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Provide an annotated bibliography (750-1,000 words total) of the articles listed above. Including the following for each article: 1.The article citation and persistent link. These are provided above for you to paste into the assignment and are not included in the total word count. 2.A written summary of the key concept(s) of the article. Why was the study done? What was the population studied? What did the researcher(s) conclude? What other information about this study do you believe is unique or important to recall? Are there specific statements made by the author that you wish to retain?
PERSONALITY PROCESSES AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES Fearless Dominance and the U.S. Presidency: Implications of Psychopathic Personality Traits for Successful and Unsuccessful Political Leadership Scott O. Lilienfeld, Irwin D. Waldman, and Kristin Landfield Emory University Ashley L. Watts University of Georgia Steven Rubenzer Houston, Texas Thomas R. Faschingbauer Foundation for the Study of Personality in History, Houston, Texas Although psychopathic personality (psychopathy) is marked largely by maladaptive traits (e.g., poor impulse control, lack of guilt), some authors have conjectured that some features of this condition (e.g., fearlessness, interpersonal dominance) are adaptive in certain occupations, including leadership positions. We tested this hypothesis in the 42 U.S. presidents up to and including George W. Bush using (a) psychopathy trait estimates derived from personality data completed by historical experts on each president, (b) independent historical surveys of presidential leadership, and (c) largely or entirely objective indicators of presidential performance. Fearless Dominance, which reflects the boldness associated with psychopathy, was associated with better rated presidential performance, leadership, persuasiveness, crisis management, Congressional relations, and allied variables; it was also associated with several largely or entirely objective indicators of presidential performance, such as initiating new projects and being viewed as a world figure. Most of these associations survived statistical control for covariates, including intellectual brilliance, five factor model personality traits, and need for power. In contrast, Impulsive Antisociality and related traits of psychopathy were generally unassociated with rated presidential performance, although they were linked to some largely or entirely objective indicators of negative job performance, including Congressional impeachment resolutions, tolerating unethical behavior in subordinates, and negative character. These findings indicate that the boldness associated with psychopathy is an important but heretofore neglected predictor of presidential performance, and suggest that certain features of psychopathy are tied to successful interpersonal behavior. Keywords: psychopathy, antisocial behavior, leadership, politics, personality Psychopathic personality (psychopathy) is a constellation of personality traits encompassing superficial charm, egocentricity, dishonesty, guiltlessness, callousness, risk taking, poor impulse control (Cleckley, 1941/1988; Hare, 2003), and, according to many authors (Fowles & Dindo, 2009; Lykken, 1995; Patrick, 2006), fearlessness, social dominance, and immunity to anxiety. In contrast to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, text revision (DSM–IV–TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000), diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), which is primarily a behavioral condition that emphasizes a long-standing history of antisocial and criminal behavior, psychopathy is primarily a dispositional condition that emphasizes personality traits. Nevertheless, measures of these two conditions tend to be at least moderately correlated (Lilienfeld, 1994). Factor analyses of the most extensively validated measure of psychopathy, the Psychopathy Checklist–Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 2003), have often revealed two broad and moderately correlated dimensions. The first dimension (Factor 1) assesses the core interpersonal and affective features of psychopathy (e.g., guiltlessness, narcissism, glibness), whereas the second dimension (Factor 2) assesses an impulsive and antisocial lifestyle that is closely associated with ASPD (Harpur, Hare, & Hakstian, 1989; but see Cooke & Michie, 2001, and Hare, 2003, for alternative factor This article was published Online First July 23, 2012. Scott O. Lilienfeld, Irwin D. Waldman, and Kristin Landfield, Department of Psychology, Emory University; Ashley L. Watts, Department of Psychology, University of Georgia; Steven Rubenzer, Houston, Texas; Thomas R. Faschingbauer, Foundation for the Study of Personality in History, Houston, Texas. We thank Joanna Berg, Rachel Ammirati, David Molho, Gabriella Rich, Zack Babin, Marie King, and Barbara Greenspan for their helpful comments on previous drafts of this manuscript; Joshua Miller for his statistical assistance; Alan Abramowitz for his helpful advice; and Caroline Hennigar and Alyssa Redmon for their valuable assistance with data entry and library research. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Scott O. Lilienfeld, Room 473, Psychology and Interdisciplinary Sciences Building, Emory University, 36 Eagle Row, Atlanta, GA 30322. E-mail: email@example.com Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2012, Vol. 103, No. 3, 489 –505 © 2012 American Psychological Association 0022-3514/12/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/a0029392 489 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. solutions). Although the PCL-R is a semistructured interview that incorporates file information, its two major dimensions can be closely approximated by scores on normal range personality dimensions, such as those derived from the five-factor model (FFM) of personality. PCL-R Factor 1 is associated primarily with low scores on FFM Agreeableness, whereas PCL-R Factor 2 is associated primarily with low scores on both FFM Agreeableness and Conscientiousness (Miller, Lynam, Widiger, & Leukefeld, 2001). Most research demonstrates that psychopathy and its constituent traits are underpinned by dimensions rather than taxa (natural categories; see Edens, Marcus, Lilienfeld, & Poythress, 2006), offering empirical support for recent efforts to conceptualize and assess this condition within a general dimensional model of personality structure. Most research on the behavioral manifestations of psychopathy has focused on its relations with antisocial, criminal, and otherwise unsuccessful actions. Studies demonstrate that psychopathy is a risk factor for criminality and violent recidivism among prison inmates (Porter & Woodworth, 2006; Salekin, Rogers, & Sewell, 1996) as well as cheating among college students (Williams, Nathanson, & Paulhus, 2010). In addition, some authors have argued that psychopathy is associated with malignant workplace behavior. Babiak and Hare (2006) referred to psychopaths in business settings as “snakes in suits” and suggested that their propensity toward dishonesty and manipulativeness makes them destructive coworkers and bosses (see also Boddy, 2006; Heinze, Allen, Magai, & Ritzler, 2010). Despite the lengthy research tradition linking psychopathy to unsuccessful behavior, a consistent strand of clinical lore has tied psychopathy, or at least certain features of it, to socially successful behavior across a variety of domains, including the business world, politics, and everyday life (Lilienfeld, 1998). In his classic writings, Cleckley (1941/1988) referred to individuals with marked psychopathic traits whose “outward appearance may include business or professional careers that continue in a sense successful, and which are truly successful when measured by financial reward or even by the casual observer’s opinion of real accomplishment” (p. 191). Extending these observations, Lykken (1982) referred to psychopaths and heroes as “twigs from the same branch” (p. 22) and conjectured that the fearlessness associated with psychopathy can predispose to heroic behaviors. Other authors have raised the possibility of “subclinical” (Widom, 1977) or “successful” (Hall & Benning, 2006; Mullins-Sweatt, Glover, Miller, Derefinko, & Widiger, 2010) psychopaths, individuals with pronounced psychopathic traits who function effectively in circumscribed “adaptive niches” of society, such as politics, business, law enforcement, and high-risk sports. In one of the few studies to address this issue empirically, Babiak,
Neumann, and Hare (2010) examined a sample of 203 corporate professionals and found that scores on the PCL-R and its component factors were associated not only with a more problematic management style and with being a poor team player but also with superior communication skills, creativity, and strategic thinking. These important results raise the possibility that psychopathy, or at least some features of it, are associated with certain aspects of adaptive functioning in workplace settings, although they may also be associated with certain aspects of maladaptive functioning. Nevertheless, because the PCL-R ratings in this study were conducted by a single individual who was not blind to other information about participants, including information potentially relevant to criterion ratings, these results should be viewed as preliminary. Still others have speculated that some psychopathic traits, such as interpersonal dominance, persuasiveness, and venturesomeness, may be conducive to acquiring positions of political power and to successful leadership (Hogan, Raskin, & Fazzini, 1990; Lobacweski, 2007). Indeed, Lykken (1995) speculated that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. president Lyndon Baines Johnson possessed certain personality features of psychopathy: They started off life as “daring, adventurous, and unconventional youngsters who began playing by their own rules” (p. 116) but later managed to parlay these traits into political success. Nevertheless, the successful manifestations of psychopathy remain largely in the realm of clinical conjecture. Moreover, with the exception of the study by Babiak et al. (2010), the scattered research in this domain (e.g., Ishakawa, Raine, Lencz, Bihrle, & LaCasse, 2001; Widom, 1977) has focused almost exclusively on psychopathic individuals who have engaged in minimal antisocial behavior or managed to escape detection by the legal system, rather than those who are clearly successful from an interpersonal or societal standpoint (Hall & Benning, 2006). Recent work on a widely used and well-validated self-report psychopathy measure, the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI; Lilienfeld & Andrews, 1996), may shed light on this issue. Exploratory factor analyses of the PPI (Benning, Patrick, Hicks, Blonigen, & Krueger, 2003) in community samples have identified two largely uncorrelated higher order dimensions, Fearless Dominance (FD) and Impulsive Antisociality1 (IA; but see Neumann, Malterer, & Newman, 2008, for an alternative factor structure of the PPI). FD, which assesses what Patrick, Fowles, and Krueger (2009) term “boldness,” comprises such traits as social dominance, charm, physical fearlessness, and immunity to anxiety; IA comprises such traits as egocentricity, manipulativeness, poor impulse control, rebelliousness, and tendency to externalize blame. Although these two factors bear some similarities to the two major PCL-R factors, they are not isomorphic with them empirically or conceptually. In particular, although IA and PCL-R Factor 2 are moderately to highly correlated, FD and PCL-R Factor 1 are only weakly correlated (Malterer, Lilienfeld, Newman, & Neumann, 2010), largely because FD assesses a more psychologically adaptive set of traits than does PCL-R Factor 1 (Patrick, 2006). Several studies have demonstrated that the boldness assessed by FD is associated with healthy psychological adjustment—and may reflect many of the traits commonly attributed to successful psychopathy—whereas IA is associated with psychological maladjustment. Offering provisional corroboration for Lykken’s (1982) conjecture regarding fearlessness and heroism, Patrick, Edens, Poythress, Lilienfeld, and Benning (2006) found that in a sample of 96 prisoners, FD scores derived from the PPI were significantly and positively associated with self-reported heroic behaviors (e.g., breaking up fights in public, helping stranded motorists), whereas IA scores were significantly and negatively associated with these behaviors. In addition, PPI-derived FD is negatively correlated 1 In the revised version of the PPI (Lilienfeld & Widows, 2005), this dimension is termed Self-Centered Impulsivity. Nevertheless, we use the term Impulsive Antisociality here to retain continuity with most of the extant literature (e.g., Benning et al., 2003). 490 LILIENFELD ET AL. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. with measures of Axis I psychopathology, such as anxiety, depressive, and somatoform symptoms, as well as suicide attempts, whereas IA is positively associated with these indices (Benning et al., 2003; Douglas, Lilienfeld, Skeem, Edens, Poythress, & Patrick, 2008; Patrick et al., 2006). These findings are consistent with a “dual-process model” (Fowles & Dindo, 2009; see also Patrick et al., 2009, for an extended “triarchic model”) that conceptualizes psychopathy as the joint outcome of two separable etiological processes: (a) a bold temperament marked by largely adaptive functioning, assessed by FD and, to a substantially lesser extent, PCL-R Factor 1 and (2) a disposition toward disinhibition and externalizing behavior marked by largely maladaptive functioning, assessed by IA and PCL-R Factor 2. Nevertheless, the differential associations of these two components of psychopathy with both successful and unsuccessful interpersonal functioning, including job performance and leadership, have yet to be examined empirically. Patrick et al. (2009) conjectured that the boldness assessed by FD may be especially helpful in “the identification of individuals with psychopathic tendencies who ascend to positions of leadership and influence in society” (p. 925), but this intriguing hypothesis has yet to be put to an empirical test. In this study, we examined the implications of psychopathic personality traits for job performance and leadership in a remarkable sample of individuals whose successful and unsuccessful behaviors are a matter of well-documented public record: the 42 U.S. presidents up to and including George W. Bush. Inspired by the pioneering research of Simonton (1986, 1987) on presidential personality, Rubenzer, Faschingbauer, and Ones (2000) found that some personality traits, most notably high levels of openness to experience (see also Simonton, 2006), extraversion, conscientiousness, and perhaps low levels of agreeableness, are modestly correlated with independently rated job performance among the U.S. presidents. Nevertheless, no study has examined the relation of psychopathic personality traits to leadership and job performance among the U.S. presidents. We hypothesized that certain features of psychopathy, especially those assessed by FD, would be associated with successful functioning, including overall presidential leadership effectiveness, but that other features of psychopathy, especially those assessed by IA and proxies of PCL-R Factor 2, would be associated with unsuccessful functioning, including poor presidential job performance, negative personal character and integrity, and ethical misbehavior. To test these hypotheses, we drew on an existing data set of personality items obtained from biographers and experts on each president (Rubenzer & Faschingbauer, 2004) and extracted estimates of psychopathy factors based on empirically established equations from the published literature. We then correlated these psychopathy scores with (a) indices from several recent (2008 – 2011) and largely and in some cases entirely independent panels of eminent historians who had rated each president on dimensions relevant to work performance and leadership, including overall job effectiveness, leadership ability, public persuasiveness, crisis management, vision, and domestic and foreign policy accomplishments; (b) an empirically derived composite developed by Simonton (1987) of six largely or entirely objective indices of presidential greatness, including war heroism, number of y
