Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics

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The Political Personality of 2007 French

Presidential Candidate Ségolène Royal

Pascal de Sutter and Aubrey Immelman

University of Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium, and St. Johns University, Minnesota, U.S.A.

January 2007


This paper presents the results of an indirect assessment of the personality of Ségolène Royal, candidate of the Socialist Party in the 2007 French presidential election. The study was conducted from the conceptual perspective of Theodore Millon’s model of personality. Information concerning Royal 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. Royal’s primary personality patterns were found to be Conscientious/compulsive and Ambitious/self-serving, with secondary features of the Dauntless/dissenting, Dominant/controlling, and Contentious/resolute patterns.

The amalgam of strong Conscientious and Ambitious patterns in Royal’s profile suggests the presence of Millon’s bureaucratic compulsive syndrome. According to Millon, people with this personality composite feel empowered in formal organizations, where group rules provide identity and security. They tend to be officious, high-handed, intrusive, petty, meddlesome, and closed-minded.

Related links:

"Un profileur décrypte Ségo et Sarko." Pascal de Sutter, Le Nouvel Observateur, 19 Avril 2007
[English translation]

Ces fous qui nous gouvernent: Comment la psychologie permet de comprendre les hommes politiques
Pascal de Sutter

Page maintained by Aubrey Immelman

Last updated May 07, 2007