This paper presents the results of indirect assessments of the personalities of U.S. presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Barack H. Obama, from the conceptual perspective of personologist Theodore Millon. Information concerning Roosevelt and Obama was collected from biographical sources and published reports and synthesized into personality profiles using the second edition of the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria (MIDC), which yields 34 normal and maladaptive personality classifications congruent with Axis II of DSM-IV.
The personality profiles yielded by the MIDC were analyzed on the basis of interpretive guidelines provided in the MIDC manual. Roosevelt’s primary personality pattern was found to be Dominant/controlling, with secondary features of the Ambitious/self-serving and Conscientious/dutiful patterns. Obama’s primary personality pattern was found to be Ambitious/self-serving, with secondary features of the Conscientious/respectful and Retiring/reserved patterns.
Roosevelt’s and Obama’s personalities are compared and contrasted and the influence of their personality patterns on presidential decision making discussed in the context of parallel political and economic challenges faced by these two presidents.
Copyright © 2012 by Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics / Aubrey Immelman
Obritsch, A., & Immelman, A. (2012, July). Personality and presidential decision making: Comparing the personality profiles of Barack Obama and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Paper presented at the 35th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Chicago, July 6-9, 2012. Retrieved from Digital Commons website: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/128/