ears served, and assassination; and (c) several other largely or entirely objective indicators of both presidential success and failure, including reelection, introduction of legislation and programs, Congressional impeachment resolutions, and rated negative presidential character (as assessed by largely objective behaviors indicative of dishonesty and unreliability). By examining largely or entirely objective indicators, we addressed the criticism that any associations between psychopathy traits and rated presidential performance are merely a function of shared subjective impressions of the presidents by different raters. We also evaluated the specificity of these findings to psychopathic personality traits, especially FD, per se. In particular, we examined the incremental validity of a number of theoretically relevant variables above and beyond FD in an effort to rule out rival hypotheses concerning the potential linkages between FD and presidential performance. In this respect, we adopted a “destructive testing” approach (see C. A. Anderson & Anderson, 1996) in an effort to ascertain how well the relations between FD and presidential performance survive covariance adjustments from “competitor” variables that provide alternative explanations. Specifically, because it is unclear whether personality traits contribute to the prediction of presidential performance above and beyond intelligence, which is an established predictor of such performance (Simonton, 2006), we examined the incremental validity of psychopathic personality traits beyond established estimates of each president’s intelligence. In addition, we examined the incremental validity of psychopathic personality traits above and beyond FFM traits, especially extraversion and openness to experience, which are positively associated with FD (Lilienfeld & Widows, 2005) as well as traits of ASPD, which as noted earlier overlap with those of psychopathy. We also examined the incremental validity of FD above and beyond rated need for power, which has clear-cut conceptual relations to interpersonal dominance and perhaps the FD dimension of psychopathy. As Winter (2005) observed, “power-motivated presidents. . .invest a great deal of energy in the job, and they enjoy it” (p. 561). Need for power has been demonstrated to be a robust predictor of presidential success (Winter, 2005). Finally, we examined the incremental validity of FD for presidential performance above and beyond Simonton’s (1987) six-element equation of largely or entirely objective historical indicators. As Simonton (2008) observed, multiple empirical efforts have failed to unearth any consistent indicators that predict presidential greatness above and beyond this equation. This lattermost incremental validity analysis provides an especially stringent test of the unique contribution of psychopathic personality traits to presidential performance. Method Raters Raters of presidents’ personality traits in this study were 121 experts recruited by Rubenzer and Fashingbauer (2004) to evaluate the personality of the 42 U.S. presidents up to and including George W. Bush; Barack Obama was not included because of the unavailability of FFM data on him from presidential experts (although there were 43 presidencies up to and including George W. Bush, there were only 42 presidents, as Grover Cleveland was elected president twice in nonconsecutive terms). Importantly, these experts were asked to rate their target president’s preoffice (see the Procedure section) personality traits using well-validated PSYCHOPATHY AND U.S. PRESIDENTS 491 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. personality measures (see the Measures of Personality, Psychopathy, and Covariates section). Because some raters completed ratings on more than one president, the total number of ratings was 177. These experts were American biographers, journalists, and scholars who are established authorities on one or a few of U.S. presidents. They had authored published biographies on each president or had been nominated by other presidential experts as particularly well informed regarding a given president. The number of expert raters per president ranged from zero to 13, with a mean of 4.2 (SD 2.9; Rubenzer et al., 2000). Measures of Personality, Psychopathy, and Covariates Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R) Form R. The NEO PI-R is a 240-item questionnaire that assesses the five major dimensions of personality (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness) from the FFM (Costa & McCrae, 1992). Nested within each of the five domains are six facet scales, each containing eight items cast in nontechnical language and endorsed on a 5-point Likert-type scale. Support for the NEO PI-R’s construct validity is extensive at both the domain and facet levels (Costa & McCrae, 1992; Lynam & Widiger, 2001). As discussed in the section below, scores on all four psychopathy indices were derived from ratings on the NEO PI-R. In this study, raters (121 presidential experts; see the Raters section) completed Form R, an observer report version of the NEO PI-R “designed to be completed by family member, friend, acquaintance— or anyone who knows the person well” (Rubenzer & Faschingbauer, 2004, p. 5). In this sample, the internal consistencies (Cronbach’s alphas) of the five NEO PI-R domain scales ranged from .91 to .94. FFM-derived prototypes of psychopathy factors and ASPD. Using a rational/theoretical approach, Derefinko and Lynam (2006; see also Widiger & Lynam, 1998) mapped the 30 facets of the FFM onto the two major factors of the PCL-R. As noted earlier, PCL-R Factor 1 assesses the core interpersonal and affective features of psychopathy, whereas PCL-R Factor 2 assesses an antisocial and impulsive lifestyle. The scores on FFM Factors 1 and 2 (which parallel the corresponding two factors of the PCL-R) are weighted composites of several of the FFM facets, namely, those deemed relevant to psychopathy. For example, FFM Factor 1 is a weighted composite of FFM facets from the domains of neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, all reversed in scoring (see Derefinko & Lynam, 2006, Table 1, p. 265). These FFM factor scores display good validity; for example, both correlate highly (rs between .5 and .6) with total scores on the PPI and the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (SRP; Hare, Harpur, & Hemphill, 1989) and exhibit significant positive correlations with their respective Factor 1 and Factor 2 scores on the PPI and SRP (Derefinko & Lynam, 2006). To assess ASPD, scores on the prototype developed by Miller et al. (2001) were used. These authors constructed an expertgenerated FFM prototype of psychopathy and the 10 DSM–IV–TR personality disorders by asking experts to rate the prototypical expression of each personality disorder on a 1–5 scale using the 30 facets of the NEO PI-R. Any FFM facet with a mean lower than 2 or higher than 4 was included in each disorder’s prototype. Scores that most closely match the expert-generated psychopathy prototype correlate significantly and positively with several laboratory tasks theoretically relevant to psychopathy (e.g., measures of temporal discounting and proactive aggression) and self-reported aggression (Derefinko & Lynam, 2006; Miller & Lynam, 2003). In this study, expert-generated psychopathy FFM prototypes of Factors 1 and 2 were used, which parallel the two broad factors of the PCL-R, as well as the FFM prototype for ASPD (see Lynam & Widiger, 2001). Factor estimates of FD and IA. To extract measures of FD and IA, we relied on regression-based formulas developed by Ross, Benning, Patrick, Thompson, and Thurston (2009, p. 80), which use the 30 NEO PI-R facets of the FFM to estimate scores on these two dimensions, heretofore referred to as FFM-FD and FFM-IA.2 Ross et al. found that these regression formulas, after
double cross-validation within their sample, accounted for between 68% and 79% of the variance in FD and IA scores derived from the PPI. Intellectual brilliance. Intellectual brilliance estimates for each president were drawn from the work of Simonton (1986, 2006), who derived a measure of Intellectual Brilliance from an exploratory factor analysis of adjectives from the Gough Adjective Checklist (Gough & Heilbrun, 1965) completed by multiple independent judges who rated the presidents. Using scores on FFM openness to experience (which tends to be moderately correlated with measured intelligence), Simonton (2004) later used missingdata iterative methods to extrapolate Intellectual Brilliance scores for the presidents from Ronald Reagan onward. The Intellectual Brilliance measure consists of such adjectives as intelligent, wise, complicated, and insightful, and correlates highly with other estimates of the U.S presidents’ intelligence derived from biographical information (Simonton, 2006). Need for power. Ratings of power needs were derived from Winter (1987; see also Winter, 1973, 1983), who examined inaugural addresses from American presidents (available before 1981). These speeches were coded by two raters, who demonstrated category agreement over .85 on power imagery. Disagreements between raters were deliberated upon until resolved. Raw scores, used in the analyses here, were defined in terms of power images per 1,000 words. Outcome Measures of Presidential Performance Presidential performance surveys. To assess outcome variables relevant to presidential performance, we relied primarily on data from two recent, large, and widely publicized American surveys of presidential historians. First, data were used from a 2009 C-SPAN poll of 62 identified presidential historians who rated the presidents on 10 continuous dimensions of job performance (see http://legacy.c-span.org/Content/PDF/CSPANpresidentialsurveyPR021509.pdf). Fifty-four of these 62 historians were independent of those who rated the presidents on 2 The PPI also contains a subscale, Coldheartedness, that does not load highly on either FD or IA and hence is excluded from computation of these two factors. Analyses of FFM-estimated Coldheartedness did not yield significant associations with any of the primary presidential poll variables examined here with one exception: PPI Coldheartedness was significantly and negatively associated with C-SPAN Poll Pursuit of Equal Justice (2 5.42, p .020). In addition, Coldheartedness was significantly and negatively associated with Siena College Poll Ability to Compromise (see Footnote 3) (2 4.93, p .026). 492 LILIENFELD ET AL. