Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics

Back to the USPP Homepage

A Profiler Describes Ségo and Sarko 

Professor Pascal de Sutter,* an expert “in political psychology” at NATO, asked one of his American colleagues to compare the personality of the two candidates

Aubrey Immelman is one of the best profilers in the world. His political psychology techniques are used by the CIA. He agreed “to examine” Ségolène Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy. He worked from the data (see framed) I forwarded to him, without knowing the identity of the candidates and without knowing that one of the two was a woman.

He sent me a comparative graph (see opposite). How should it be interpreted? On several points, the socialist candidate [Royal] and the leader [Sarkozy] of the UMP [Union for a Popular Movement] have similar profiles. That’s not surprising for people occupying similar positions.

They are both ambitious, dominant, “killers.” Royal is clearly an Alpha wolf in ethological terms, a leader of the pack. However, she obtains a higher score than Sarkozy on “meticulousness.” That means she has a more conscientious personality, more righteous, more reliable than the candidate of the UMP.

On the other hand, Ségolène Royal obtains a lower score than Nicolas Sarkozy on “extraversion,” which constitutes a certain handicap, because voters generally penalize introverts (compare the Chirac–Balladur or Chirac–Jospin contests). On “ambition,” the graph shows Sarkozy at a much higher level than his socialist adversary – at a practically “dysfunctional” level.

The graph also shows that, in contrast to Sarkozy, Royal has a personality that naturally has empathy for others – unless, of course, it is a rival. She is less “dominant” than Sarkozy, who is near a “dysfunctional” level.

In conclusion, Royal is less “excessive” and more balanced. Compared with other profiles developed by American profilers, one finds similarities between her personality and that of a Bill Clinton, whereas Sarkozy is closer to a George W. Bush. That is particularly evident in the large difference in the elevation of scale 10 in the graph, which refers to “instability.” Sarkozy obtains a very high score on this scale, which is not very compatible with a position that demands level-headedness. The graph thus seems to show that Royal’s personality is better adapted to the position of president.

It should be noted, however, that these conclusions are those of an American profiler and a Belgian-Canadian psychiatrist (myself) who are by no means immersed in French policy and are not politically “of the left.”

* Pascal de Sutter teaches psychology at the University of Louvain and is the author of “The madmen who lead us” (Arenas).

Methods of the CIA

Aubrey Immelman based his analysis on materials provided by five psychologists (including Pascal de Sutter). This team studied biographies of and interviews with the two candidates, using “Millon’s method” (another prominent American psychologist). This system of analysis, popular in the United States – particularly in intelligence services – is based on a battery of 230 questions that screen for various personality traits. By using these same techniques, Aubrey Immelman developed a portrait of Bush before his election, describing him as a man “who has only a superficial grasp of complex issues and who is vulnerable to errors of judgment.” He also predicted that Clinton “would be troubled by ethical questions because his seductive character contained the seeds of his own undoing.”

Le Nouvel Observateur (p. 22)
WEek of April 19, 2007

Page maintained by Aubrey Immelman

Last updated May 30, 2007