Established in 1999, the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics (USPP) is a collaborative faculty–student research program in the psychology of politics at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota, directed by Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, who specializes in the psychological assessment of presidential candidates and world leaders.
The Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics is operated solely for research and educational purposes. The Unit does not advocate support for or defeat of any candidate for any political office. Political analysis published by the director or research associates of the Unit is the personal opinion of those individuals, based on empirical analysis of personality in politics and the influence of personality traits on high-level leadership.
The mission of the Unit is to conduct psychological assessments of candidates for public office and to disseminate the findings to professionals, the media, and the voting public.
USPP releases new research report: April 8, 2018
The Personality Profile of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un
Working paper by Aubrey Immelman, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, Collegeville and St. Joseph, Minn., April 1, 2018. Abstract and full text available for download at Digital Commons: https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/119/
USPP presents latest research findings: April 27, 2018
The Personality Profile of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un
Research poster presented by Katlin Rice, Austen Luetmer, Suntina Spehar, Hillary Rethlake, Lucas Vetsch, Amanda Olson, and Mariah Ogden-Kellington, 18th Annual Celebrating Scholarship & Creativity Day, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, St. Joseph and Collegeville, Minn., April 26, 2018. (Faculty advisor: Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D.)
Announcement: February 2, 2018
College of St. Benedict psychology graduate Katlin Rice has been appointed Assistant Director of Undergraduate Research at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics for the spring 2018 academic semester prior to commencing her graduate study in clinical psychology.
Her role will be to assist the director in data collection procedures and undergraduate group research projects on the personalities of U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un.
Katlin participated in data collection for studies of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in fall 2017. She currently serves as an intern at the Catholic Charities Hope Community Support Program of the Diocese of St. Cloud, an adult mental health rehabilitation service, while concurrently assisting Dr. Ben Faber in his research lab.
Announcement: August 28, 2017
College of St. Benedict senior psychology major Meghan Keaveny has been appointed Director of Undergraduate Research at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics for the 2017-18 academic year.
Her duties include training students in undergraduate Personality Psychology courses in data collection procedures and coordinating group research projects on the personalities of U.S. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong-un.
Meghan works part-time as an administrative assistant at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud. During the 2016-17 academic year, she served as a research assistant for Dr. Ben Faber and Dr. Jan Holtz. In summer 2017, Meghan interned at CORE Professional Services in Sartell, MN, where she assisted with psychosexual assessments, personality testing, and risk assessments; conducted progress notes for individual and couples therapy; assisted clients in individual sessions with assignments provided by therapists; and taught the Healthy Relationships / Sexuality Education curriculum. She also worked part-time as a summer research fellow at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics.
March 28, 2018 update: Effective fall 2018, Meghan has been admitted to the APA-accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, with anticipated graduation in 2024.
On July 7, 2017, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin had their first face-to-face encounter at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
The Political Personality of Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin. Working paper, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, January 2017. Abstract and link for full-text (36 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/104/
The Political Personality of 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump. Working paper, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, October 2016. Abstract and link for full-text (31 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/103/
The Leadership Style of U.S. President Donald J. Trump. Working paper, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, January 2017. Abstract and link for full-text (14 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/107/
Study currently in progress
Kim Jong-un’s Extreme Makeover (Robin Stein, Ainara Tiefenthäler, and Natalie Reneau, New York Times, April 28, 2018) — How did North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, go from being an international pariah to a smiling diplomat in a matter of a few months? (03:02)
Previous studies available for download
Index of psychological studies of U.S. presidents and presidential candidates, foreign leaders, and prominent terrorist figures conducted at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics » http://personality-politics.org/2017-media-tipsheet/
Work at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics is dedicated to the memory of Theodore Millon, Ph.D., D.Sc.