The Personality Profile
of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris
May 25, 2019
A preliminary psychological analysis of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris by Josie Thelen, Amber Lauer, Lauren Redmond, Kailee Gallagher, Courtney Conlin, and Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, revealed that Sen. Harris’s primary personality patterns are Outgoing/congenial, Dominant/asserting, and Ambitious/confident, complemented by secondary Accommodating/cooperative and Conscientious/respectful features. In summary, Harris may be characterized as a dominant extravert.
Presidential Electability Index range: 13-27
The Personality Profile of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris
The poster presents the results of an indirect assessment of the personality of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris — a contender for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election — from the conceptual perspective of personologist Theodore Millon. Information concerning Harris 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. Harris’s primary personality patterns were found to be Outgoing/congenial, Dominant/asserting, and Ambitious/confident, complemented by secondary Accommodating/cooperative and Conscientious/respectful features.
In essence, Harris may be characterized as a dominant extravert — sociable, assertive, and self-confident, complemented by cordiality and a sense of duty.
Related interest: Formal announcement of candidacy
Kamala Harris declares candidacy, evoking King and joining diverse field (Astead W. Herndon, New York Times, Jan. 21, 2019) — Senator Kamala Harris, the California Democrat and barrier-breaking prosecutor who became the second black woman to serve in the United States Senate, declared her candidacy for president on Monday, joining an increasingly crowded and diverse field in what promises to be a wide-open nomination process. …
Sen. Kamala Harris takes the stage at about 57:00
Sen. Kamala Harris announced for president on January 21, 2019 and withdrew from the race on December 3, 2019. She endorsed Joe Biden for president on March 8, 2020.
Update: On August 11, 2020, Joe Biden announced his selection of Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential running mate in the 2020 presidential election.
Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris as VP candidate ‘unprecedented’ (William Roberts, Al Jazeera, Aug. 11, 2020) — Biden is an outgoing and accommodating personality, which should allow him to mesh well with Harris, said Aubrey Immelman, a professor of political psychology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota. His deliberation and thoughtful process suggest Biden was able to develop “personal chemistry” with her. It is quite likely as well that Harris’s friendship with Biden’s late son Beau also helped. And she may well have been a consensus pick among his close advisers, including his wife Jill Biden, as well as Barack and Michelle Obama. “Metaphorically, Biden is led more by ‘heart’ than by ‘head’,” Immelman told Al Jazeera.
Notable media report
How Kamala Harris’s campaign unraveled (Jonathan Martin, Astead W. Herndon, and Alexander Burns, New York Times, Nov. 29, 2019) — [T]here is only one candidate who rocketed to the top tier and then plummeted in early state polls to the low single digits: Ms. Harris. … It was her abundant political skills — strong on the stump, a warm manner with voters and ferocity with the opposition that seemed to spell trouble for Mr. Trump — that convinced many Democrats of Ms. Harris’s potential. … Some of Ms. Harris’s aides said she had better instincts than her brain trust. One official recalled that during the flight from Oakland to Iowa on the night she announced her campaign in January, Ms. Harris told senior members of her campaign team that she wanted to “go stealth.” However, instead of pursuing retail politics and introducing herself to voters in more intimate settings, as Ms. Harris suggested she preferred, her senior aides determined it was more important to cement herself in the top tier and play for “big, television moments,” as one put it. … The organizational unsteadiness of Ms. Harris’s campaign reflects a longtime personal trait, according to allies: she is a candidate who seeks input from a stable of advisers, but her personal political convictions can be unclear. …