Document Type

Paper

Publication Date

6-2003

Abstract

Despite major neuroscientific advances in the past two decades and parallel conceptual refinement in evolutionary theory, personality-in-politics inquiry remains adrift, divorced from these broader spheres of scientific knowledge. This paper reviews the neurobiological substrates of three major domains of evolutionary biology and behavioral ecology relevant to political personality assessment and the psychological examination of political leaders; furnishes a context and set of guiding ideas to revitalize the study of the person as biopsychosocial entity in politics; advances a generative theory of personality and political leadership performance; and proposes an agenda for advancing personality-in-politics and leadership inquiry, informed by insights derived from the contextually adjacent fields of behavioral neuroscience and evolutionary ecology.

Comments

Portions of this paper were adapted from the authors’ publications referenced below:

Immelman, A. (1993). The assessment of political personality: A psychodiagnostically relevant conceptualization and methodology. Political Psychology, 14(4), 725–741. https://doi.org/10.2307/3791383

Immelman, A. (2003). Personality in political psychology. In I. B. Weiner (Series Ed.), T. Millon & M. J. Lerner (Vol. Eds.), Handbook of psychology: Vol. 5. Personality and social psychology (pp. 599-625). John Wiley & Sons. https://doi.org/10.1002/0471264385.wei0524

Millon, T. (2003). Evolution: A generative source for conceptualizing the attributes of personality. In I. B. Weiner (Series Ed.), T. Millon & M. J. Lerner (Vol. Eds.), Handbook of psychology: Vol. 5. Personality and social psychology (pp. 3–30). John Wiley & Sons. https://doi.org/10.1002/0471264385.wei0501

Note:

The Millon Personality Group continues the tradition and work of its forerunner organization founded by Dr. Theodore Millon (1928–2014) — the Institute for Advanced Studies in Personology and Psychopathology.

Conceptual-model.JPG (54 kB)
Conceptual model for assessing personality and political performance

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