Psychologists Find Intelligence and Personality Traits Forecast Presidential Success, But Character Does Not

Bush Scores in Lower Third of Past Presidents on Index of Success Factors, Kerry About Average


HOUSTON, Sept. 7, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- "Personality, Character, and Leadership in The White House: Psychologists Assess The Presidents is by far the most comprehensive scientific study of presidential personality ever published. It must provide the starting point for all future debate about the intricate connection between a president's personality and his leadership," said Dean Simonton, Professor of Psychology, University of California, Davis, author of "Why Presidents Succeed and Greatness: Who Makes History and Why."

In this landmark project, psychologists enlisted nearly 120 respected biographers to complete extensive personality tests on the president(s) they studied. The results offer a perspective of the presidency never seen before. For the first time, the personalities of presidents are revealed through a refined, objective procedure the authors call "personality portraits." The book contains dozens of unanticipated findings and concludes there have been eight types of presidential personality to date. Some other findings include:

 --  The ability to lie and deceive is an important quality for 
     success in the White House.

 --  Presidents are much more extroverted today and less 
     intellectually curious than in the past. They may also be 
     lower in character. 

 --  Modern democratic presidents, as a group, tend to be very 
     extroverted, achievement-oriented, ebullient, and sympathetic 
     to the poor, but are relatively unprincipled and willing to 

 --  Modern republican presidents tend to be less sympathetic to 
     the poor and much more inclined to rely on traditional sources 
     of moral authority than average Americans. They are not 
     interested in philosophical discussions or solving challenging 

 --  George W. Bush most resembles former presidents Andrew Jackson 
     and Ronald Reagan. 

"Although many books proclaim to be unique and groundbreaking, this one really is. All previous attempts to understand presidential psychology and its importance simply pale beside this work, " said Professor of History Tim Blessing, author of "Greatness in the White House."

"Personality, Character, and Leadership In The White House: Psychologists Assess The Presidents" is published by Brasseys ( and available online at and in some bookstores. In the future, the authors plan to profile other illustrious and notorious figures, including Alexander, Cleopatra, Jesus, Napoleon, and Hitler. A profile on John Kerry will appear on the authors' website ( approximately September 15 and detail his strengths and weaknesses as a potential president and compare him with Bush. Website visitors can take a professionally constructed personality test and see if they have the right stuff to be president.

The Authors

Dr. Steven J. Rubenzer is a clinical and forensic psychologist in private practice in Houston, Texas. He has published in books, psychology journals, and legal publications.

Dr. Thomas R. Faschingbauer is a retired medical psychologist with many books, book chapters, and journal articles to his credit, most in the area of personality assessment.

Dr. Deniz S. Ones (contributor) holds the Hellervik Distinguished Chair in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of Minnesota. She is one the world's leading experts in the relationship of personality to job performance.

Contact Note: Dr. Rubenzer will be at a convention the week of Sept. 9/7 - 9/10, but can be reached at his hotel at 608-251-5511.

Additional contacts: Tom Faschingbauer (713-523-7718), Don Jacobs (703-661-1548)



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