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This report presents the results of an indirect assessment of the personality and leadership style of China’s president, Xi Jinping, from the conceptual perspective of personologist Theodore Millon.
Psychodiagnostically relevant data about Xi were 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. Xi’s primary personality pattern was found to be Dominant/controlling (a measure of aggressiveness), complemented by secondary Conscientious/respectful and Ambitious/confident (benignly narcissistic) patterns and subsidiary Accommodating (conciliatory) and Dauntless (risk-taking) features.
The concurrently elevated Dominant and Conscientious pattern in Xi’s overall personality configuration is indicative of an aggressive enforcer personality composite. Leaders with this personality prototype are tough, uncompromising, and believe they have a moral duty to punish and control those who deviate from socially sanctioned norms.
Leaders with Xi’s personality profile are likely to exhibit a deliberative leadership style; they are well informed, exhibit depth of comprehension, are able to visualize alternatives and weigh long-term consequences, understand the implications of their decisions, and are cautious and emotionally controlled.
Based on his personality profile, Xi’s foreign policy orientation is anticipated to be primarily that of a high-dominance introvert with an expansionist orientation, characterized by a tendency to dichotomize the world in terms of moral good vs. evil, tenacity in striving to reshape the international system in accordance with his personal vision, and preoccupation with establishing institutions or principles to keep potentially disruptive forces in check.
Copyright © 2021 by Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics / Aubrey Immelman
Immelman, A., & Chen, Y. (2021, July). The personality profile and leadership style of China’s President Xi Jinping. PowerPoint presentation at the 44th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, July 11–13, 2021 (virtual conference). https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/141
PowerPoint presentation: Xi Jinping’s Personality and Leadership Profile (ISPP 2021)
Xi Jinping ISPP 2021 narrative - PowerPoint Notes.pdf (169 kB)
Narrative Script: Xi Jinping PowerPoint Notes (ISPP 2021)
Xi Jinping poster - MUPC 2022.jpg (1436 kB)
Poster: “The Personality Profile of Chinese President Xi Jinping” (MUPC 2022)
MUPC-2022_Chen-Yunyiyi.jpg (1371 kB)
Photo: Yunyiyi Chen presents Xi Jinping study (MUPC 2022)
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