Joe Biden

The Personality Profile of Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

May 24, 2019

A preliminary psychological analysis of former U.S. vice president Joe Biden by Sarah Lommel, Madison Sharp, Christian Gimenez, Paige Steinberg, Skya Jandt, and Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, revealed that Vice President Biden’s primary personality patterns are Outgoing/congenial and Accommodating/cooperative, complemented by secondary Ambitious/confident and Dominant/asserting features. In summary, Biden may be characterized as a conciliatory extravert.

Presidential Electability Index range: 16-29

The Personality Profile of Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden


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Abstract

The poster presents the results of an indirect assessment of the personality of former U.S. vice president Joe Biden — a contender for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election — from the conceptual perspective of personologist Theodore Millon. Information concerning Biden was collected from biographical sources and media reports 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 on the basis of interpretive guidelines provided in the MIDC and Millon Index of Personality Styles manuals. Biden’s primary personality patterns were found to be Outgoing/congenial and Accommodating/cooperative, complemented by secondary Ambitious/confident and Dominant/asserting features.

In essence, Biden may be characterized as a conciliatory extravert. Following personologist Theodore Millon (1996, p. 374), this particular personality composite may also be labeled appeasing extravert and described as follows:

The conciliatory extravert subtype combines outgoing and accommodating (agreeable) features. They have strong affiliation motives and are driven to seek approval. They want others to like them and view them as a friend or ally. To achieve this goal, they often compliment, praise, flatter, and commend others, presenting an image of goodwill. When disagreements occur, they attempt to smooth things over, even when they must sacrifice ground, compromise their own desires, or concede important points. They are loathe to retaliate against those who cannot be placated. (Adapted from Millon & Davis, 2000, pp. 242–243)

Paige Steinberg, Madison Sharp, Skya Jandt, Christian Giminez, and Sarah Lommel present their poster, “The Personality Profile of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden,” at Scholarship Day, College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN, April 25, 2019.


Related interest: Formal announcement of candidacy

Joe Biden announces 2020 run for president, after months of hesitation (Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin, New York Times, April 25, 2019) — Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced Thursday [annotated transcript and video link] that he would seek the Democratic nomination to challenge President Trump in 2020, casting the election as a national emergency and asking Democrats to put the task of defeating Mr. Trump above all their other ambitions. … In doing so, Mr. Biden, 76, is making a bet of sorts that the Democratic Party’s leftward shift in recent years has been greatly overstated, and that the moral clarity of his rhetoric and his seeming strength as a general election candidate will overpower other considerations for Democratic voters who tend to prize youth, diversity and unapologetic liberalism. …


“It’s time for respected leadership on the world stage—and dignified leadership at home. It’s time for equal opportunity, equal rights, and equal justice. It’s time for an economy that rewards those who actually do the work. It’s time for a president who will stand up for all of us.” (3:29)


Related reports

Joe Biden’s Second Act? 2020 “Ridin’ with Biden” (May 31, 2017)

A life-size cutout of the vice president was seen in June 2015 in the window of a Draft Joe Biden 2016 office in Chicago. (Photo credit: Andrew Nelles / The New York Times)

Psychological Profiles of 2020 U.S. Presidential Election Democratic Candidates (April 25, 2019)

Photo composite: The New York Times

Which Democratic Presidential Candidate Is Most ‘Electable’? (May 6, 2019)

Joe Biden (Monmouth net favorability: +65)
Presidential Electability Index
Range: 16-29 (22.5 ±6.5)

Kamala Harris (Monmouth net favorability: +50)
Presidential Electability Index
Range: 13-27 (20 ±7)

Bernie Sanders (Monmouth net favorability: +54)
Presidential Electability Index
Range: 16-23 (19.5 ±3.5)

Amy Klobuchar (Monmouth net favorability: +33)
Presidential Electability Index
Range: 13-23 (18 ±5)

Beto O’Rourke (Monmouth net favorability: +29)
Presidential Electability Index
Range: 11-23 (17 ±6)


Studies currently in progress

(Anticipated release: June 25, 2019)

Pete Buttigieg in February 2019.jpg
Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Elizabeth Warren, official portrait, 114th Congress (cropped)(2).jpg
Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Under-construction