Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Defense and Security Studies | Eastern European Studies | International Relations | Leadership Studies | Other Political Science | Other Psychology | Personality and Social Contexts | Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies


This report presents the results of an indirect assessment of the personality of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, from the conceptual perspective of personologist Theodore Millon.

Psychodiagnostically relevant data about Zelenskyy 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. Zelenskyy’s primary personality patterns were found to be Outgoing/congenial and Ambitious/confident, with secondary Dauntless/adventurous, Accommodating/cooperative, and Conscientious/respectful patterns, complemented by subsidiary Dominant/asserting features.

Outgoing leaders are dramatic attention-getters who thrive on being the center of social events, go out of their way to be popular with others, and have confidence in their social skills and ability to charm and influence others. Ambitious leaders are characteristically self-confident, competitive, daring, bold, charming, and skilled at winning others over to their causes and purposes. Dauntless leaders tend to flout tradition, dislike following routine, and sometimes act impulsively. Accommodating leaders tend to be considerate, cordial, and cooperative and are willing to reconcile differences and to concede when necessary. Conscientious individuals are dutiful and diligent, with a strong work ethic and careful attention to detail, and an ability to prevail in difficult circumstances.

The prominence of the Ambitious and Outgoing patterns is indicative of political charisma and, in concert with the Dauntless pattern in Zelenskyy’s overall personality configuration, suggests a courageous charismatic leadership style.


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, PhD, associate professor of psychology, who specializes in the psychological assessment of presidential candidates and world leaders.

The research was funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholars at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University.

More information and updates:

The full text of the paper, which will elaborate on Zelenskyy’s leadership style, will be available for download in early 2024.

Related paper

Immelman, A., & Goff, A. (2023, July 9–11). The post-expansionist personality profile of Russian president Vladimir Putin [Paper presentation]. International Society of Political Psychology 46th Annual Scientific Meeting, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Zelenskyy PowerPoint (ISPP 2023).pptx (2417 kB)
PowerPoint: The Personality Profile and Leadership Style of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Narrative script for Zelenskyy PowerPoint presentation (ISPP 2023).pdf (155 kB)
Narrative script for ISPP 2023 paper presentation

ISPP-2023_Elise-Vomacka_title-page.jpg (373 kB)
Photo: Elise Vomacka presents Zelenskyy study (ISPP 2023)

ISPP-2023_Elise-Vomacka_results.jpg (689 kB)
Photo: Elise Vomacka explains Zelenskyy results (ISPP 2023)