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. the NEO-PI-R and other personality items. The 10 dimensions of job performance were overall job performance, public persuasiveness, handling of crises, moral authority, economic management, international relations, administrative skill, Congressional relations, setting of an agenda, and pursuit of equal justice (pairwise rs across these dimensions ranged from .46 to .96, all ps .001). Second, data were used from a 2010 Siena College survey of 238 anonymous presidential historians who ranked the presidents on 21 dimensions of job performance (see http://www.siena.edu/ uploadedfiles/home/parents_and_community/community_page/ sri/independent_research/Presidents%20Release_2010_final.pdf). For the analyses reported here, we focused on 13 Siena College survey variables for which we had clear-cut predictions: overall ranking, overall ability, leadership ability, party leadership, integrity, executive ability, communication ability, domestic accomplishments, foreign policy accomplishments, handling of the economy, relationship with Congress, willingness to take risks, and avoiding crucial mistakes (pairwise Spearman rs across these rankings ranged from .18 to .97, all ps .05). To facilitate comparisons between the two surveys, the Siena College rankings were reversed in scoring for the analyses reported here so that higher ranks correspond to superior-rated job performance. As a third indicator, psychopathy scores with a composite measure of presidential greatness derived from the work of Simonton (2006, p. 515) were correlated. This greatness measure is a sum of standardized (z-scored) results from 12 independent surveys of overall presidential performance. Research demonstrates that independent surveys of presidential performance taken across the decades yield similar results, with correlations of overall rankings typically in the r .9 range or above (Simonton, 2006). As a final check on the findings from the C-SPAN and Siena College surveys of presidential performance and Simonton composite measure of presidential greatness, data from two additional recent smaller surveys of U.S. presidential performance from the United Kingdom were examined (see http://americas.sas.ac.uk/research/ survey/index.html). These two surveys have two major advantages: (a) The individuals who completed these polls are entirely independent of those who completed the NEO-PI-R and other personality measures on the presidents, and (b) they do not derive from U.S. historians, and hence offer a largely independent international test of the association between psychopathic personality traits and presidential performance. As a consequence, they should be relatively free of biases shared exclusively by U.S. historians. The first U.K. poll was a 2008 survey conducted by the Times of London that asked eight premier political and international reporters to rank the U.S. presidents in terms of overall quality (The Times of London, 2008). The second U.K. poll was the United States Presidency Centre (USPC) Survey conducted by the Institute for the Study of the Americas (2011) at the University of London. The raters in this survey were 47 U.K. scholars who were established experts in U.S. presidential and political history. They were asked to rate the U.S. presidents on five dimensions: vision/setting of an agenda (heretofore referred to as vision), domestic leadership, foreign policy leadership, moral authority, and long-term positive legacy. In addition, the poll yielded an overall ranking of the presidents in terms of quality. Two presidents (William Henry Harrison and James Garfield) were excluded from this survey because of their brief presidencies. Again, the ranked scores on these two surveys were reversed in scoring so that higher scores corresponded to more successful presidencies. Historical measures of presidents’ job performance and behavior. In addition to the aforementioned surveys of presidential performance, scores on an empirically established (regressionderived) formula developed by Simonton (1987) was examined to predict presidential greatness. This Simonton historical composite consists of a weighted sum of six largely or entirely objective variables of behavior: number of years served, number of war years as president, war heroism prior to becoming president, estimated intellectual brilliance (see below), scandals while in office (coded negatively), and victim of an assassination. Being the victim of an assassination is a well-established indicator of presidential greatness. Indeed, this dichotomous variable correlates positively with a variety of independent indicators of presidential greatness. As Simonton (1994) noted, Systematic analyses of all U.S. presidents reveal that successful assassination is one of the best things that can happen to a chief executive’s (necessarily posthumous) reputation. Getting assassinated adds about as much to a former president’s greatness rating as serving five years in office or leading the nation through four years in war (p. 76). Although at least some of the association between assassination and rated presidential performance is probably reputational (being the victim of an assassination probably leads historians to view a president as great in hindsight), it is pro
bably also partly a function of the fact that presidents who were the targets of assassination were willing to make enemies by initiating bold and controversial changes (see also Simonton, 1994). Indeed, in this data set, the dichotomous variable of being assassinated was associated with rated willingness to take risks in the Siena College survey (point biserial r .18, p .019) and with ratings (on a 1–9 scale) by presidential historians on the variable of “shows moral courage” (point biserial r .20, p .008). In addition, six other largely or entirely objective indicators of presidential performance were examined: (a) reelection (Kenney & Rice, 1988), (b) winning an election by a landslide (i.e., by 55% or more of the popular vote; Kenney & Rice, 1988), (c) subject of one or more Congressional impeachment resolutions (Perkins, 2003), (d) initiation of new legislation and programs, (e) viewed by others as a world figure, and (f) tolerates unethical behavior in subordinates. Variables 1–3 were coded dichotomously, and were derived from the historical record. Variables 4 – 6 were rated on a 1–9 scale and estimated by the same 121 experts who evaluated each president on the NEO PI-R. As a consequence, these latter three variables are not strictly independent of the NEO-PI-R ratings from which psychopathy score estimates were derived. It was predicted that given its association with the successful features of psychopathy, FFM-FD and perhaps FFM Factor 1 would be positively associated with the Simonton composite sixitem index of greatness and Variables 1, 2, 4, and 5. In contrast, it was predicted that given their theoretical ties to adaptive behavior, FFM-FD and perhaps FFM Factor 1 would be uncorrelated or negatively correlated with Variables 3 and 6 but that given their ties to unsuccessful behavior, FFM-IA and FFM Factor 2 would be positively correlated with these variables. Presidential character. To supplement the largely or entirely objective historical indicators, a composite measure of negative presidential character consisting of various indicators of antisocial PSYCHOPATHY AND U.S. PRESIDENTS 493 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. and otherwise problematic behavior was analyzed. From the personality items administered to presidential historians, Rubenzer and Faschingbauer (2004) used a rational/theoretical approach to construct several measures of presidential character and integrity (with items scored on a 1–9 scale), one of which was deemed relevant to the analyses here. Character Scale 1 (Negative Character) comprises 20 items administered to the presidential historians that assess largely objective behavioral indicators, in particular “the types of behaviors that make the news as indicators of character or the lack of it” (p. 332). These items include bullying others; abusing positions of power held; stealing; frequent cursing; extramarital affairs; cheating on sports, taxes, or business; gambling; and frequent absenteeism. It was predicted that FFM-FD and FFM Factor 1 would be largely uncorrelated with this measure, but that FFM-IA and FFM Factor 2 would be positively correlated with this measure. The internal consistency of the Negative Character scale in this sample, as measured by Cronbach’s alpha, was .90. Procedure The 121 expert raters completed a 596-item questionnaire evaluating the personality and behavior of their respective president(s) of focus; this measure contained the NEO-PI-R (Costa & McCrae, 1992), a set of items designed to assess presidential character (Rubenzer & Faschingbauer, 2004), and other items that were not analyzed here because they were not directly pertinent to psychopathy. These experts rated their target president’s personality for the 5 years prior to his assuming office to minimize criterion contamination in analyses of the associations between personality and presidential performance. Results Interrater Reliabilities of Measures of Psychopathy and ASPD In this sample, the average pairwise interrater reliability correlations, estimated using generalized estimating equations (GEEs; see the Associations between psychopathy factors and surveyrated dimensions of presidential performance section) across presidential raters for FFM Factor 1 (which assesses the core interpersonal and affective features of psychopathy) and FFM Factor 2 (which assesses an antisocial and impulsive lifestyle) were .31 and .42, respectively; for the FFM prototype for ASPD, the average pairwise correlation was .62. These correlations are well within the range of correlations typically reported for interobserver agreement in personality. For example, Kenrick and Funder (1988, Table 2, p. 26) found that mean correlations for personality traits (e.g., dominance, sociability) across raters were mostly in the .30 –.50 range. The average pairwise interrater reliability correlations for FFM-FD and FFM-IA across presidential raters, again obtained using GEE, were .56 and .34, respectively. Correlations Among Psychopathy Measures The correlation between FFM Factor 1 and FFM Factor 2 was r .63 (p .001). Consistent with previous literature on the PPI factors (e.g., Benning et al., 2003; Miller & Lynam, in press), FFM-FD and FFM-IA were not significantly correlated (r .09, ns). The correlations between FFM-FD and FFM Factors 1 and 2 were r .16 (p .05) and .18 (p .05), respectively; the correlations between FFM-IA and FFM Factors 1 and 2 were r .59 (p .001) and .92 (p .001), respectively. Mean Psychopathy Scores of the Presidents We next compared presidents’ scores on the four major psychopathy variables with those of the normative sample on which NEOPI-R Form R had been completed. To do so, we computed scores on these four variables from the Form R facet-level normative data reported in the NEO-PI-R manual (see Costa & McCrae, 2000) and compared them with the scores on the 42 presidents from the present sample, in both cases using the formulas described earlier (see the Measures of Personality, Psychopathy, and Covariates section). Presidents scored higher on FFM-FD (M 0.32, SD 1.48) compared with the normative sample ( M 0.94). In contrast, their mean scores on FFM-IA (M 11.55, SD 2.45) were virtually identical to those of the normative sample (M 11.69). In addition, presidents scored higher on FFM Factor 1 (M 111.32, SD 18.27) compared with the normative sample (M 97.71). In contrast, their mean scores on FFM Factor 2 (M 100.23, SD 27.07) were only slightly higher than those of the normative sample (M 96.72). These findings tell a reasonably clear story: Compared with the general population, presidents receive higher scores on those aspects of psychopathy ostensibly tied to more adaptive or at least less maladaptive functioning, namely FFM-FD (Cohen’s d .42) and FFM Factor 1 (Cohen’s d .74), with this difference in the medium to large range. In contrast, presidents’ scores on those aspects of psychopathy tied more explicitly to maladaptive functioning, namely FFM-IA (Cohen’s d .06) and FFM Factor 2 (Cohen’s d .13), were comparable to those of the general population, with differences in the negligible or small range. Associations Between Psychopathy Factors and Survey-Rated Dimensions of Presidential Performance To account for the nesting of expert presidential raters within presidents and for the differential number of raters per president, we analyzed the associations between psychopathic personality traits and dimensions of presidential performance using general linear modeling with GEE treating the data as nested, with president as a subject variable and rater as a within-subject variable. Generalized linear models allow the outcome variables to be treated as nonnormally distributed and use appropriate distributional and link functions in these cases (e.g., a binomial distribution and logit link in the case of a binary dependent variable,
a normal distribution and an identity link in the case of a continuous dependent variable). For outcome variables that departed markedly from normality, we conducted reanalyses using a normal distribution and a log link function; because the results were similar to those assuming a normal distribution, we present only the latter analyses here. In the analyses reported here, we entered each psychopathy variable (FFM-FD, FFM-IA, FFM Factor 1, FFM Factor 2) entered separately (one at a time) as a predictor in the analyses rather than in conjunction with the other psychopathy variables. Nevertheless, in incremental validity analyses designed to ascertain the contribution of a psychopathy variable over and above other covariates, we entered the psychopathy variable of interest (e.g., FFM-FD) in conjunction with the covariate of interest, and its incremental contribution was ascertained using the GEE Type III sum of squares. 494 LILIENFELD ET AL. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. Table 1 shows the associations (along with R-square ratios as effect sizes, computed by Wald’s 2 divided by the total number of raters; see Rosenthal, 1991) between psychopathy variables and C-SPAN historian ratings of presidential performance. For statistically significant and marginally significant (p .05 .10) findings in this and other tables, the direction of the association ( for positive, for negative) is indicated in parentheses following the corresponding chi-square values. As can be seen in Table 1, FFM-IA and FFM Factors 1 and 2 were not significantly associated with any of the C-SPAN ratings. In contrast, as predicted, FFM-FD was significantly and positively associated with a number of domains of C-SPANrated presidential performance: overall performance, public persuasiveness, crisis management, agenda setting, and Congressional relations. The findings for the Siena College Poll rankings, displayed in Table 2, broadly corroborated those of the C-SPAN poll. FFM-IA and FFM Factors 1 and 2 were not significantly associated with presidential performance with a few noteworthy exceptions: FFM Factor 2 was significantly and negatively related to rated presidential integrity, and FFM-IA and FFM Factor 2 were significantly and positively related to rated willingness to take risks. Again, in contrast, FFM-FD was significantly and positively associated with numerous Siena College poll indicators of presidential performance: overall ranking, leadership ability, party leadership, communication ability, Congressional relations, and willingness to take risks.3 Analyses of Simonton’s (1987) z-scored greatness composite of 12 presidential polls yielded similar results: Of the four psychopathy indicators, only FFM-FD was significantly associated with superior overall performance (2 7.68, p .006; R2 4.3%). Excluding the Impact of Rater Overlap We next wished to rule out the possibility that the associations between FFM-FD and presidential performance were due to overlap between the historians who completed the personality ratings and those who completed the surveys of presidential greatness. This possibility could not be examined for the Siena College poll, as the raters were anonymous. Nevertheless, as noted earlier, eight of the 62 C-SPAN presidential raters were among the same expert historians who rated the presidents on the personality variables, including the NEO-PI-R. Subsidiary