Study Compares Trump ’s Personality With Other Populist Leaders And Finds He Is An “Outlier Among The Outliers”

Via Nai et al, 2019 By Christian Jarrett Talk of personality in politics is often dismissed as idle gossip, but politicians’ personalities inform their policy choices, shape their campaigning style and predict their chances of electoral success. In fact, there has been much speculation that personality may be key to understanding perhaps the biggest electoral shock ever – Donald Trump’s triumph in the 2016 US Presidential election. Many commentators have highlighted Trump’s unusually brash, extraverted and narcissistic personality and proposed that it may partly explain his appeal among some voters. However, before now, there has been little systematic evidence to support this claim. A new open-access paper in Presidential Studies Quarterly addressed this lack of evidence, surveying  875 international experts about the personality traits of 103 political leaders, including Trump and 20 other populists, who took part in 47 elections in 40 countries around the world between 2015 and 2016. Alessandro Nai and his colleagues found that Trump’s traits were rated at the extremes even in comparison to other populist leaders, suggesting a “truly unique and off-the-charts public persona”. The participating experts, who had a slight left-leaning political bias, had academic backgrounds in “electoral politics, political communication (including political journalism), and/ or electoral behaviour”. They each evaluated one political candid...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Personality Political Source Type: blogs