a decade. …

But soon after the two men arrived at the Metropole, the North Korean leader began arguing for relief from the five rounds of sanctions in exchange for Yongbyon.

While North Korea had suspended operations at Yongbyon under agreements in 1994 and again in 2007, and later offered various moratoriums that were never fully executed, Mr. Kim’s proposal appeared to go further than ever toward dismantling the entirety of the complex, officials said. But the exact terms were still vague.

Mr. Trump countered with the grand bargain. The divide was underscored by the fact that, at one point, he presented Mr. Kim with a document laying out his definition of denuclearization.

Mr. Kim objected that there was not enough trust between the two countries to give up everything at once. …

——————————————

October 6, 2019 Update

US and North Korea Break Off Talks for Now, Officials Say

By Kevin Bohn, Greg Clary, Jennifer Hansler, Jennifer Deaton, and Kate Sullivan

October 6, 2019

Excerpt

The working-level talks between the United States and North Korea in Stockholm, Sweden, have concluded for the time being, US and North Korean officials said Saturday.

Painting different pictures of the meeting, US officials said they “had good discussion” while North Korea’s top negotiator blamed the ended talks on Washington.

“The break-up of the negotiation without any outcome is totally due to the fact that the US would not give up their old viewpoint and attitude,” Kim Myong Gil, North Korea’s top negotiator, said.

But the State Department disagreed with Kim’s characterization Saturday, saying his comments “do not reflect the content or the spirit of today’s 8½ hour discussion.”

“In the course of the discussions, the U.S. delegation reviewed events since the Singapore summit, and discussed the importance of more intensive engagement to solve the many issues of concern for both sides,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

“The U.S. brought creative ideas and had good discussion with its DPRK counterparts,” she said.

The US said it previewed “a number of new initiatives that would allow us to make progress in each of the four pillars of the Singapore joint statement.”

Kim earlier told reporters in Stockholm that “the negotiations have not fulfilled our expectation and finally broke up.”

Kim said the talks were “held at a crucial moment when the situation on the Korean peninsula stands at the crossroads of dialogue or confrontation.” Negotiations on denuclearization have stalled since February — when President Donald Trump cut short his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi. Trump left the meeting with no joint agreement after Kim insisted all US sanctions be lifted on his country.

The two leaders last met in June in the Korean Demilitarized Zone where they agreed to revive staff-level talks. …

 


 

Related interest: Kim Jong-un PowerPoint presentation

DPRK-USA_Hanoi-Summit-billboard

On February 27-28, 2019, U.S. president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a second summit meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam.

PowerPoint presentation: Kim Jong Un Psychological Profile

 

Personality-Dynamics

 


 

Related interest: Research reports

The Leadership Style of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. Working paper, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, Collegeville and St. Joseph, Minn., June 10, 2018. Abstract and link for full-text (17 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/120/

The Leadership Style of U.S. President Donald J. Trump. Working paper, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, January 2017. Abstract and link for full-text (14 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/107/

The Personality Profile of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. Working paper, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, Collegeville and St. Joseph, Minn., April 1, 2018. Abstract and link for full-text (32 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/119/

The Political Personality of U.S. President Donald J. Trump. Working paper, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, October 2016. Abstract and link for full-text (31 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/103/

 


 

Topical reports on this site

The Personality Profile of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un

ISPP-2018_Kim-Jong-Un_poster
Click on image for larger view

President Donald Trump to Meet North Korea’s Kim Jong-un

Combination photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump

“He’s got a great personality. He’s a funny guy, he’s very smart, he’s a great negotiator.”

— President Donald Trump, on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, June 12, 2018.



In an op-ed published in the Washington Post (Jan. 1, 2019) Mitt Romney, newly elected Republican senator from Utah, wrote: “[O]n balance, [Donald Trump’s] conduct over the past two years … is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office,” adding, “A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect.”

Although one can only speculate on Romney’s rationale for this highly unusual maneuver — assailing the character of the president, no less the leader of his own party — the senator-elect’s personality profile offers a partial glimpse into his underlying motives.

Specifically, Romney’s primary personality pattern — conscientiousness — is characterized by deep-seated resonance to the personal qualities of honesty, integrity, and respect — suggesting it is no accident that Romney zeroed in on those particular traits as lacking in the president (and, by implication, holding himself up as exemplifying those qualities).

Romney poster (2013)
Click on image for larger view

More » The Political Personality of 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. Paper presented at the 35th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Chicago, July 6–9, 2012. Abstract and link for full-text (35 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/98/

—————————————
April 19, 2019 Update

Romney on Mueller report: I am ‘sickened’ by ‘dishonesty and misdirection’ of President Trump

By Jamie Ehrlich

April 19, 2019

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney issued a sharp rebuke of President Donald Trump on Friday following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, saying he was “sickened” by details in revealed in the document.

“I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President. I am also appalled that, among other things, fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia,” the Utah Republican said in a statement.

As Senate Democrats begin to call for Trump’s impeachment based on Mueller’s evidence, Romney is one of the first Republican senators to sharply rebuke the actions outlined in the report. Romney has historically been one of the harshest Republican critics of the President.

“Reading the report is a sobering revelation of how far we have strayed from the aspirations and principles of the founders,” Romney said.

——————————————
October 6, 2019 Update

President Trump calls Mitt Romney a ‘pompous ass’ for criticizing him, firing a warning shot to all Republicans

By Thomas Burr

October 5, 2019

President Donald Trump on Saturday called Sen. Mitt Romney a “pompous ass” after the senator criticized him for asking foreign powers to investigate a Democratic rival.

