The Psychological Profiles of the Top-Tier Republican and Democratic Candidates for President

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


Since the 1996 election cycle, Aubrey Immelman has conducted and published at-a-distance psychological assessments of the Republican and Democratic nominees for president. In summer 2007 Immelman and two research assistants in the undergraduate research summer program, Catherine London and Julie Seifert, collected data on all of the top-tier major-party candidates in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

In his forum presentation, Immelman presents the personality profiles of Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama; and Republican contenders Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson.

What do these profiles tell us about the likely presidential performance of these candidates, if elected? Immelman briefly describes how he goes about the task of assessing personality at a distance, outlines the psychological strengths and weaknesses of each candidate, and explains the leadership and policy implications of each candidate’s personality profile.


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 links:

Hillary Clinton » http://personality-politics.org/hillary-clinton

John Edwards » http://personality-politics.org/john-edwards

Rudy Giuliani » http://personality-politics.org/rudy-giuliani

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

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

Mitt Romney » http://personality-politics.org/mitt-romney

Fred Thompson » http://uspp.csbsju.edu/Thompson/Front.html