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This paper presents the results of an indirect psychodiagnostic assessment of the political personality of U.S. vice president Al Gore, Democratic nominee in the 2000 presidential election, from the conceptual perspective of Theodore Millon.

Information concerning Al Gore was collected from published biographical and autobiographical accounts and political reports in the print media, 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 profile yielded by the MIDC was analyzed on the basis of interpretive guidelines provided in the MIDC and Millon Index of Personality Styles manuals. Vice President Gore was found to be Conscientious/dutiful and Retiring/aloof.

A dimensional reconceptualization of the results to examine convergences among the present Millon-based findings, Simonton’s dimensions of presidential style, and the five-factor model of personality suggests that Gore is highly deliberative/conscientious, somewhat lacking in interpersonality/agreeableness, and low in charisma/extraversion.

In terms of Renshon’s elements of character, Gore’s profile suggests that his ambition is rooted in a sense of duty; that his character integrity is well consolidated; and that his interpersonal relatedness is marked more by detachment than by a tendency to move toward, away from, or against others.

Al Gore’s major personality-based leadership strengths are his conscientiousness, a detail-oriented ability to craft specific policies, and low susceptibility to ethical misconduct. His major limitations are his disdain for social interaction, his lack of spontaneity and personableness (with an associated deficit of important political skills crucial for mobilizing and retaining popular support), and his self-defeating potential for dogmatically pursuing personal policy preferences despite legislative or public disapproval.


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

This paper is a revised version of a study of Al Gore presented by the author at the 1998 annual scientific meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP), supplemented by content from a paper on Al Gore and George W. Bush presented at the 2000 annual meeting of the ISPP, referenced below:

Immelman, A. (2000, July). The political personalities of 2000 U.S. presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore. Paper presented at the 23rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Seattle, WA, July 1-4, 2000. Retrieved from Digital Commons website:

Related presentation

Immelman, A. (2000, November 3). Moral crusader vs. flyboy: The political personalities of Al Gore and George W. Bush. Forum lecture, College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN. Retrieved from Digital Commons website:

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