The expletive-laced tweet from the president was a warning, a shot across the bow that is likely meant to intimidate other Republicans. In short: Be loyal. …

Romney is one of the few Republicans who has been willing to raise concerns about Trump’s comments and actions. Most GOP members of Congress have either remained silent or blamed Democrats for targeting the president, including Utah Rep. Chris Stewart, who has appeared several times this week on Fox News to defend Trump, and Sen. Mike Lee, who has said he sees no problems with the president’s actions.

Romney, who declined to comment Saturday, has never been a Trump supporter, calling him out as a “phony, a fraud” during the Republican primaries and offering occasional criticism of his actions and remarks. Romney voted for his wife, Ann, rather than Trump in 2016. …

 


Related reports on this site

Mitt Romney Announces Bid for U.S. Senate in Utah (Feb. 17, 2018)

Mitt Romney for Secretary of State? (Nov. 19, 2016)

Mitt Romney’s Personality Profile (June 2, 2011)


As shown in the pie chart, Romney has a primarily Conscientious-dutiful personality, complemented by secondary Dominant-asserting, Ambitious-confident, and Accommodating-cooperative features and a minor Retiring-reserved tendency.

Mitt Romney’s Leadership Style (Sept. 3, 2012)


Research assistants Amanda Nusbaum and Feiran Chen presented their research on “The Personality Profile of 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney” at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., July 30, 2012.

Why Mitt Romney Won’t Be President — In Theory (Oct. 29, 2012)


Aubrey Immelman and Andrew Obritsch in Chicago at the annual scientific meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology to present their research on Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, July 2012.



A psychological analysis of United States Supreme Court associate justice Brett Kavanaugh by Allison Roehl and Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, revealed that Kavanaugh’s primary personality patterns are Conscientious/respectful and Accommodating/cooperative, with secondary Dominant/asserting and Ambitious/confident features. In summary, Justice Kavanaugh’s personality composite can be characterized as that of a conscientious conciliator.

Kavanaugh_poster
Click on image for larger view

Conscientious (scale 6) individuals are characteristically principled, prudent, proper, dignified, and dependable; they are dutiful and diligent, with a strong work ethic and careful attention to detail. Accommodating (scale 4) individuals are cordial, cooperative, and amicable; they are polite, respectful, and agreeable, willing to adapt their preferences to reconcile differences, and to concede or compromise when necessary. Dominant (scale 1A) individuals enjoy the power to direct others and to evoke obedience and respect; they can be tough and unsentimental and often are effective in positions of authority. Ambitious (scale 2) individuals are bold, competitive, and self-assured; they easily assume leadership roles, expect others to recognize their special qualities, and may act as though entitled.

The Conscientious–Accommodating (Scale 6–4) composite pattern

Individuals with a predominantly Conscientious (scale 6) personality pattern who also possess significant Accommodating (scale 4) features may be characterized as conscientious conciliators. The Conscientious–Accommodating blend is the most well-adjusted of all Conscientious personality variants. These personalities are earnest, hardworking, meticulous, play by the rules, and are duty-bound. The most prevalent limitation of this personality amalgam is a tendency to be inflexible and indecisive, with an unwarranted fear of failure or error; hence, they tend to be risk-averse and are typically more submissive (socially agreeable) than dominant.

Formulation

This indirect, at-a-distance personality assessment cannot be construed as disconfirming or confirming the sexual assault allegations dating back decades that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford leveled against Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his Senate confirmation hearings; those allegations must be evaluated on their own merits. It may, however, legitimately be asserted that the personality profile is inconsistent with that of a person who would exhibit a pattern of sexual misconduct (or any kind of habitual criminal or antisocial behavior). Finally, the profile cannot exclude the possibility that a teenage Brett Kavanaugh — irrespective of his enduring personality pattern — could have committed a sexual indiscretion on occasion when his judgment was impaired by alcohol intoxication.

Allison Roehl presents her poster, "The Personality Profile of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh," at the annual Department of Psychology Poster Session, College of St. Benedict | St. John's University, Dec. 4, 2018.
Allison Roehl presents her research poster, “The Personality Profile of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh,” at the annual Department of Psychology Poster Session, College of St. Benedict | St. John’s University, Dec. 4, 2018.


 

PowerPoint presentation

The Personality Profile of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Kavanaugh_PowerPoint-thumbnail

 


Related reports on this site

Christine Blasey Ford’s Sexual Assault Allegation Against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh (Sept. 27, 2018)

The expert witness best qualified to comment on the accuracy and reliability of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s memory of a sexual assault approximately 36 years ago is Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, distinguished professor in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior and the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of California, Irvine, with additional appointments in the university’s Department of Cognitive Sciences and the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.

Elizabeth-Loftus

“The real question in this case … is not whether this happened so much. But who actually did it. Because everything I’ve seen in the discussions of this case, one of the things I want to know is when did she attach the name Brett Kavanaugh to the episode that she is recounting from when she was 15 years old. And I wish somebody would ask that question because I think the answer to that question is pretty crucial.”

– Elizabeth Loftus (“Anderson Cooper 360°,” CNN, September 19, 2018)

The Personality Profile of United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (Jan. 30, 2017)

More than a decade after the study was conducted, the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics has publicly released its personality profile of U.S. Supreme Court associate justice Clarence Thomas. The report was prepared for the Washington Post’s Kevin Merida as part of the background research for his book, with Michael Fletcher, Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas (2007).

Clarence-Thomas_Supreme-Discomfort Immelman-quote_Clarence-Thomas_Supreme-Discomfort_p-5

The Personality of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Research report, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, July 2004. Abstract and link for full-text (22 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/108/