Psychological profiles show what makes candidates tick
Aubrey Immelman, associate professor of psychology at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., is nationally recognized for his psychological assessments of political candidates. His profiles attempt to predict policy orientation, political performance, and leadership effectiveness on the basis of personal characteristics.
November 21, 1999
Collegeville course takes close look at candidates
We plan to share their perceptions of the 2000 election campaign
By Randy Krebs
— You might think that political junkies, stand-up comedians and
overexcited journalists are the only people paying close attention to the
2000 presidential race at this point.
there are 17 students at St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict
who are scrutinizing everything from sound bites to autobiographies when
it comes to the 2000 presidential race.
are enrolled in a class known as “Psychological Assessment of
Presidential Candidates,” the goal of which is for them to analyze the
politicians’ personalities and project how they might act if elected.
as a Times reader, will get to see those assessments on this page, ideally
every Sunday until the election.
students will be using media reports, autobiographies and anything else
they can find to shape their personality assessments for instructor Aubrey
students then will use those profiles for predicting candidates’
leadership skills and potential performance if they were to become
17 class members include five seniors, four juniors and nine sophomores.
Their majors range from undecided to biology.
most selected one of the major presidential candidates to profile, a few
are analyzing other politicians, including New York’s Rudolph Giuliani
and our own Jesse Ventura.
the students will be working in pairs for their projects.
students already wrote a piece that appeared in the Nov. 7 Times. Senior
Stephanie Anderson and junior Holly Berreau had chosen to follow
Republican candidate Elizabeth Dole.
when Dole dropped out of the race, Anderson and Berreau put their
knowledge together and came up with a detailed analysis of her candidacy
and withdrawal speech. They also projected that her personality could
drive her to seek to be vice president some day.
just an example of what the students plan to provide so you can improve
your understanding and make a better-informed vote next November.
in the class have a top-notch teacher in Aubrey Immelman.
a native of South Africa, has gained a national reputation for his
personality profiles of politicians. He’s appeared on MSNBC and been
featured in many national articles.
even gained acclaim in political circles, receiving a nice write-up in the
Aug. 19 edition of The Hill, a newspaper targeting those who live, work
and breathe Capitol Hill issues.
article by St. John’s alumnus Albert Eisele pointed to Immelman’s
study of President Clinton in 1996. In it, Immelman predicted Clinton
“would likely continue to display his driving ambition, supreme
self-confidence and personal charisma,” but would be “troubled by
ethical questions and lapses of judgment.”
we found out about Monica Lewinsky. Enough said.
of Immelman’s many goals for the students is to give them “the ability
to evaluate the impact of personality variables on leadership style and
role performance in politics.”
that means for Times subscribers is a chance to read about what makes
these politicians tick and how that will relate to the possibility of
leading a nation.
Copyright 2000 St. Cloud Times