Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics

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Personality Profile of 2008 Democratic Presidential Contender Hillary Clinton

 Aubrey Immelman and Julie Seifert
St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict

Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics
Dept. of Psychology
St. Joseph, MN 56374, U.S.A.

This research report presents the results of an analysis of the personality of New York senator Hillary Clinton, contender for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, from the conceptual perspective of personologist Theodore Millon. Information concerning Sen. Clinton was collected from biographical sources and media reports and synthesized into a personality profile using the second edition of the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria (MIDC), which yields 34 normal and maladaptive personality classifications congruent with Axis II of DSM–IV.

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. Clinton’s primary personality patterns were found to be Ambitious/self-serving and Dominant/controlling, with secondary Conscientious/dutiful features and subsidiary, more situation-specific Contentious/resolute and Distrusting traits. 

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. 

Hillary Clinton’s major personality strengths in a leadership role are her commanding presence and confident assertiveness. Her major personality-based shortcomings are an uncompromising, overcontrolling tendency, a lack of empathy and congeniality, and cognitive inflexibility.

The major implication of the study is that it offers an empirically based personological framework for anticipating Sen. Clinton’s likely leadership style as chief executive, thus providing a basis for inferring the character and tenor of a prospective Hillary Clinton presidency.

MIDC Scale Scores

Page maintained by Aubrey Immelman

Last updated December 20, 2007