The Psychological Profiles of Presidential Candidates John McCain and Barack Obama

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American Politics | Leadership Studies | Other Political Science | Other Psychology | Personality and Social Contexts


Aubrey Immelman presents the personality profiles of Barack Obama and John McCain, Democratic and Republican candidates, respectively, in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, focusing on their personal strengths and limitations and the implications of their personal qualities on executive performance. Immelman is internationally recognized for his expertise in the area of political personality assessment. He has written on the subject for the Handbook of Psychology, the Handbook of Personology and Psychopathology, and the Encyclopedia of Psychology and has served as a military consultant on personality profiling and threat assessment.


The slides for this presentation are not available.

The research was conducted at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics (USPP), a collaborative faculty–student research program in the psychology of politics at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict in Collegeville and St. Joseph, Minnesota, directed by Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, who specializes in the psychological assessment of presidential candidates and world leaders.

Related research reports:

Immelman, A. (2010, July). The political personality of U.S. president Barack Obama. Paper presented at the 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, San Francisco, July 7-10, 2010. Abstract and link for full-text download at Digital Commons website: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/25/

Immelman, A. (2008, September). The political personality of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain. Research report, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict. Abstract and link for full-text download at Digital Commons website: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/115/

Related links:

Barack Obama » http://personality-politics.org/barack-obama-2008

John McCain » http://personality-politics.org/john-mccain-2008