Psychologists Find Intelligence and Eight 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. 13, 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," 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 Extraverted 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 extraverted, achievement-oriented, ebullient, and sympathetic to the poor, but are relatively unprincipled and willing to deceive.

-- 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 puzzles.

-- 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," 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 on-line 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 20 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.

About 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.

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


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