Hail to the Narcissist: POTUS And Personality

The Huffington Post:

Looking back on U.S. history, certain presidents clearly stand out as larger than life. Andrew Jackson, TR, LBJ — these were flamboyant and domineering men, and also great leaders. Some might quibble about who among these had the biggest personality, but no one would put Calvin Coolidge or Millard Fillmore in their company.

Historians and biographers have commented on the curious co-existence of excellence and malignance in individual presidents. But does this personality type — this mix of brightness and darkness — actually predict presidential greatness? A team of psychological scientists has been exploring this idea. Emory University professor Scott Lilienfeld and graduate student Ashley Watts hypothesized that a personality type called “grandiose narcissism” might explain both the positive and negative aspects of the more enigmatic U.S. presidents.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

See Scott Lilienfeld at the 25th APS Annual Convention.

Wray Herbert is an author and award-winning journalist who writes two popular blogs for APS, We’re Only Human and Full Frontal Psychology.

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