Unit for the Study of Political Psychology

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Normal variants of basic personality patterns tapped by the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria (MIDC).  Click on the patterns to learn more about their adaptive variants.

Dominant (Controlling) Dauntless (Venturesome) Ambitious (Confident)
Outgoing (Gregarious) Accomodating (Cooperative) Yielding (Self-effacing)
Contentious (Oppositional) Conscientious (Dutiful) Reticent (Inhibited)
Retiring (Aloof)    


MIDC Personality Patterns

(Normal, Adaptive Styles)


Scale 1A: Dominant (Controlling) Pattern

Enjoy the power to direct others, and to evoke obedience and respect from them

Tend to be tough and unsentimental

May sublimate power-oriented tendencies in publicly approved roles and vocations, but these inclinations become evident in occasional intransigence, stubbornness, and coercive behaviors

Typically make effective leaders, being talented in supervising and persuading others to work for the achievement of common goals

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Scale 1B: Dauntless (Venturesome) Pattern

Independent, refusing to be fettered or coerced; exhibit a strong need for autonomy and self-determination

Unconventional; seek to do things their own way and are willing to take the consequences of doing so

Act as they see fit regardless of how others judge them

Inclined at times to elaborate on or shade the truth

Not highly conscientious; willing to ride close to the edge of the law

Do not assume customary responsibilities; may assert that too many rules stand in the way of freedom and inventiveness

Prefer to think and act in an independent and creative manner

Dislike following routine; may tend to act impulsively and irresponsibly

Do what they want or believe to be best without much concern for the effects of their actions on others

May be somewhat distrusting, skeptical about the motives of others and refusing to be fettered or coerced, they exhibit a strong need for autonomy and self-determination

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Scale 2: Ambitious (Confident) Pattern

Display an interpersonal boldness, stemming from a belief in themselves and their talents

Competitive, ambitious, self-assured

Naturally assume positions of leadership

Expect others to recognize their special qualities and cater to them

Audacious, clever, and persuasive

Charming; able to win others over to their own causes and purposes

Lacking in social reciprocity

Sense of entitlement; assume that what they wish for is their due

Often successful in their ambitions

Typically effective leaders

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Scale 3: Outgoing (Gregarious) Pattern

Gregarious; go out of their way to be popular with others

Confident in their social abilities

Feel they can readily influence and charm others

Possess a personal style that makes people like them

Enjoy social activities

Like meeting new people and learning about their lives

Talkative, lively, socially clever

Enjoy social events; thrive on being the center of attention

May become easily bored, especially when faced with repetitive and mundane tasks

Often experience intense and shifting moods

Enthusiastic; often effective in energizing and motivating others

Enterprising; may be highly skilled at manipulating others to meet their needs

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Scales 2/3: Ambitious-Outgoing Mixed Pattern

Clever and charming

Skilled at attracting and seducing others

Highly ambitious

Tend to be undisciplined

Erratic history of successes, failures, and abandoned hopes

Strong need for excitement, stimulation, and challenge

Easily bored by routine activities; may act impulsively

Display a tendency to be overly but transiently attached to one thing or person after another

Exhibit a restless, "driven" quality which may be accompanied by a deficit in social dependability

Hastily assume agreements

May experience difficulty in honoring their promises or meeting their obligations

More attuned to their own needs than to those of others

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Scale 4: Accommodating (Cooperative) Pattern

Accommodating, participatory, compromising, and agreeing

Congenial obligingness is voluntary rather than being coerced or the product of self-derogation

Cooperative and amicable

Disinclined to upset others

Willing to adapt their preferences to be compatible with those of others

Trust others to be kind and thoughtful

Willing to reconcile differences to achieve peaceable solutions

Considerate and willing to concede when necessary

Cordiality and compromise characterize their interpersonal relationships

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Scale 5A: Yielding (Self-effacing) Pattern

Disposed to act in a subservient and self-abasing manner

Tend to placing self in an inferior light or abject position

Allow, even encourage, others to take advantage of them

Typically unassertive and deferential

May view self as their own worst enemy

Behave in an unpresuming, self-effacing, even self-derogating manner

Tend to avoid displaying their talents and aptitudes

Obsequious and self-sacrificing in their interactions with others

Can be depended on to adhere to the expectations of those they follow

Typically possess abilities far in excess of those they lay claim to

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Scale 5B: Contentious (Oppositional) Pattern

Often assert that they have been treated unfairly, that little of what they have done has been appreciated, and that they have been blamed for things that they did not do

Believe that opportunities have not worked out well for them and that good things don’t last

Often resentful of what they view as unfair demands placed on them

May be disinclined to carry out responsibilities as well as they could

When matters go well, they can be productive and constructively independent-minded, willing to speak out to remedy troublesome issues

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Scale 6: Conscientious (Dutiful) Pattern

Conventional, orderly, and perfectionistic

Respectful of tradition and authority

Act in a reasonable, proper, and conscientious way

Do their best to uphold conventional rules and standards, following given regulations closely, and tend to be judgmental of those who do not

Well-organized and reliable

Prudent and restrained; risk-averse

May appear to be overly self-controlled, formal and inflexible in their relationships, intolerant of deviance, and unbending in their adherence to social proprieties

Dutiful and diligent about their responsibilities

Dislike having their work pile up, worry about finishing things, and come across to others as highly dependable and industrious

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Scale 7: Reticent (Inhibited) Pattern

Tend to downplay personal abilities

Tend to be shy and sensitive, and to experience feelings of anxiety and uncertainty

Sensitive to social indifference or rejection, feel unsure of themselves, and wary in new situations, especially those of a social or interpersonal character

Somewhat ill at ease and self-conscious; anticipate running into difficulties in interrelating and fear being embarrassed

May feel tense when they have to deal with persons they do not know, expecting that others will not think well of them

Prefer to work alone or in small groups where they know that people accept them

Once they feel accepted, they can open up, be friendly and cooperative, and participate with others productively

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Scale 8: Retiring (Aloof) Pattern

Few social or group interests

Minimal need to give and receive affection and to show feelings

Inclined to have few relationships and interpersonal involvements, and do not develop strong ties to others outside of a small circle of close family and friends

Typically viewed as calm, placid, untroubled, and possibly indifferent

Rarely express inner feelings or thoughts to others

Most comfortable when left alone

Tend to work in a slow, quiet, and methodical manner, remaining in the background in an undemanding and unobtrusive way

Comfortable working by themselves; not easily distracted or bothered by external events

Somewhat deficient in the ability to recognize the needs or feelings of others

May be viewed as socially awkward, even insensitive, lacking in spontaneity and vitality

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Page maintained by Aubrey Immelman

Last modified: 06/07/2000