analyses excluding these eight raters yielded no substantial changes in the associations between psychopathy variables and C-SPAN variables. For example, even after excluding these raters, FFM-FD continued to predict C-SPAN overall performance (2 6.24, p .013, R2 3.8%), public persuasiveness (2 11.00, p .001, R2 6.6%), crisis management (2 7.58, p .006, R2 4.6%), agenda setting (2 9.57, p .002, R2 5.8%), and Congressional relations (2 6.87, p .009, R2 4.1%). These analyses demonstrate that the association between FFM-FD and presidential performance in the C-SPAN cannot be explained by rater overlap. As a second test of the predictive power of FFM-FD, we examined the results from two additional recent polls of presidential performance from the United Kingdom (see the Method section). As noted earlier, none of the raters in these polls was among those who completed personality measures on the presidents, therefore lending this survey the advantage of being free of rater overlap. For the Times of London survey, FFM-FD significantly predicted overall presidential ranking (2 4.48, p .034, R2 2.5%). For the USPC survey, FFM-FD was not 3 Complete analyses on the other eight Siena College survey variables (luck, background, imagination, intelligence, court appointments, executive appointments, ability to compromise, historians’ current overall view of each president) are available from the first author on request. To summarize, FFM-FD was significantly and positively associated with Siena College Luck (2 7.28, p .007), Imagination (2 6.10, p .014), and Ability to Compromise (2 6.82, p .009). In contrast, FFM Factor 1 was significantly and negatively associated with Ability to Compromise (2 5.71, p .017). None of the other associations between the four psychopathy indicators and Siena College survey variables was statistically significant. Table 1 Associations Between Psychopathy Dimensions and C-SPAN Poll Presidential Variables Predictor FFM-FD FFM-IA FFM-F1 FFM-F2 2 p R2 2 p R2 2 p R2 2 p R2 Dependent measure Overall performance 6.41 () .011 3.6% 0.045 .831 0% 0.805 .370 0% 0.00 .987 0% Public persuasiveness 11.29 () .001 6.4% 0.686 .408 0% 0.026 .871 0% 1.05 .306 0% Crisis management 7.72 () .005 4.4% 0.297 .586 0% 0.483 .487 0% 0.249 .681 0% Moral authority 2.56 .109 1.4% 1.22 .270 0% 2.00 .158 0% 1.88 .170 1.1% Economic management 3.39 () .065 2.0% 0.498 .480 0% 1.04 .307 0% 0.015 .901 0% International relations 1.42 .234 1.0% 0.014 .916 0% 0.080 .777 0% 0.009 .923 0% Agenda setting 9.62 () .002 5.4% 0.143 .232 0% 0.002 .962 1.0% 1.12 .290 1.0% Administrative skill 1.51 .220 1.0% 0.054 .817 0% 0.407 .524 0% 0.976 .323 1.0% Pursuit of equal justice 3.45 () .063 2.0% 0.178 .183 0% 0.971 .325 1.0% 0.929 .335 1.0% Congressional relations 7.05 () .008 4.0% 0.063 .801 0% 0.660 .417 0% 0.065 .798 0% Note. N of presidents 42; N of ratings 177. FFM-FD Five-Factor Model-Fearless Dominance; FFM-IA Five-Factor Model-Impulsive Antisociality; FFM-F1 Five-Factor Model Factor 1 (core interpersonal and affective features of psychopathy) Prototype; FFM-F2 Five-Factor Model Factor 2 (antisocial and impulsive lifestyle) Prototype. Pluses () following the chi-square values indicate the direction of the effect, and are indicated for all statistically significant or marginally significant results. PSYCHOPATHY AND U.S. PRESIDENTS 495 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. significantly associated with overall ranking, although this association approached significance (2 3.54, p .06, R2 2.0%). With respect to the five specific USPC dimensions, FFM-FD was significantly associated with vision (2 6.26, p .012, R2 3.6%) and domestic leadership (2 7.30, p .007, R2 4.2%), and associated with long-term positive legacy at the level of a statistical trend (2 3.60, p .058, R2 2.0%). The relations between FFM-FD and moral authority (2 .93, p .335, R2 1.0%) and foreign policy leadership (2 1.73, p .189, R2 1.0%) were nonsignificant (FFM-FD was also not significantly associated with an additive composite of these five dimensions). Associations Between Psychopathy Factors and Largely or Entirely Objective Indicators Although the previous analyses provided evidence that FFM-FD is significantly associated with numerous independent expert ratings of presid
ential performance and leadership, we sought additional corroboration using largely or entirely objective indicators of presidential behavior. Table 3 shows that, as predicted, FFM-FD was significantly and positively associated with the Simonton six-item composite,4 with rated initiation of new legislation and programs, and with being viewed as a world figure. Contrary to prediction, FFM-FD was not significantly associated with reelection or winning elections by a landslide, although the latter relation was marginally significant. FFM Factor 1, however, was positively associated with winning elections by landslides. As predicted, both FFM-IA and FFM Factor 2 were significantly and positively associated with Congressional impeachment resolutions,5 tolerating unethical behavior in subordinates, and negative character. Unexpectedly, FFM Factor 1 was positively associated with impeachment resolutions and negative character. Incremental Validity Analyses We next addressed the question of how much FFM-FD contributed to presidential performance in the two major polls (C-SPAN and Siena) and the Simonton greatness survey of 12 composite polls beyond each of eight theoretically and empirically relevant predictors: Intellectual Brilliance, the “Big Five” personality dimensions of the FFM, ASPD, and rated need for power. These analyses help to rule out a host of rival hypotheses regarding the association between FFM-FD and presidential performance. In these analyses, we entered FFM-FD and each covariate (taken singly) simultaneously in the GEE analysis, testing the incremental contribution of FFM-FD over and above each covariate. Controlling statistically for Intellectual Brilliance reduced the associations between FFM-FD and Siena College poll overall ranking (2 2.37, p .13) and party leadership (2 3.80, p .051) to nonsignificance.6 FFM-FD remained a significant predictor of all of the significant associations previously reported after controlling statistically for FFM Agreeableness. In contrast, controlling for the other FFM dimensions 4 The Simonton six-element composite includes assassinations, but not assassination attempts. Expanding the analysis to presidents who were the victims of assassination attempts yielded a marginally significant association between FFM-FD and the presence versus absence of such attempts (2 3.18, p .074). 5 Analyses that limited this variable to only the three presidents who were either impeached or faced imminent impeachment (Jackson, Nixon, and Clinton) yielded similar results; for FFM-IA, 2 21.89 (p .001); for FFM Factor 1, 2 4.19 (p .041); and for FFM Factor 2, 2 27.78 (p .001). 6 Analyses on the estimated intelligence of each president (see Simonton, 1986) yielded similar results to those for Intellectual Brilliance, and are available from the first author on request. Table 2 Associations Between Psychopathy Dimensions and Siena College Poll Presidential Variables Predictor FFM-FD FFM-IA FFM-F1 FFM-F2 2 p R2 2 p R2 2 p R2 2 p R2 Dependent measure Overall ranking 4.09 () .043 2.3% 0.299 .584 0% 0.462 .497 0% 0.034 .855 0% Overall ability 2.52 .113 1.4% 0.143 .231 0% 0.005 .947 0% 0.363 .547 0% Leadership ability 9.28 () .002 5.2% 0.595 .441 0% 0.033 .856 0% 0.576 .448 0% Party leadership 6.73 () .009 3.8% 1.19 .275 0% 0.251 .616 0% 1.34 .248 1.0% Integrity 0.825 .364 0% 2.47 .116 0% 2.24 .134 0% 5.21 () .022 2.9% Executive ability 3.71 () .054 2.1% 0.770 .380 0% 0.00 .987 0% 0.169 .681 0% Communication ability 6.60 () .010 3.7% 1.19 .276 1.0% 0.101 .751 0% 0.857 .354 0% Domestic accomplishments 2.85 () .091 1.6% 1.33 .248 0% 0.105 .745 0% 0.456 .500 0% Foreign policy accomplishments 1.02 .313 0% 0.012 .913 0% 0.380 .538 0% 0.145 .703 0% Handling of economy 2.45 .117 1.4% 1.35 .246 0% 0.203 .653 0% 0.505 .477 0% Relationship with Congress 6.42 () .011 3.6% 0.037 .847 0% 0.331 .565 0% 0.005 .945 0% Willingness to take risks 9.55 () .002 5.4% 5.11 () .024 2.9% 0.713 .399 0% 4.59 () .032 2.6% Avoiding crucial mistakes 2.72 () .099 1.5% 2.16 .142 1.2% 2.90 () .090 0% 2.34 .126 1.3% Note. N of presidents 42; N of ratings 177. FFM-FD Five-Factor Model-Fearless Dominance; FFM-IA Five-Factor Model-Impulsive Antisociality; FFM-F1 Five-Factor Model Factor 1 (core interpersonal and affective features of psychopathy) Prototype; FFM-F2 Five-actor Model Factor 2 (antisocial and impulsive lifestyle) Prototype. Pluses () and minuses () following the chi-square values indicate the direction of the effect, and are indicated for all statistically significant or marginally significant results. 496 LILIENFELD ET AL. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. reduced some of the FFM-FD associations with presidential performance to nonsignificance, in most cases to the level of statistical trends. Controlling for FFM Extraversion reduced the association between FFM-FD and C-SPAN overall performance (2 3.52, p .061) and crisis management (2 2.62, p .106) to nonsignificance; it also rendered the association between FFM-FD and Siena College overall rank to nonsignificance (2 3.35, p .067). Controlling for FFM Openness to Experience reduced the association between FFM-FD and C-SPAN overall performance (2 3.27, p .07), Siena overall ranking (2 1.30, p .25) and communication ability (2 2.32, p .13) to nonsignificance. Controlling for FFM Neuroticism reduced the association between FFM-FD and Siena College poll Congressional relations (2 3.37, p .066) to nonsignificance. Controlling for FFM Conscientiousness reduced the association between FFM-FD and Siena College overall rank to nonsignificance. Finally, controlling for FFM Openness to Experience reduced the association between FFM-FD and C-SPAN overall performance (2 3.27, p .07), Siena overall ranking (2 1.30, p .25), and communication ability (2 2.32, p .13) to nonsignificance. All of the other associations between FFM-FD C-SPAN and Siena College variables remained significant after controlling for FFM variables. Notably, the association between FFM-FD and the Simonton 12 survey greatness composite remained statistically significant after statistical control for each FFM personality dimension. Controlling for the FFM ASPD prototype reduced the association between FFM-FD and Siena College poll party leadership (2 3.82, p .051) to nonsignificance. In addition, controlling for rated need for power reduced the association between FFM-FD and Siena College poll overall ranking to marginal significance (2 3.55, p .059). All other associations controlling for each of these two variables remained statistically significant. Notably, the association between FFM-FD and the Simonton six-element composite of historical indicators also remained statistically significant after controlling for most covariates. The exceptions were Openness to Experience (2 2.11, p .15) and Intellectual Brilliance (2 1.70, p .19); the latter finding must be interpreted in light of the fact that the Simonton six-element composite itself includes Intellectual Brilliance. In the last major incremental validity analysis, we examined whether FFM-FD displayed incremental validity above and beyond Simonton’s six-element equation of largely or entirely objective historical indicators. As noted earlier, there is no consistent evidence that any other indicators predict global presidential performance above and beyond this equation (Simonton, 2008). GEE analyses revealed that after controlling statistically for scores on this equation, FFM-FD was not significantly related to overall performance in any of the four surveys examined here, although its association with C-SPAN overall performance approached significance (2 3.51, p .061). Nor was FFM-FD significantly related to the Simonton 12 survey greatness composite above and beyond the sixelement equation. Nevertheless, even after controlling for scores on this equation, FFM-FD remained significantly a
ssociated with a number of specific dimensions of presidential performance: C-SPAN Public Persuasiveness (2 9.81, p .002), C-SPAN Crisis-Management (2 6.12, p .013), C-SPAN Agenda-Setting (2 6.86, p .009), Siena College Leadership Ability (2 8.24, p .004), Siena College Communication Ability (2 4.29, p .038), and Siena College Willingness to Take Risks (2 7.11, p .008).7 Presidents’ Scores on FFM-FD Finally, given that our principal positive findings centered on FFM-FD, Table 4 displays the scores of the 42 presidents (in 7 In contrast, scores on the Simonton equation consistently predicted ratings of presidential performance above and beyond scores on FFMFD. For example, this equation predicted C-SPAN Overall Performance (2 40.11, p .001), Siena College Overall Rank (2 71.2, p .001), and Simonton Presidential Greatness (2 83.89, p .001) even after controlling for scores on FFM-FD. These analyses demonstrate that Simonton’s equation possesses considerable variance relevant to presidential effectiveness that is not shared with fearless dominance. Table 3 Associations Between Psychopathy Dimensions and Largely or Entirely Objective Indicators of Presidential Behavior Predictor FFM-FD FFM-IA FFM-F1 FFM-F2 2 p R2 2 p R2 2 p R2 2 p R2 Dependent measure Simonton 6-item composite 5.48 () .019 3.1% 0.953 .329 1.0% 0.037 .847 0% 0.185 .667 0% Reelection 1.188 .276 1.0% 0.016 .990 0% 0.108 .743 0% 0.079 .778 0% Election landslide 2.99 () .084 1.7% 1.512 .219 1.0% 7.67 () .006 4.3% 2.580 .108 1.5% Impeachment resolutions 0.089 .765 0% 15.16 () .001 8.8% 0.110 .740 0% 11.64 () .001 6.6% Initiates new legislation and programs 12.23 () .001 6.9% 0.679 .410 0% 5.59 () .018 3.2% 1.06 .304 1.0% Viewed by others as a world figure 8.23 () .004 4.6% 1.74 .187 1.0% 0.649 .421 0% 1.43 .232 1.0% Tolerates unethical behavior in subordinates 0.003 .958 0% 30.42 () .001 17.2% 6.54 () .011 3.7% 39.81 () .001 22.5% Negative character 0.106 .745 0% 119.99 () .001 71.2% 3.46 () .001 2.1% 138.25 () .001 21.2% Note. N of presidents 42; N of ratings 177. FFM-FD Five-Factor Model-Fearless Dominance; FFM-IA Five-Factor Model-Impulsive Antisociality; FFM-F1 Five-Factor Model Factor 1 (core interpersonal and affective features of psychopathy) Prototype; FFM-F2 Five-Factor Model Factor 2 (antisocial and impulsive lifestyle) Prototype. Pluses () and minuses () following the chi-square values indicate the direction of the