This working paper presents the results of an indirect assessment of the personality of U.S. senator Bernie Sanders — a contender for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election — from the conceptual perspective of personologist Theodore Millon. Information concerning Sanders was collected from biographical sources and media reports and synthesized into a personality profile using the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria (MIDC), which yields 34 normal and maladaptive personality classifications congruent with DSM-III-R, DSM-IV, and DSM-5.
The personality profile yielded by the MIDC was analyzed on the basis of interpretive guidelines provided in the MIDC and Millon Index of Personality Styles manuals. Sanders’s primary personality pattern was found to be Dominant/asserting, complemented by secondary Dauntless/adventurous and Ambitious/confident patterns and infused with a Contentious/resolute tendency.
Based on his overall personality configuration, Sanders may be characterized as a deliberative nonconformist: tough, strong-willed, and outspoken; fearless, daring, and attracted to challenge; self-confident, persuasive, and competitive; and resolute, with a strong oppositional streak. As president, leaders with Sanders’s personality profile can be expected be deliberative but low on interpersonality (more aloof than interactive), temperamentally active–negative, and more skilled in mobilizing supporters than in consummating policy objectives.
Copyright © 2020 by Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics / Aubrey Immelman
Immelman, A. (2020, March). The political personality of 2020 Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders (Working Paper No. 1.0). Collegeville and St. Joseph, MN: St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics. Retrieved from Digital Commons website: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/126/