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Leadership Studies | Other Political Science | Other Psychology | Personality and Social Contexts


The purpose of this article is to narrow the conceptual and methodological gap between existing formulations in psychodiagnostic theory and current practice in political personality. It is suggested that accurate assessment of the personalities of high-level leaders can significantly improve the prediction of political outcomes but that this endeavor has been hampered by inadequate transposition from the source disciplines of personality theory and psychodiagnostics to the target discipline of contemporary political psychology. It is proposed that Theodore Millon’s personological model offers a viable integrative framework for the study of political personality. The present article explicates Millon’s model, specifies the relevance of this formulation to political psychology, and indicates how it may inform theoretical analysis and research in political psychology by accommodating a diverse range of approaches to the psychological examination of political leaders.


Related publications subsequently published by the author

Immelman, A. (2003). Personality in political psychology. In I. B. Weiner (Series Ed.), T. Millon & M. J. Lerner (Vol. Eds.), Handbook of psychology: Vol. 5. Personality and social psychology (pp. 599–625). Wiley. Full text available at

Immelman, A., & Millon, T. (2003, June). A research agenda for political personality and leadership studies: An evolutionary proposal. Unpublished manuscript, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, Collegeville and St. Joseph, MN. Digital Commons.

Immelman, A. (2005). Political psychology and personality. In S. Strack (Ed.), Handbook of personology and psychopathology (pp. 198–225). Wiley. Full text available at