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Book Chapter

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American Politics | International Relations | Leadership Studies | Other Political Science | Other Psychology | Personality and Social Contexts


Following a brief overview of historical approaches to personality-in-politics inquiry, this book chapter reviews the current state of the field – specifically, psychodynamic approaches, trait/motivational perspectives, and cognitive models – and argues that Theodore Millon’s personological model offers an integrative framework for assessing personality in politics and building a conceptual bridge between personality patterns and political leadership styles.

Millon’s model accounts for structural and functional personality attributes at the behavioral, phenomenological, intrapsychic, and biophysical levels of analysis and provides a theoretically coherent framework for studying personality in politics consonant with established principles in the adjacent sciences and integrative with respect to accommodating a diversity of politically relevant personal characteristics.


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Related publications 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 Unpublished manuscript, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, Collegeville and St. Joseph, MN.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. (1993). The assessment of political personality: A psychodiagnostically relevant conceptualization and methodology. Political Psychology, 14(4), 725–741.

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Handbook of Personology and Psychopathology (image) – ISBN: 978-0-471-69312-3