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A psychological analysis of Hillary Clinton — Democratic nominee in the 2016 presidential election — by Rylee Pool and Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, revealed that Clinton’s predominant personality patterns are Ambitious/self-serving (a measure of narcissism) and Dominant/controlling, infused with secondary features of the Conscientious/dutiful and Retiring/reserved patterns. In summary, Clinton’s personality composite can be characterized as an adaptive elitist narcissist.

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October 2016 update: Hillary Clinton’s predominant personality patterns are Ambitious/self-serving (a measure of narcissism) and Dominant/controlling, infused with secondary features of the Conscientious/dutiful and Retiring/reserved (introverted) patterns and some indication of Distrusting/suspicious features. This particular personality composite can be labeled elitist narcissism or, in political terms, deliberative high-dominance introvert — deliberative by virtue of substantial conscientiousness.
[http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/102/]

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Hillary-Clinton_poster_July-2016
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Note: Personal Electability Index (political impact) score

Hillary Clinton scores high on the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria-based Personal Electability Index, which has accurately predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1996.

Following are the PEI calculations for Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton: PEI = 27 (Study 3; 2016)

Scale:    1A    1B    2    3    4    5A    5B    6    7    8
Score:   21      2   24   0    0      0      3    15    1    7

Scale: 1A = 21; 2 = 24; 3 = 0; 6 = 15; 8 = 7

[Extraversion (scale 3) = 0] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 24] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 21] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 7] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (15 – 4) = 11] = 45 – 18 = 27
Dysfunctionality adjusted
[Extraversion (scale 3) = 0] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 15] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 15] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 7] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (15 – 4) = 11] = 30 – 18 = 12

Hillary Clinton: PEI = 39 (Study 2; updated)

Scale:   1A    1B    2    3    4    5A    5B    6    7    8
Score:  19      2    21   1    0      0      0     6    0    0

[Extraversion (scale 3) = 1] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 21] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 19] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (6 - 4) = 2] = 41 – 2 = 39
Dysfunctionality adjusted
[Extraversion (scale 3) = 1] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 15] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 15] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (6 - 4)  = 2] = 31 – 2 = 29

Hillary Clinton: PEI = 23 (Study 1; 2008)

Scale:   1A    1B    2    3    4    5A    5B    6    7    8
Score:  15      4   15    2    1      0      9    11   0     2

Clinton: [Extraversion (scale 3) = 2] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 15] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 15] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 2] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (11 - 4) = 7] = 32 – 9 = 23


 

Detailed Psychological Assessments Released (Nov. 4, 2016)

The Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics has released political-psychological assessments of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Executive Summary: Hillary Clinton

Full text (34 pages)
The Political Personality of 2016 Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton (Working paper, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, October 2016)

Executive Summary: Donald J. Trump

Full text (31 pages)
The Political Personality of 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump (Working paper, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, October 2016)

Comparison of Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s Profiles
midc-profiles_hillaryclinton-donaldtrump


Related reports on this site

Behind the Clinton E-mails: The Psychological Profile of Hillary Rodham Clinton (March 11, 2015)

Clinton poster
Click on image for larger view

The Personality Profile of 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump (Aug. 9, 2015)

Trump poster (2016)
Click on image for larger view

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

Donald-Trump_Hillary-Clinton_Getty-Images
Getty Images

Donald Trump’s Narcissism Is Not the Main Issue (Aug. 11, 2016)

Confident-Narcissistic_spectrum Sociable-Histrionic_spectrum
© 2015 MILLON® (Click on images for larger view)


Media reports of political-psychological interest

Hillary Clinton, the Candidate We Know So Well — And Don’t


In this Sunday, April 24, 2016 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign stop at the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Conn. (Photo: Matt Rourke / AP)

By Jocelyn Noveck

July 13, 2016

Excerpts

For the last 14 years, and 20 overall, Americans polled by Gallup have named Clinton their most admired woman in the world. But consider some other titles attached to her over the years: Lady Macbeth. Washington insider. Robotic. Wildly ambitious. Congenital liar. (Or Donald Trump’s current favorite, “Crooked Hillary.”) …

“It’s an amazing life,” says biographer Carl Bernstein, who wrote a 600-page book on her and says he still struggles to define her. “You could not make any of this stuff up.” …

[T]he ambition tag has dogged Clinton, 68, throughout her career, as if it were a bad quality rather than a necessity in high-stakes politics. The satirical website The Onion captured the irony in a 2006 headline: “Hillary Clinton Is Too Ambitious To Be The First Female President.”

That gets a knowing laugh from Melanne Verveer, Clinton’s chief of staff from her first lady years.

“If a guy is described as ambitious, it’s a noble attribute — he wants to put himself ahead,” says Verveer. “But if a woman is ambitious, it’s not an attribute, it’s a negative, a pejorative. It’s not proper somehow.”

Former Rep. Patricia Schroeder thinks the ambition factor is — unfairly — key to Clinton’s challenges connecting with the electorate.

