The Personality Profile and Leadership Style
of 2024 Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump
Studies conducted during the 2016 presidential election cycle
The Political Personality of 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump. Working paper by Aubrey Immelman, 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/
Executive summary: Donald Trump’s predominant personality patterns are Ambitious/exploitative (a measure of narcissism) and Outgoing/impulsive, infused with secondary features of the Dominant/controlling pattern and supplemented by a Dauntless/adventurous tendency. This particular personality composite can be labeled amorous narcissism or, in political terms, high-dominance charismatic — charismatic by virtue of the highly elevated primary Ambitious–Outgoing amalgam.
The Leadership Style of U.S. President Donald J. Trump. Working paper by Aubrey Immelman, 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/
Executive summary: Donald Trump’s core personality-based leadership traits may be summarized as follows: an active-positive presidential character with mobilization — the ability to arouse, engage, and direct the public — as his key leadership asset; an overall leadership style that is distinctively charismatic and nondeliberative; and a high-dominance, extraverted, influential foreign policy orientation.
Research conducted during the Trump presidency
The Personality Profile and Leadership Style of U.S. President Donald J. Trump in Office. Paper presented at the 43rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Berlin, Germany, July 14-16, 2020. Abstract and link for full-text (71 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/129/
Annie Griebie briefly explains the conceptual framework, methodology, and results of her assessment of President Donald Trump’s personality as revealed in office. (9:39)
Aubrey Immelman presents his paper, with Anne Marie Griebie, on “The Personality Profile and Leadership Style of U.S. President Donald J. Trump in Office” at the 43rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, July 16, 2020. The meeting, originally scheduled for Berlin, Germany, was conducted in virtual format due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The Personality Profile and Leadership Style of U.S. President Donald J. Trump in Office
By Aubrey Immelman and Anne Marie Griebie
Summary and Formulation
This paper presents the results of an indirect assessment, from the conceptual perspective of personologist Theodore Millon, of the personality of Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States, based solely on personality dynamics revealed by his political behavior in office.
Psychodiagnostically relevant data were collected from biographical sources and media reports of Trump’s postinaugural political behavior from January 20, 2017 until July 2020 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 in accordance with interpretive guidelines provided in the MIDC and Millon Index of Personality Styles manuals. Trump’s primary personality patterns were found to be Ambitious/self-serving (bordering on exploitative), Dominant/controlling (bordering on aggressive), and Outgoing/gregarious (bordering on impulsive), infused with secondary features of the Dauntless/dissenting pattern. There is suggestive, equivocal evidence of incipient Distrusting/suspicious and Erratic/unstable tendencies emerging during Trump’s time in office.
Ambitious individuals are bold, competitive, and self-assured; they easily assume leadership roles, expect others to recognize their special qualities, and often act as though entitled. Dominant individuals enjoy the power to direct others and to evoke obedience and respect; they are tough and unsentimental and often make effective leaders. Outgoing individuals are dramatic attention‑getters who thrive on being the center of social events, go out of their way to be popular with others, have confidence in their social abilities, tend to be impulsive and undisciplined, and become easily bored — especially when faced with repetitive or mundane tasks. Dauntless individuals tend to flout tradition, dislike following routine, sometimes act impulsively and irresponsibly, and are inclined to elaborate on or shade the truth and skirt the law.
As predicted on the basis of his pre-inaugural personality profile, Trump’s executive leadership style in office was bold, competitive, and self-assured (i.e., ambitious); tough and directive (i.e., dominant); impulsive and undisciplined (i.e., outgoing); and disruptively tradition-defying, with an inclination to shade the truth and skirt the law (i.e., dauntless).
Presidential Electability Index range: 64-84 (dysfunctionality adjusted = 45)
Presidential Electability Index (political impact) score
Donald Trump scores very high on the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria-based Presidential Electability Index (PEI), which employs publicly perceived candidate personality traits as the predictor variable and has accurately predicted — before Super Tuesday — the outcome of every presidential election from 1996 to 2016.
PEI = 64–84 (74 ±10); dysfunctionality adjusted = 45*
Lower limit PEI: [Extraversion (scale 3) = 20] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 22] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 22] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = 0] = 64 – 0 = 64
Upper limit PEI: [Extraversion (scale 3) = 26] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 30] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 28] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (3 – 3) = 0] = 84 – 0 = 84
* Dysfunctionality adjusted PEI = [Extraversion (scale 3) = (20 – 5) = 15] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = (22 – 7) = 15] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = (22 – 7) = 15] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = 0] = 45 – 0 = 45
2024 Republican Presidential Nomination Contest
Early reporting on the state of the race
January 14, 2021
Trump drops 12 points: According to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released on Wednesday [Jan. 13, 2021], 42 percent of Republicans said they would vote for Trump in the 2024 presidential primaries in a poll conducted Jan. 8-11, after the attack on the Capitol. That percentage is down from 54 percent of Republicans who said they would vote for Trump when the question was asked Nov. 21-23. …
Despite the drop in numbers, Trump is still ahead of other potential challengers. The poll found 16 percent of Republicans said they would vote for Vice President Mike Pence; 6 percent for Donald Trump, Jr.; 6 percent for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX); 5 percent for Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and American ambassador to the U.N.; and 6 percent said they would vote for Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT). …
Opening yesterday, the [PredictIt] market tracking who will lead the Grand Old Party into the next presidential election showed Trump as the top contract at 19¢. He was followed by Haley at 16¢, Pence at 13¢ and then two senators at 8¢.
Running for Second
By David Leonhardt and Ian Prasad Philbrick
The eight Republican presidential candidates who took the stage last night had a lot going for them. … In a different year, the race among them might be a fascinating one.
But the 2024 Republican campaign is shaping up to be unlike any in memory.
Donald Trump remains so popular among Republican primary voters that there is no obvious path for any of the other candidates to displace him. He leads among virtually every Republican subgroup: both men and women; those with household incomes above and below $100,000; evangelicals and non-evangelicals; moderate and conservative Republicans; Fox News devotees and people who get their news elsewhere; and in each region of the country, as well as in rural areas, suburbs and cities. …
For more than eight years now, since he declared his 2016 candidacy in New York, Trump has dominated the Republican Party, notes our colleague Shane Goldmacher, who covers politics. Many Republicans — a long and varied list starting with Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz in 2016 — have tried to displace Trump, without success. Neither Trump’s loss to Joe Biden in 2020 nor the poor performance of his preferred candidates in the 2022 midterms nor the four recent indictments have altered the situation. …
Related reports on this site
Joe Biden » http://personality-politics.org/joe-biden-2024
Chris Christie » http://personality-politics.org/chris-christie-2024
Ron DeSantis » http://personality-politics.org/ron-desantis
Mike Pence » http://personality-politics.org/mike-pence-2024