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Apr 26th, 2012


A psychological analysis of former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, conducted in spring 2012 by Beth Peichel, Amanda Nusbaum, Feiran Chen, Sara Duxbury, Wade Kohls, Rachel Heying, and Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics revealed that Santorum’s primary personality pattern is Conscientious / dutiful, with secondary features of the Dominant / controlling and Ambitious / confident patterns – a personality pattern very similar to that of likely Republican nominee in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, Mitt Romney.

Students Present Research at Scholarship Day


(Clockwise from right front) Feiran Chen, Beth Peichel, Wade Kohls, Rachel Heying, Sara Duxbury, and Amanda Nusbaum present their poster “The Personality Profile of 2012 Presidential Contender Rick Santorum” at Scholarship and Creativity Day, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, April 25, 2012. (Photo: Aubrey Immelman; click photo for larger image)

ST. JOSEPH, Minn. (Apr. 25, 2012) — Beth Peichel, Amanda Nusbaum, Feiran Chen, Sara Duxbury, Wade Kohls, and Rachel Heying, students at the College of Saint Benedict and St. John’s University in St. Joseph and Collegeville, Minn., presented their research on “The Personality Profile of 2012 Presidential Contender Rick Santorum” at the colleges’ annual Scholarship and Creativity Day.

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.

Summary of Research Results

Santorum poster (April 2012)
Click on image for larger view

The profile reveals that Sen. Santorum’s primary personality pattern is Conscientious / dutiful, with secondary features of the Dominant / controlling and Ambitious / confident patterns.

As noted by personality theorist Theodore Millon, Conscientious / dutiful personalities are characteristically conventional, dependable, and principled, with a tendency toward personal rigidity or inflexibility. At times, these personalities may be uncompromisingly moralistic, self-righteous, and judgmental of others.

Conscientious personalities maintain a well-disciplined, organized lifestyle that enables them to function efficiently and successfully in most of their endeavors. They demonstrate an extraordinary degree of integrity, adhering as firmly as they can to society’s ethics and morals as they perceive them to be. Notably respectful of tradition and authority, they typically act in a reasonable, proper, and conscientious manner, do their best to uphold conventional rules and standards, and tend to be judgmental of those who do not.

Being principled, scrupulous, and meticulous, conscientious individuals tend to follow personal standards from which they hesitate to deviate and decide matters in terms of what they believe is right. They are often religious; maintaining their integrity ranks high among their goals, while voicing moral values gives them a deep sense of satisfaction.

The major limitation of this personality style is a predilection for seeing complex matters in black-and-white, good-or-bad, and right-or-wrong terms. Their major limitations with regard to executive decision making are cognitive constriction (with an attendant deficits in flexibility, creativity, and imagination); indecisiveness rooted in fear of committing errors of judgment; and striving for perfectionism to a degree that may interfere with task completion.

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Related reports on this site

Comparative Psychological Profiles of the 2016 Republican Field (Aug. 6, 2015)

Fox News candidates on stage

Barack Obama Personality Profile (Nov. 2, 2008)

Joe Biden Personality Profile (April 17, 2009)

Mitt Romney Personality Profile (June 2, 2011)

Michele Bachmann Personality Profile (June 13, 2011)

Tim Pawlenty Personality Profile (June 16, 2011)

Why Mitt Romney Won’t Win (May 12, 2011)

Obama Campaign Tilting at Romney Windmill (Aug. 9, 2011)

Personality Matters: Mitt Romney Has Al Gore Problem (Jan. 16, 2012)

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5 Responses to “Rick Santorum Personality Profile”
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