effect, and are indicated for all statistically significant or marginally significant results. PSYCHOPATHY AND U.S. PRESIDENTS 497 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. z-score units standardized within the 42 presidents, to facilitate comparisons across presidents) on FFM-FD, ranked from highest to lowest. Mean comparisons across presidents should be made with the caveat that they are not based on a fully nested design, as each presidential expert only rated his or her president(s) of focus, rather than all presidents. With that limitation in mind, the presidents scoring highest on FFM-FD were (in order) Theodore Roosevelt (who towered more than 3 SDs over the lowest scoring president, William Howard Taft), John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Rutherford B. Hayes, Zachary Taylor, and Bill Clinton. The lowest scorers on FFM-FD were (again, in order) William Howard Taft, John Quincy Adams, Calvin Coolidge, William McKinley, James Buchanan, John Adams, and Herbert Hoover.8 Discussion In his seminal work, “The Mask of Sanity,” Cleckley (1941/ 1988) described psychopaths as hybrid creatures who are deeply deficient affectively, yet who present with a superficially persuasive fac¸ade of normal or even supernormal functioning: “Everything about him (sic) is likely to suggest desirable and superior human qualities, a robust mental health” (p. 339). The recently formulated dual-process model of psychopathy (Fowles & Dindo, 2009; Patrick, 2006; see also Lilienfeld & Fowler, 2006) similarly conceptualizes psychopathy as a distinctive composite of two underlying processes that are dimensionally distributed in the population, one reflecting boldness and largely adaptive functioning, and the other reflecting disinhibition and largely maladaptive functioning. Following in the lines of the classic work of Simonton (1987, 1994) and others (see Barber, 1977; Murray & Blessing, 1983; Rubenzer & Faschingbauer, 2004; Winter, 2005), we tested this model as applied to the U.S. presidents using a combination of personality and job performance ratings from historical experts. Key Findings for FD We found that a measure of the boldness associated with certain features of psychopathy, namely an index of FD derived from FFM data (FFM-FD), predicted overall presidential performance in two large independent surveys of U.S. historians as well as a z-scored sum of 12 polls of overall presidential performance. In two additional recent surveys from the United Kingdom, these results were broadly corroborated. In one (the USPC poll), FFM-FD was not significantly associated with a ranking of overall presidential performance (although this association approached significance), but it was significantly associated with vision and domestic leadership. In another survey (the Times of London Poll), FFM-FD was significantly associated with overall presidential ranking. These latter two polls, along with subsidiary analyses of the C-SPAN poll, exclude the possibility that the associations between FD and presidential performance are attributable to rater overlap. Equally noteworthy are findings that FFM-FD—as measured by expert raters on each president—was significantly associated not only with historians’ ratings of superior overall presidential performance but also with several dimensions theoretically relevant to FD: leadership, communication, persuasiveness, crisis management, Congressional relations, agenda setting, as well as a willingness to take risks. Moreover, FFM-FD was associated with an empirically established composite of six largely or entirely objective indicators linked previously to presidential greatness (Simonton, 1987), including war heroism, years served, and assassination; it was also related to the launching of new legislation and programs and to be being viewed as a world figure. In contrast, FFM-FD was not predictive of presidential dimensions relevant to ethical behavior (Moral Authority in the C-SPAN poll, Integrity in the Siena College Poll, Moral Authority in the USPC Poll) in any survey 8 Mean scores of the 42 presidents on the three other dimensions of psychopathy examined here (FFM-IA, FFM Factor 1, and FFM Factor 2) are available from the first author on request. Table 4 Presidents’ Scores on FFM-FD President Score Theodore Roosevelt (1.462) John F. Kennedy (1.408) Franklin D. Roosevelt (1.079) Ronald Reagan (.912) Rutherford B. Hayes (.824) Zachary Taylor (.671) William Jefferson Clinton (.569) Martin Van Buren (.554) Andrew Jackson (.516) George W. Bush (.391) George Washington (.302) Dwight D. Eisenhower (.297) John Tyler (.283) Chester Arthur (.267) Lyndon B. Johnson (.173) Gerald Ford (.157) Benjamin Harrison (.032) James Earl Carter (.007) Woodrow Wilson (.032) Warren G. Harding (.036) Thomas Jefferson (.056) Ulysses S. Grant (.084) William H. Harrison (.158) Abraham Lincoln (.321) James Madison (.355) Millard Fillmore (.388) James K. Polk (.388) Richard Nixon (.544) Franklin Pierce (.553) George H. Bush (.619) Grover Cleveland (.624) James Monroe (.636) James Garfield (.664) Harry S. Truman (.668) Andrew Johnson (.728) Herbert Hoover (.866) John Adams (.927) James Buchanan (.942) William McKinley (.996) Calvin Coolidge (1.175) John Q. Adams (1.234) William H. Taft (1.579) Note. FFM-FD Five-Factor Model-Fearless Dominance. Scores in parentheses are mean z scores (averaged across raters) for each president on each dimension, standardized within the
42 presidents examined in the study. 498 LILIENFELD ET AL. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. or to rated unethical actions (e.g., tolerating unethical behavior in subordinates, negative character), suggesting that boldness is not necessarily associated with immoral behavior, at least among residents of the White House. These analyses offer preliminary support for the discriminant validity of FFM-FD from dimensions of presidential performance that are linked to antisocial and otherwise questionable behavior. These data are the first to our knowledge to demonstrate that at least one feature of psychopathy is tied to superior political leadership (see also Babiak et al., 2010, for data in business settings). In addition, our findings are consistent with Lykken’s (1995) fearlessness model of psychopathy, as well as dualprocess models of psychopathy (Fowles & Dindo, 2009) and elaborations of this model (Patrick et al., 2009) positing that boldness is a key component of psychopathy that is linked to adaptive functioning in at least some life domains. They also dovetail with conjectures (e.g., Lykken, 1982, 1995) that the fearlessness associated with psychopathy can predispose to success in politics and perhaps other worldly domains. In addition, our results may be broadly consistent with “neocharismatic” leadership paradigms derived from the industrial/ organizational literature, which link charisma and interpersonal self-confidence to effective leadership (House & Aditya, 1997). Although the FD dimension is considerably broader than charisma given that it also comprises physical fearlessness and immunity to anxiety in addition to social persuasiveness, further research should investigate the extent to which the relation between FD and presidential leadership is attributable to this dimension’s inclusion of interpersonal potency. One potential criticism of our analyses is that presidential experts’ ratings of FD might have been inadvertently contaminated on a post hoc basis by their knowledge of presidential performance, or by what political scientists call “endogeneity” (Jackson, 2008). For example, the knowledge that a given president was successful might have led presidential experts to rate him as bolder on personality measures. Nevertheless, for three reasons, this explanation is unlikely to account fully for our findings. First, because estimates of FFM-FD were extracted from measures of normal personality, such as extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, expert raters were unaware that they were evaluating FD, let alone traits pertinent to psychopathy. Second, FFM-FD was associated with presidential measures with which it is not closely linked intuitively, such as better Congressional relations in both polls and better communication ability in the one poll in which it was measured, rendering it implausible that the association between FFM-FD and presidential indicators was due solely to criterion contamination. Third, in most analyses, FFM-FD displayed incremental validity above and beyond several predictors linked intuitively to superior presidential performance, such as intellectual brilliance, extraversion, conscientiousness, and need for power. In addition, for a number of variables relevant to presidential job performance (e.g., public persuasiveness, crisis management, agenda setting, overall leadership, communication ability, willingness to take risks), FFM-FD even displayed incremental validity above and beyond Simonton’s (1987) sixelement equation. Nevertheless, FFM-FD did not exhibit statistically significant incremental validity above and beyond this equation for global presidential performance for any survey, suggesting that Simonton’s (2008) verdict that there are no identified predictors of overall presidential performance above and beyond this equation still stands. Nevertheless, our analyses demonstrate that FFM-FD contains psychologically important variance relevant to leadership that is not shared with Simonton’s equation, especially variance associated with traits allied conceptually with FD/boldness, such as persuasiveness, communication ability, and leadership under pressure. Indeed, with several exceptions, the associations between FFM-FD and presidential performance survived statistical control for a number of covariates, including intellectual brilliance, FFM Big Five personality variables, ASPD, and rated need for power. This “destructive testing” methodological approach (C. A. Anderson & Anderson, 1996), although statistically conservative, highlights the unique contribution of FD above and beyond competing constructs. The primary exceptions to these significant incremental associations were FFM Extraversion and Openness to Experience, statistical control of which reduced several of the relations between FFM-FD and presidential performance to nonsignificance. Nevertheless, even here, FFM-FD continued to predict several dimensions of presidential performance, including public persuasiveness, leadership, agenda setting, and, most impressively, a z-scored sum of 12 independent presidential polls of overall performance, after statistical control for FFM Extraversion and for Openness to Experience. Moreover, because the “surgent” or “agentic” component of extraversion is a key component of the boldness associated with psychopathy (Lilienfeld & Andrews, 1996), statistical control for FFM Extraversion probably constitutes “overcontrol,” resulting in the elimination of some of the variance relevant to the FD construct itself (see Meehl, 1971). Key Findings for Other Psychopathy Variables Contrary to our predictions, the aspect of psychopathy tied closely to disinhibition and externalizing propensities, as operationalized by FFM-IA and FFM Factor 2, was largely unassociated with poor presidential performance in independent presidential polls of historians. The interpretation of these negative findings for FFM-IA is unclear, although they must be viewed in light of limited statistical power owing to the necessarily small sample size of presidents. It is worth noting that the more plentiful positive findings for FFM-FD than FFM-IA cannot be attributed to differential restriction of range, as the standard deviation of FFM-FD scores in our sample was lower than that of FFM-IA (see the Results section). The absence of significant positive associations suggests that, at least within the range of scores exhibited by U.S. presidents, such traits as poor impulse control, externalization of blame, and interpersonal antagonism may not necessarily bear marked negative prognostic implications for political job performance. Still, there were notable exceptions, indicating that such traits are not invariably benign. FFM-IA was positively associated with impeachment resolutions introduced before Congress and tolerating unethical behavior in subordinates, the finding for the former variable is especially noteworthy given that it is objective and free of potential rater biases. In addition, FFM-IA was associated with more negative presidential character (a composite variable including extramarital affairs, absenteeism, and PSYCHOPATHY AND U.S. PRESIDENTS 499 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. abusing positions of power held), although this correlation may be inflated by shared rater biases, because the ratings of character derived from the same historians who rated the presidents on personality variables. Still, because the negative presidential character variable consisted of largely or objective historical indicators, such biases are unlikely to account entirely for our findings. FFM Factor 2 was also associated with all these variables, as well as with lower rated presidential integrity in the Siena College