“We still don’t like a woman who is showing ambition, especially for that level of a job,” says Schroeder, who famously explored her own presidential candidacy decades ago. “It’s: ‘I’d like her if she weren’t so damned ambitious. How come she wants all that power?’” …

Part of the narrative on Clinton has been her trouble connecting to the public. “I am not a natural politician, in case you haven’t noticed,” she said recently, “like my husband or President Obama.” …

Others note that Clinton has naturally become very guarded, given that she’s been judged, relentlessly and often unfairly, “on a huge stage, for all of her life,” in Bernstein’s words. …

Read the full report at the Associated Press


Clinton on Ballot Tests Voter Views on Gender

Pool-Rylee_headshot
Rylee Pool

By Rylee Pool
St. Cloud Times
August 28, 2016

At 5:39 p.m. [CT] July 26, [2016] history was made in America. Hillary Clinton became the first woman to secure major-party nomination for president of the United States. Although some Americans may not view her nomination as a historic moment for the country, others argue this is a momentous occasion that will go down in history as the next big feminist win.

The women’s rights movement in America gained momentum in the mid-1800s when the first women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New  York, and one of the main points on the agenda at the convention was women’s suffrage.

From struggling to pass the 19th Amendment to now having a woman’s name on arguably the most important ballot in the world, we’ve come a long way in the last century and a half. Or have we?

Nature or nurture?

Political discourse in the wake of Clinton’s nomination illustrates our country still struggles with gender issues. But is this because we are by nature sexist, or are our brains simply hardwired to be critical of women leaders?

Psychologists specializing in sex differences from a biological perspective would argue the latter — at least to a significant extent. Although gender stereotypes are products of our culture, gender differences are fundamentally rooted in biology, which implies the tendency to view dominant women as overbearing (think “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher) but dominant men as strong leaders (think “British Bulldog” Winston Churchill) is hardwired into our brains.

A 2012 study at Texas A&M University illustrates this point. The researchers measured the amount of male sex hormones present in 3-month-olds and then tracked eye movement and duration looking at “male” versus “female” toys. The results? Babies with higher levels of male sex hormones spent more time looking at stereotypically male gendered toys. And all of this research was done on 3-month-olds — before societal pressures could plausibly influence their personal preferences.

But how exactly do sex differences influence how a person is perceived by society? College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University psychology professor Pamela Bacon argues if a woman is cold and uncaring, she tends to be judged more harshly than a man with identical traits because the woman violates the gender stereotype, whereas the man does not.

Psychology and politics

So, what does all of this “psychobabble” have to do with presidential politics? As a Talking Points Memo reader noted recently on the political website, “the kinds of things that leaders do are gendered as male, so we like Joe Biden or Barack Obama for doing them. But when Hillary does them, it’s seen as a violation of gender norms, and so we instinctively don’t like it.”

Politics is a dog-eat-dog world. Wars are waged, foreign policy is formulated, and economic policies are effected. Being president is not just kissing babies and playing golf; it’s serious business. Americans expect their president to be a strong, confident leader.

Psychologically speaking, strength is an expression of dominance and confidence reflects adaptive narcissism. And who ranks high on dominance and narcissism? Clinton. But so do many participants in the high-stakes game of presidential politics, including Donald Trump.

Personality, leadership

Looking at a candidate’s personality offers a glimpse into their leadership style. Research conducted at CSB/SJU’s Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics reveals Clinton has a personality profile similar to many other high-level leaders. Among the personality traits on which she ranks highest is dominance, similar to politicians such as Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie and Bob Dole.

Regrettably, as indicated by the gender research cited earlier, male candidates high in dominance are viewed as tough and competent, whereas women who share that quality, like Clinton, are frequently denigrated. Thus, Clinton has been derided with unflattering pejoratives (see, for example “The era of ‘The Bitch’ is coming,” The Atlantic, Aug. 17, 2016). According to prevalent gender stereotypes, women are supposed to be docile and submissive, and those who do not conform are harshly criticized.

Hope or fear ahead?

Although Trump and Clinton are very different in many respects, from their sexes to their resumes to their political ideologies, they have some key qualities in common: their unprecedented unfavorability as major-party nominees and widespread doubt about their character. But if Clinton wins, will her gender inhibit her leadership?

If we look at some of history’s great women leaders, such as Thatcher, Indira Gandhi and Golda Meir, we cannot say their gender rendered them incompetent. But what we can say is that we, as human beings, are naturally hesitant and critical of dominant, ambitious women. Undoubtedly, that will leave Clinton with a steep hill to climb right out of the gate.

This is the opinion of Rylee Pool, Hastings, a senior biology major at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, where she is a summer research fellow in the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, directed by Aubrey Immelman.

About this series

This the 10th in an occasional series of personality profiles of candidates in the 2016 presidential election. Rylee Pool is a research assistant in the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics led by associate professor Aubrey Immelman at St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict. Immelman will elaborate after Labor Day in a commentary about the psychology of Hillary Clinton and her likely leadership style if elected president.


Alternate link to “The Personality Profile of 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton” at Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics website » http://Personality-Politics.org/Hillary-Clinton

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