A psychological profile of U.S. President Barack Obama, developed at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics during Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, reveals that the president is a highly confident, moderately accommodating and deliberative, somewhat reserved personality type best described as a confident conciliator.
As shown in the pie chart above, Obama is primarily an Ambitious-confident personality, complemented by secondary Accommodating-cooperative, Conscientious-respectful, and Retiring-reserved features.
Obama’s personality profile provides a stable framework for anticipating his likely leadership style as president if reelected. Following is a political-psychological prognostication of a prospective second-term Obama presidency, as reported in the St. Cloud Times.
By Aubrey Immelman
St. Cloud Times
September 8, 2012
At the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte N.C., former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday put Barack Obama’s name in nomination for reelection as president with an impassioned plea that Americans renew Obama’s contract for four more years.
For those voters who have yet to decide whether to let Obama keep the keys to the White House or send him packing, here’s a primer in political prognostication: past is prologue; and personality drives behavior.
Past is prologue
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. No speech, no campaign promise will fundamentally alter the general tenor of the Obama presidency in a second term.
If you dislike Obama’s first-term agenda or leadership style as president, there’s little reason to cast a vote for Obama in hope of change.
For the nonpartisan or independent voter, the great challenge is to anticipate how the candidate will govern. That task is simplified with an incumbent because the candidate’s track record telegraphs his likely path.
However, the future is always uncertain. Little did we know when we sized up George W. Bush’s fitness for office in 2000 that history would throw us a curveball a year later in the form of Sept. 11.
This is where political psychology earns its keep.
Personality drives behavior
Personality refers to the stable patterns of a person’s motives, thoughts and actions over time and across a broad range of situations. Accurate personality assessment allows us to anticipate a leader’s response to a broad range of contingencies – including those not currently on the political radar.
Equally important, political psychologists have developed predictive models that link a leader’s personality traits to his or her likely performance as chief executive.
Obama is a “confident conciliator” – a leader with a healthy dose of adaptive narcissism and a stronger accommodating tendency than most presidents.
The following generalized expectancies regarding Obama’s leadership style as president can be inferred from his personality profile:
On balance, nothing specific to Obama’s personality profile or leadership style suggests that he deserves to be fired. By the same token, anyone with a preexisting objection to Obama can probably find something in his profile to confirm their prior belief.
This is the opinion of Aubrey Immelman, a political psychologist who specializes in the psychological assessment of presidential candidates. He also was a candidate in the Republican primary for the U.S. House 6th District race. A similar profile of Republican nominee Mitt Romney was published in the Aug. 30 Times.
Related reports on this site
Sarah Moore and Angela Rodgers present their research on “The Personality Profile of President Barack Obama: Leadership Implications” at the 6th annual Minnesota Private Colleges Scholars at the Capitol event in the State Capitol rotunda, St. Paul, Minn., Feb. 19, 2009. The research was conducted under the auspices of the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, directed by College of St. Benedict / St. John’s University associate professor of psychology Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D.
A Key to Success for Obama? (March 17, 2009)
Barack Obama’s Leadership Style (Feb. 21, 2009)
Obama’s Decision-Making Style (Nov. 25, 2008)
Barack Obama’s Personality Profile (Nov. 2, 2008)
You must be logged in to post a comment.