poll. In aggregate, these findings complement those for FFM-FD in suggesting that psychopathy may be a confluence of markedly different personality traits (Patrick, 2006), with some (especially those assessed by FFM-FD) predisposing to successful interpersonal behavior and others (especially those assessed by FFM-IA and FFM Factor 2) predisposing to unsuccessful interpersonal behavior. Caveats We should be clear about what our results do not mean. They certainly do not imply that psychopathic individuals make especially effective presidents. For one thing, our effect sizes were, in general, small in magnitude (typically ranging from 3%– 6% of the variance), suggesting that boldness, at least as assessed by FFM-FD, accounts for modest amounts of variance in presidential leadership. As Simonton (2004) observed, the best predictors of presidential greatness are probably not dispositional but situational, such as being in the right place at the right time. In addition, we did not find that all features of psychopathy are associated with superior presidential performance; to the contrary, features of psychopathy tied to disinhibition (e.g., FFM Factor 2) were sometimes predictive of inferior performance, such as lower integrity, more impeachment resolutions, and negative presidential character (see also Footnote 2 for largely negative findings on PPI-estimated Coldheartedness). Instead, our results suggest only that one noteworthy facet of psychopathy, namely boldness, bears significant implications for presidential performance and leadership. Nor do our results mean that presidents who are high in only one facet of psychopathy, such as FD, should be regarded as “psychopathic.” To the contrary, the dual-process model implies that because psychopathy is a configuration or constellation of two largely independent traits, only individuals who are high on both traits will be perceived as psychopathic. Theodore Roosevelt, for example, was markedly elevated on FFM-FD (z score 1.462; see Table 4), but only slightly above average on FFM-IA (z score .213), and therefore would be regarded not as a prototypical psychopath, but rather as an individual with a high score only on its substantially adaptive component. Limitations Our study is marked by a number of limitations, several of which offer fruitful directions for further research. First, the four indicators of psychopathy trait domains were not measured directly, but were only estimated from FFM facets. As a consequence, our findings may underestimate the genuine magnitude of the associations between certain psychopathy dimensions and presidential performance. Future work would benefit from administering more explicit measures of psychopathic features to presidential raters (see Lilienfeld, 1998, for a discussion of observer rating measures of psychopathy). In addition, future work should examine indicators of psychopathy trait domains derived from personality frameworks other than the FFM to ascertain the generalizability of our findings. In particular, the FFM has been criticized for its lack of coverage of several traits potentially relevant to psychopathy, including morality (Loevinger, 1994; see also Block, 1995) and honesty/ humility (Ashton & Lee, 2007). Moreover, because all four psychopathy indices were estimated from the FFM, it is possible that the constructs they assess are more independent “in nature” than implied in our analyses. Second, because we examined only the U.S. presidents, caution is required in extrapolating our findings to other leadership positions. In future work, it will be important to extend the generalizability of our results to individuals occupying other positions of power, including other politicians, bosses, corporate executives, and military commanders. In addition, it will be necessary to examine whether our findings extend to leaders in non-Western countries. For example, in countries (e.g., China) in which collectivist attitudes are more normative than in largely individualist countries such as the United States (Oyserman, Coon, & Kemmelmeier, 2002), boldness—which often necessitates a willingness to disregard the views of others— may be associated with negative prognostic implications for leadership (see also Winter, 2005). Third, any investigation of the personality correlates of presidential performance is limited by the fact that such performance is inevitably influenced by luck— both good and bad (Simonton, 2004). Such chance factors almost certainly constrain the magnitudes of the correlations between personality variables, including psychopathy traits, and job performance. At the same time, it is worth noting that in subsidiary analyses not reported here, scores on FFM-FD (but not on the other psychopathy variables) were significantly and positively associated with ratings of “Luck” by the Siena College Poll presidential historians (see Footnote 3). What may superficially appear to be good or bad luck may in part reflect presidents’ success or failure in capitalizing on unpredictable occurrences. For example, a major tragedy, such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack on home soil, can help to sink a presidency if handled poorly; alternatively, it can help to make a presidency if handled well. Fourth, our comparisons of the mean levels of the presidents on FFM-FD (see Table 4) should be interpreted with caution, in part because each expert rater assessed only his or her own president(s) of interest. Because we did not collect data on raters’ personality traits, we cannot exclude the possibility that historians with certain traits might be differentially drawn to study certain presidents, display undetected biases in the ratings of these presidents, or both (see Simonton, 2004). In addition, whereas several presidents, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, were evaluated by 10 or more raters, other presidents, such as Zachary Taylor, Andrew Johnson, and Chester Arthur, were evaluated by only one rater. The mean scores of the latter presidents should therefore be interpreted with particular caution. Interestingly, FFM-FD (but not the other three psychopathy indices) correlated significantly with the number of raters per president (r 500 LILIENFELD ET AL. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. .26, p .001), suggesting that this variable may be an indirect marker of presidential impact. The GEE analyses, however, account for the statistical influence of this variable. These significant caveats aside, it is worth noting that the mean ratings of FD display substantial face validity when evaluated against consensual historical descriptions. For example, the highest FFM-FD scorer in the sample, Theodore Roosevelt, was variously nicknamed “The Lion,” “The Dynamo of Power,” and “The Driving Force” (among others) as president and was known as the “Cyclone Assemblyman” early in his career as New York State Assemblyman because of his remarkable interpersonal potency and energy level. Historian Ronald Steel (2010) described him as a “man who sucked all of the air out of any room he entered.” In Steel’s words, Roosevelt was a man of “martial manner and bellicose deeds” who was a “political reformer, a conservationist, a buffalo hunter, a militaristic liberal and yes, a ‘war lover’ if he thought it would achieve peace and order” (p. 8). In contrast, the lowest FFM-FD scorer in the sample, William Howard Taft, nicknamed the “Reluctant President,” was described by historian Donald F. Anderson (1973) as a man who “lacked temperamental aggressiveness, rhetorical skill, and moral flexibility” (p. 189) and was “legalistic, consistent, reflective, and passive” (p. 201). Taft confessed that he was intimidated by the presidency and once told his wife that “politics, when I am in it, makes me sick” (D. F. Anderson, 1973, p. 27). Ironically, Theodore Roosevelt had hand-picked
Taft as his successor and, upon returning from a long African safari, was dismayed at Taft’s reluctance to stand up to the powerful businessmen whom Roosevelt had fearlessly challenged. Fifth, as indicated above, our findings are limited in part by monorater bias given that the personalities of six of the 42 presidents were evaluated by only one historian. Hence, it could perhaps be argued that our investigation is in part a study of the vagaries of presidential historians’ personalities as well as of presidents’ personalities. Nevertheless, for several reasons, this explanation is unlikely to account for our findings for FFM-FD. For example, in subsidiary analyses not reported here, we found that FFM-FD exhibited a pattern of theoretically meaningful convergent and discriminant validity with independently obtained ratings of presidential personality. For example, FFM-FD correlated r .48 (p .001) and r .24 (p .001), respectively, with the “Forcefulness” and “Poise and Polish” dimensions derived by Simonton (1986) from factor analyses of Adjective Check List (Gough & Heilbrun, 1965) ratings on the presidents; FFM-FD also correlated r .54 (p .001) with the “Charismatic” dimension and r .18 (p .05) with the “Deliberativeness” dimension derived by Simonton (1988) from factor analyses of stylistic ratings on the presidents. These findings, based on correlations with ratings obtained from two independent data sets, afford compelling support for the validity of the FFM-FD ratings in our sample, and render it extremely unlikely that our FFM-FD ratings are exclusively a product of the idiosyncrasies of historians’ personalities. In additional subsidiary analyses not reported in full here, we further examined the possibility that monorater bias accounted for our findings. Limiting the GEE analyses to the 36 presidents for whom multiple raters were available did not substantially alter the overall pattern of results; to the contrary, it actually strengthened somewhat our findings and conclusions. For example, FFM-FD continued to significantly predict C-SPAN Performance (2 9.06, p .003), Siena College Overall Ranking (2 6.47, p .011), the Simonton 12 survey greatness composite (2 9.81, p .002), and the Times of London survey overall ranking (2 6.21, p .013). In addition, the relation between FFM-FD and the UPSC overall ranking, previously marginally significant, now attained significance (2 7.49, p .006). Sixth, several of our quasi-objective indicators, such as initiating legislation and programs, tolerating unethical behavior in subordinates, and negative presidential character (see Table 3), were rated by the same experts who evaluated each president on the NEO PI-R items from which we derived psychopathy scores. As a consequence, scores on these variables, although substantially objective, may nonetheless have been influenced by subtle and undetected rater biases. Nevertheless, the fact that some psychopathy variables were significantly associated with unambiguously objective indicators, such as Congressional impeachment resolutions, election landslides, and the variables constituting the Simonton six-item composite (e.g., number of years served, number of war years served, victim of assassination), effectively alleviates concerns that all of our results are attributable to the influence of shared rater biases on both predictors and outcomes. Seventh, ratings of presidential personality and performance by historians are necessarily limited by such variables as the amount of information available about each president and each president’s historical recency. In particular, it is virtually inevitable that historians will tend to have more intimate knowledge of presidents who served (a) a longer time in office and (b) more recently. In GEE analyses not reported here, we found that neither variable was significantly associated with FFM-FD scores, although the association between FFM-FD and length in office was positive and marginally significant (p .094). Nevertheless, in exploratory analyses, we examined the possibility that either variable or both qualified the association between FFM-FD and overall presidential performance. For (a), we created a partialed product term reflecting the multiplication (statistical interaction) between FFM-FD scores and the total number of days in office for each president as coded from the historical record, and entered it following the main effects of both FFM-FD scores and total days in the office in the GEE analyses. In no case did this interaction term significantly moderate the relation between FFM-FD and any measure of overall presidential performance (C-SPAN, Siena, Simonton 12 survey greatness composite, either U.K. survey). For (b), we created a partialed product term reflecting the interaction between FFM-FD scores and presidential order entered as an interval variable from 1 to 42 (with the first president, George Washington, receiving a 1, and the most recent president in the analyses, George W. Bush, receiving a 42), and entered it following the main effects of both FFM-FD scores and presidential order. Again, in no case did this interaction term significantly moderate the relation between FFM-FD and any measure of overall presidential performance. Thus, we found no evidence that the relation between FFM-FD and presidential performance was weaker for either shorter-serving presidents or PSYCHOPATHY AND U.S. PRESIDENTS 501 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. less recent presidents. Nevertheless, this issue merits investigation in further research.9 Eighth, some researchers have raised questions concerning either the factorial coherence of the FD dimension or the centrality of this dimension to psychopathy. With respect to the former issue, recent confirmatory factor analyses suggest that factor structure of FD, which was derived from the PPI using exploratory factor analysis (Benning et al., 2003), may not always achieve adequate model fit, at least in offender samples (Neumann et al., 2008). These findings may point to the need to develop factorially “purer” measures of boldness than FD as derived from the PPI or FFM (see, e.g., Hall, 2009; Patrick, 2010). With respect to the latter issue, a few authors (e.g., Gaughan, Miller, Pryor, & Lynam, 2009; Miller & Lynam, in press) have argued that FD and closely related traits are not as central to psychopathy as other authors (e.g., Fowles & Dindo, 2009; Lykken, 1995; Patrick, 2006) have contended. Critics of the FD construct have pointed out that this dimension reflects a more adaptive component of psychopathy than captured by most measures of this construct, such as the PCL-R (e.g., Hare, 2003). Nevertheless, data demonstrating that FD is associated with diminished fear-potentiated startle (Benning, Patrick, Blonigen, Hicks, & Iacono, 2005a), narcissism (Benning, Patrick, & Iacono, 2005b), sensation seeking (Benning, Patrick, & Iacono, 2005b; Lilienfeld & Widows, 2005), substance use disorders (Witt, Donnellan, & Blonigen, 2009), low behavioral inhibition (Uzieblo, Verschuere, & Crombez, 2007), functional (but not dysfunctional) impulsivity (Claes et al., 2009), a dispositional lack of premeditation (Ray, Poythress, Weir, & Rickhelm, 2009), interpersonal manipulativeness (Witt et al., 2009), low emotional empathy (Uzieblo, Verschuere, Van den Bussche, & Crombez, 2010), callous and unemotional traits (Uzieblo et al., 2010), and amorality (Claes et al., 2009) offer compelling support for its construct validity as an indicator of the core affective and interpersonal traits of psychopathy (see Lilienfeld et al., in press). Still, the precise role of FD in psychopathy (e.g., Lykken, 1995) remains unresolved: It may be a necessary but not sufficient feature, or merely one important but associated feature. Concluding Thoughts and Implications Debates regarding the centrality of
