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The New York Times (Aug. 29, 2016) reports:

Hillary Clinton’s advisers are talking to Donald J. Trump’s ghostwriter of “The Art of the Deal,” seeking insights about Mr. Trump’s deepest insecurities as they devise strategies to needle and undermine him in four weeks at the first presidential debate, the most anticipated in a generation.

Her team is also getting advice from psychology experts to help create a personality profile of Mr. Trump to gauge how he may respond to attacks and deal with a woman as his sole adversary on the debate stage.

Such a psychological profile, available at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics site, already exists.

Trump poster (2016)
Click on image for larger view

Based on that profile, an effective way to “bait” Trump into “making blunders” and to “get under his skin” and “provoke him to rant and rave” (to use the language contained in the Times report), is to attack his reputation (high MIDC scales 2 and 1A, in that order).

© 2015 MILLON®

As stated in the Times, “The Clinton camp believes that Mr. Trump is most insecure about his intelligence, his net worth and his image as a successful businessman.” Hitting Trump on those points would be a good start to a winning edge in the debate.

Trump’s debate prep sessions the past two weekends, according to the Times, “were more freewheeling than focused,” and Trump could “barely conceal his disdain for laborious and theatrical practice sessions.”

That is consistent with Trump’s personality profile (high MIDC scale 3 and low scale 6).

© 2015 MILLON®

Art of the Deal co-author Tony Schwartz, who is advising the Clinton campaign, is essentially correct in his assessment, as reported by the Times:

“Trump has severe attention problems and simply cannot take in complex information — he will be unable to practice for these debates,” said Mr. Schwartz, who was the subject of a New Yorker profile last month that portrayed Mr. Trump as a charlatan.

For Clinton (or the debate moderators) to rattle Trump, the requisite strategy would be to press him to stay on topic and provide specifics.

As for Hillary Clinton, she is by nature highly rehearsed, scripted, and programmed (consistent with her elevated score on MIDC scale 6).

© 2015 MILLON®

For Trump to outmaneuver Clinton, the requisite strategy would be to disrupt her planning and preparation by taking the debate off topic and to press her on topics for which she may not be well prepared. Trump ranks high on Machiavellianism, meaning he thrives in unstructured situations and is quick to identify vulnerabilities; anything he does to disrupt the predictability of the debate will give him the upper hand over Clinton.

In addition, Trump is correct in his assessment, as reported by the Times, “that he can box in Mrs. Clinton on her ethics and honesty.” Consistent with her personality profile (elevated MIDC scale 6), Clinton is likely to value aspects of herself that exhibit virtue, moral rectitude, and prudence, and to be fearful of error or misjudgment. Clinton’s glass jaw would be getting hammered repeatedly on those points in personal attacks.


Related reports

Psychological profile of Donald Trump

Psychological profile of Hillary Clinton

Inside debate prep: Clinton’s careful case vs. Trump’s ‘WrestleMania’
(Philip Rucker, Robert Costa, and Anne Gearan, Washington Post, Aug. 27, 2016)

Trump team builds ‘psychological profile’ of Clinton for debate
(Kenneth P. Vogel, Ben Schreckinger, Alex Isenstadt and Darren Samuelsohn, Politico, Sept. 23, 2016)

For more information, consult the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics Media Tipsheet at

One Response to “Hillary Clinton Seeks Advice from ‘Psychology Experts’ on Donald Trump’s Personality Profile for Debate Prep”
  1. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Russia Compiling Psychological Dossier on Donald Trump Ahead of Vladimir Putin Summit Says:

    […] Hillary Clinton Seeks Advice from ‘Psychology Experts’ on Donald Trump’s Personality Profile for Debate Prep (Aug. 31, 2016) […]

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