FD to psychopathy aside, our results point to a heretofore largely neglected constellation of personality traits associated with some domains of psychopathy, namely, those comprising boldness, which is relevant to presidential leadership. As a consequence, they may inform ongoing debates concerning the controversial construct of successful psychopathy (Lilienfeld, 1994). One possibility is that individuals with successful psychopathy possess a predisposition toward disinhibition conjoined with interpersonal and affective traits (e.g., boldness, immunity to anxiety) that buffer them against externalizing behavior (see also Hall & Benning, 2006). This hypothesis warrants investigation in other samples. Our findings do not address the question of whether the association between boldness and political performance is linear; at extreme levels, boldness may merge into recklessness and become maladaptive. Although subsidiary analyses (not reported here) examining the potential curvilinear effects of FFM-FD (by entering a FFM-FD squared term hierarchically following the FFM-FD linear term) on presidential performance variables yielded consistently negative results, these findings may reflect a curtailment of FD variance at the high end among U.S. presidents. Finally, our results raise the intriguing but unresearched possibility that the boldness often associated with psychopathy may confer advantages across a host of occupations, vocations, and social roles, such as positions of power and prestige in politics, business, law enforcement, athletics, and the military. If so, they may prove relevant for a better understanding not only of the U.S. presidency but also for occupational performance in fields as diverse as political psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, police psychology, sports psychology, and military psychology. Further investigation of the implications of boldness for leadership in general (see also Atwater & Yammarino, 1993; House & Aditya, 1997), as well as for successful interpersonal behavior more broadly is clearly warranted. 9 In subsidiary analyses, we examined whether controlling statistically for either duration in office or recency of presidency eliminated the statistically significant associations between FFM-FD and presidential performance. Controlling for duration in office (again, coded as number of days served) reduced the associations between FFM-FD and overall presidential performance to either nonsignificance (in the case of the Siena Poll, 2 1.07, p .30; in the case of the Times of London poll, 2 1.26, p .261) or marginal significance (in the case of the C-SPAN poll, 2 3.03, p .083; in the case of the Simonton 12 survey greatness composite, 2 2.90, p .089). It should be noted, however, that these analyses are extremely conservative statistically given that duration in office is itself highly correlated with total scores on all four presidential polls (rs ranged from .61 to .65, all ps .001) and with the Simonton 12 survey greatness composite (r .62, p .001; see Simonton, 1987, for similar evidence). Yet even after controlling for duration in office, a number of associations between FFM-FD and specific dimensions of presidential performance remained significant, including C-SPAN Public Persuasiveness (2 6.58, p .01), C-SPAN Agenda Setting (2 4.71, p .03), C-SPAN Congressional Relations (2 4.26, p .039), Siena College Leadership Ability (2 4.72, p .03), Siena College Party Leadership (2 4.19, p .041), Siena College Willingness to Take Risks (2 4.23, p .04), and USPC Domestic Leadership (2 4.87, p .027). 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Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 1006 –1016. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2009.06.010 Received February 21, 2011 Revision received December 13, 2011 Accepted June 20, 2012 Retraction of Stapel and van der Linde (2011) The following article from the July 2011 issue is being retracted: Stapel, D. A., & van der Linde, L. A. J. G. (2011). What drives self-affirmation effects? On the importance of differentiating value affirmation and attribute affirmation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 34 – 45. doi:10.1037/a0023172 This retraction follows the results of an investigation into the work of Diederik A. Stapel (further information on the investigation can be found here: https://www.commissielevelt.nl/). The Levelt Committee has determined data supplied by Diederik A. Stapel to be fraudulent. His co-author was unaware of his actions and was not involved in the collection of the fraudulent data. DOI: 10.1037/a0029745 PSYCHOPATHY AND U.S. PRESIDENTS 505 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
© Psychological Society of South Africa. All rights reserved. South African Journal of Psychology, 38(2), pp.253-267 ISSN 0081-2463 253 Leadership styles and associated personality traits: Support for the conceptualisation of transactional and transformational leadership René van Eeden Department of Psychology, University of South Africa, P O Box 392, Pretoria, 0003, South Africa firstname.lastname@example.org Frans Cilliers Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa Vasi van Deventer Department of Psychology, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa The full range model of leadership includes laissez-faire behaviour, transactional leadership, and transformational leadership. The model conceptualises leadership in terms of the behaviours associated with various styles and this conceptualisation has been empirically supported. In this article the personality traits of managers exercising different leadership styles are explained in terms of, and add to, the description of these styles. Members of a management team were assessed in terms of their preferred leadership styles and two groups were identified. Some of the managers relied on both transformational behaviours and active transactional behaviours with an absence of behaviours associated with passive styles. The rest of the managers used behaviours associated with all the styles. An integrated personality profile was compiled for each manager. Definite trends were observed when comparing the profiles of the managers in the two leadership groups. Transformational leadership was defined in terms of the interpersonal more than the visionary aspect of leadership with interpersonal styles and work and social ethics being emphasised. Behaviours associated with transactional leadership as well as with more passive styles were also noted. The findings provide further support for the conceptualisation of leadership in terms of the full range model of leadership. Keywords:16 PF; full range model; leadership; Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire; Occupational Personality Questionnaire; personality traits; Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire; transactional leadership; transformational leadership The work environment is characterised by globalisation together with accelerating rates of change in markets, technologies, the work force, and work force expectations (Gordon-Brown & Bendixen, 2002; Horwitz, Kamoche, & Chew, 2002; Van der Colff, 2003). Changes are taking place in cultural patterns, role definitions, structures, policies, procedures, and technologies (Krantz, 2001). Leadership is central to this transformation and the full range model of leadership (with the transactional– transformational distinction as basis) provides a framework for exploring the role of the leader in a changing work environment. According to Bass and Avolio (1994) transformational leadership provides an ideal of leadership, given contemporary developments in the global business world. Research supports the use of a transformational style given the rapidly changing technology (Howell & Higgens, 1990), shift in work force expectations (Lowe, Kroeck, & Sivasubramaniam, 1996; Sagie, 1997; Vroom, 2000), and need for doing business internationally and in multicultural environments (Church & Waclawski, 1999; Gibson & Marcoulides, 1995; Rosenzweig, 1998). The full range model is based on the concepts of transactional and transformational leadership René van Eeden, Frans Cilliers and Vasi van Deventer 254 as developed by Burns (1978 in Bass, 1997) and expanded by Bass (1985 in Bass, 1997). According to Bass (1997, p. 130) the transactional–transformational distinction views leadership ‘as either a matter of contingent reinforcement of followers by a transactional leader or the moving of followers beyond their self-interests for the good of the group, organization, or society by a transformational leader’. The full range model in addition allows for passive behaviours and it can be regarded as a hybrid explanation (Bass, 1990; Den Hartog, Van Muijen, & Koopman, 1997) incorporating aspects of various theoretical approaches. However, despite being a relatively comprehensive model, Yukl (1999) contends that some important leadership behaviours have been omitted and that this should be regarded as a weakness of a model referred to as the full range model of leadership. The full range model includes laissez-faire behaviour, transactional leadership, and transformational leadership (Bass & Avolio, 1994). The conceptualisation of the leadership styles in the model is summarised in Table 1. These styles are regarded as separate dimensions and better leaders display each of the three styles to some degree. As mentioned the model represents various theoretical approaches but the conceptualisation of these leadership styles primarily in terms of the behaviours associated with each, links the model to trait theories. Trait theories focus on qualities that differentiate leaders from followers. The current perspective is that traits do not ensure leadership success but that some traits do distinguish effective leaders (Bateman & Snell, 1999). In research as well as practice personality traits are usually operationalised in terms of behavioural preferences (or exposed personality traits). It should be noted that in the case of charisma, an essential transformational leadership behaviour (Carless, Wearing, & Mann, 2000), the full range model distinguishes between charismatic behaviour and attributed charisma (Avolio, Bass, & Jung, 1999; Conger & Kanungo, 1994; Kanungo & Conger, 1992). Research on the personality traits associated with transactional and transformational leadership supports the conceptualisation of the leadership styles in terms of leadership behaviours and the nature of the influencing process, the latter consisting of a visionary and an interpersonal component. A focus on organisational change, a greater degree of risk taking, a tendency to be proactive, the use of more planning (futurity), and innovative problem solving characterise the transformational leader (Church & Waclawski, 1998; Howell & Higgens, 1990; Miller, Kets de Vries, & Toulouse, 1982; Van Rensburg & Crous, 2000). This corresponds with the definition of the transformational leader1 as being innovative and less likely to support the current situation, seeking opportunities in the face of risk, and attempting to shape and create rather than react to environmental circumstances (Lowe et al., 1996). However, Ross and Offermann (1997) did not find a need for change to be a significant predictor of transformational leadership. Interpersonal factors explained most of the variance in their study. Articulating a vision was found to be another distinguishing characteristic of transformational leadership, especially as a means for inspiring others (Church & Waclawski, 1998; Hogan, 1994; Howell & Higgens, 1990; Wofford, Goodwin, & Whittington, 1998). The setting of long-term goals reflects the need for achievement referred to by Howell and Higgens (1990) and Van Rensburg and Crous (2000). Hogan (1994) emphasises social and interpersonal skills as present in transformational leaders. These skills are reflected in personality traits such as adjustment (e.g., being self-confident and able to handle pressure), social impact (e.g., being outgoing and assertive), and agreeableness (e.g., being warm and friendly). Ross and Offermann (1997) found support for the presence of self-confidence and Van Rensburg and Crous (2000) found that transformational leaders showed a need for affiliation and that their interpersonal relationships were warm, accepting, and supportive while they also showed an enjoyment of attention from others. Ross and Offermann (1997) found personality attributes associated with the functions of intellectual stimulation and individualised consideration to be the more consistent predictors of transformational leadership. A factor representing an enabling style of leadership characterised by practical suppo
rt and concern for subordinate development explained most of the variance in their study. Leadership styles and associated personality traits 255 Table 1. Conceptualisation of the leadership styles in the full range model Transformational leadership Idealised influence implies that followers respect, admire, and trust the leader and emulate his or her behaviour, assume his or her values, and are committed to achieving his or her vision and making sacrifices in this regard. The leader shows dedication, a strong sense of purpose and perseverance, and confidence in the purpose and the actions of the group that helps to ensure the success of the group and gives followers a sense of empowerment and ownership. He or she behaves morally and ethically. Inspirational motivation refers to the leader(s enthusiasm and optimism in creating a vision of the future, thus stimulating similar feelings with followers. The leader is seen to commit to the vision, specific goals and expectations are clearly communicated, and confidence is expressed in followers’ ability to achieve these expectations. Intellectual stimulation implies a leader who values the intellectual ability of followers and who encourages innovation and develops creativity. Others are encouraged to reframe problems, use a holistic perspective in understanding problems, question the status quo, and approach problems from different angles, thus creating readiness for change and developing the ability to solve current and future problems. Individualised consideration implies that the leader considers the ability of followers and their level of maturity to determine their need for further development. He or she acts as a mentor giving personal attention, listening to others’ concerns, and providing feedback, advice, support, and encouragement. The leader furthermore designs appropriate strategies to develop individual followers to achieve higher levels of motivation, potential, and performance. Support is provided and progress monitored. Transactional leadership Transactional leadership involves a social exchange process where the leader clarifies what the followers need to do as their part of a transaction (successfully complete the task) to receive a reward or avoidance of punishment (satisfaction of the followers’ needs) that is contingent on the fulfilment of the transaction (satisfying the leader’s needs). In the case of active management by exception, the leader looks for mistakes, irregularities, exceptions, deviations from standards, complaints, infractions of rules and regulations, and failures and he or she takes corrective action before or when these occur. Passive management by exception implies that the leader is reactive and waits to be informed about errors and deviances before taking action. Laissez-faire style or passive leadership This style implies avoidance or absence of leadership. The leader leaves responsibility for the work to followers and avoids setting goals and clarifying expectations, organising priorities, becoming involved when important issues arise, taking a stand on issues and making decisions. If this style is used as a component of other leadership styles it allows for the possibility of self-management. Based on Bass (1990, 1997) and Bass and Avolio (1994, 1995) The present discussion contributes to the personality–leadership literature by using holistic profiles of individuals as the source of information rather than following the example of prior work and comparing groups that differ in leadership style in terms of their mean performance on separate personality traits. Mean scores could obscure the variation between members of a group as well as the preferences of the majority versus the exceptions. The same result on a specific trait, furthermore, has different interpretations depending on the way in which it is combined with other traits. In practice, the evaluation for placement and development of individuals in leadership positions includes an integrated personality profile that considers performance on all related traits. It was expected that the use of integrated profiles would add to the understanding of the full range model in terms of the personality traits associated with the leadership styles defined in this model. René van Eeden, Frans Cilliers and Vasi van Deventer 256 METHOD An intervention was conducted at management level at one of the plants of a South African production company that had been engaged in a process of transformation. In response to continuous changes in technology and customer demands, the organisation had been adapting at operational level and in terms of the composition and structuring of personnel. One of the aspects that had to be addressed was perceived differences in management styles between members of the management team and the impact thereof. Members of the management team were to be sensitised in terms of individual and group functioning, and assessment of and feedback on leadership styles and personality characteristics formed part of this process. Design The intervention focused on the above mentioned management team and questionnaires were administered to assess the leadership styles and personality traits of the members of the team. For each manager preferences in terms of leadership behaviours were identified and an integrated personality profile was drawn up. The intervention required individual feedback as well as feedback on the functioning of the group. It is the latter that forms the basis of the present discussion on the personality traits associated with different leadership styles. Although the use of the questionnaires imply numerical data and predetermined categories, this information was used to provide qualitative descriptions firstly at an individual and then at a group level. An integrated personality profile implies that performance on related traits is considered to describe functioning on a specific aspect (e.g., interpersonal confidence). The conclusion regarding such an aspect might be similar for individuals with different scores on the relevant traits. Trends, that would probably not have emerged in a quantitative analysis, can thus be identified at a group level. Based on leadership preferences the team could furthermore be divided into two groups. This made it possible to observe differences in personality between a group of more effective (or more transformational) managers and managers who could be regarded as less effective in terms of the leadership theory. Despite the small sample the qualitative nature of the interpretation made it possible to identify clear trends. Sample The management team consisted of a general manager, a technical expert, managers for the two phases of production, and managers for planning and logistics, quality control, engineering, human resources, finances, and marketing. Assessment results were available for eight of these managers. The members of the management team were primarily white, Afrikaans-speaking males. Tenure varied, with some of them having been with the company only a few years and others for more than 10 years. Based on a confidentiality agreement, details of the primary task of the company and biographical information on individual respondents cannot be given. The holistic approach to interpretation would only be possible with a small sample and the focus on the personality–leadership relationship provides some justification for the relative homogeneity of the group in terms of demographic variables. Admittedly these aspects limit the generalisability of the findings. Measuring instruments The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire Form 5X (MLQ 5X), the Occupational Personality Questionnaire version 32 (OPQ32), and the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, SA 1992 version (16PF, SA92) were used. The different versions of the latter questionnaires are regularly used for personality assessment in the South African context. The OPQ focuses on the workplace whereas the 16PF measures somewhat different traits in a number of contexts. The traits measured by these questionnaires correspond with those identified in earlier research o
n personality characteristics associated with the leadership styles of the full range model. Leadership styles and associated personality traits 257 The MLQ 5X consists of 36 items that measure transformational leadership, transactional leadership, and laissez-faire leadership (Bass & Avolio, 1995). The remaining nine items measure outcomes of leadership. Each of the 45 items contributes to only one factor and the score for that factor is the average of the relevant items. Each manager completes a self-assessment form on which he or she has to rate how often the leadership behaviour in each statement is practised on a range from 0 (not at all) to 4 (frequently, if not always). A rater form containing similar statements is completed by a superior, a peer, and subordinates indicating how often the behaviour is observed in the case of the manager. An effective leader is expected to obtain a rating of 3 (fairly often) on average for transformational leadership as well as on each of the five scales, a rating of 2 (sometimes) for contingent reward, between 1 (once in a while) and 2 (sometimes) for active management by exception, and between 0 (not at all) and 1 (once in a while) for passive management by exception and laissez-faire behaviour. Support for the reliability and validity of the questionnaire has been based on a database consisting of 14 separate studies (Avolio et al., 1999). The Western capitalist culture of the management team included in the present study made the questionnaire suitable despite comparatively limited research in the South African context. The OPQ32 is an updated version of the original OPQ Concept Model developed between 1981 and 1984 in the UK (SHL, 1999). The normative version used in this study consists of 230 statements; respondents are asked to rate each statement on a scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). Raw scores are transformed into scores on a sten scale for each of the 32 dimensions (the norms for a UK general population sample were used). The sten scores are interpreted in terms of the description on each bipolar scale of a low score, an average score, and a high score. The mean of 5.5 and standard deviation of 2 are considered in determining these categories. The 32 dimensions measured by the OPQ32 are grouped into four domains, namely, relationships with people, thinking style, feelings and emotions, and dynamism. A score on a Social Desirability scale is also obtained. Acceptable results in terms of the internal consistency reliability and the validity of the questionnaire is reported in the manual (SHL, 1999) and elsewhere (Barrett, Kline, Paltiel, & Eysenck, 1996; Matthews & Stanton, 1994; Robertson & Kinder, 1993). Swanevelder (2003) focused specifically on the usefulness of the questionnaire in the South African context and reports structural equivalence for black and white subgroups. Prinsloo (1992) describes the development of the 16PF (SA92). The SA92 version consists of 160 items/questions; each item consists of a statement with three response options scored as 0, 1, or 2. The items are combined into 16 bipolar scales. Raw scores are transformed to a sten scale with a mean of 5.5 and a standard deviation of 2. Norms are available for the total group and for males and females separately (the latter tables were used in this study). The sten scores are interpreted in terms of the description on each bipolar scale of a low score (range of 1 to 3), an average score (range of 4 to 7), and a high score (range of 8 to 10). The items are combined into 16 primary personality traits (Russell & Karol, 1994) that in turn are combined in groups to obtain scores on the secondorder factors Extroversion, Anxiety, Emotional Sensitivity (Tough Poise), Independence, and Compulsivity (Prinsloo, 1992). A score is also obtained on the Motivational Distortion Scale (MD Scale). Reliability coefficients, the results of factor analyses, and subgroup comparisons are reported in the manual. According to Prinsloo (1992, p. 26) ‘… the questionnaire measures the same constructs, structured in the same way, in a reliable, valid and unbiased fashion among testees from any relevant subgroup’. Procedure The human resources manager arranged a session with the management team during which the rationale of the administration was explained and the personality questionnaires were completed. The manager who was qualified to do so conducted the administration. The leadership questionnaire René van Eeden, Frans Cilliers and Vasi van Deventer 258 implies self-rating and ratings by others, and the questionnaires were distributed with instructions for completion to the relevant individuals. Paper-and-pencil versions of the questionnaires were used, and all the questionnaires were completed in English. The researcher provided guidelines for the human resources manager and also did the scoring and interpretation and gave individual and group feedback. Confidentiality was emphasised. Interpretation The members of the management team were evaluated in terms of their preferred leadership styles based on the ratings by others (superiors, peers, and subordinates). The average ratings for the managers in each of the groups are reported in Table 2. The four managers in the first group relied on both transformational and active transactional behaviours with an absence of behaviours associated with the passive styles. The average for transformational leadership as well as the ratings for four of the five scales (and the fifth in the case of two of the managers) indicated that they used the associated behaviours ‘fairly often’ (a rating of 3). All four managers used active transactional leadership (contingent reward and active management by exception) to the same extent as transformational leadership. Passive management by exception and laissez-faire leadership were used ‘once in a while’ or ‘not at all’ (ratings of 1 and 0, respectively). This group would be referred to as the transformational group although it should be kept in mind that their reliance on active transactional leadership is higher than expected for effective leadership. The four managers in the second group used behaviours associated with all the styles. With only a few exceptions, the ratings indicated that they ‘sometimes’ (a rating of 2) used the various styles, implying most effective use only of active transactional leadership. Table 2. Average ratings for the managers of the two groups Leadership preferences Group 1 Group 2 Transformational leadership Idealised Attributes Idealised Behaviours Inspirational Motivation Intellectual Stimulation Individualised Consideration Average Transactional leadership Contingent reward Management-by-exception (active) Management-by-exception (passive) Laissez-faire 1 3* 3 3 3 2 3 2 3 1 1 2 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 1 1 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 1 0 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 0 1 1 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 3 2 3 3 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 4 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Note: * Average ratings have been rounded Based on the OPQ and 16PF results, an integrated personality profile was developed for each of the managers. The manager was described in terms of the traits and behaviours associated with three broad categories, namely, thinking styles and problem-solving patterns, general adjustment, and relationships and interpersonal styles. It is standard practice to use these categories in the interpretation of both the questionnaires. Trends in terms of the traits and behaviours in each of these categories were identified in each of the leadership groups and compared across the two groups. The Leadership styles and associated personality traits 259 criteria used were those identified in the section on the measuring instruments, and depending on low, average, or high scores as well as the combination of scores it was determined if the managers in a group showed patterns of behaviour (with or without exceptions) and how this compared across the two groups. The first category deals with the individual’s cognitive style and approaches to problem-solving as well as the manner in which he or she deals with o
bligations. Conceptual thinking and creativity are evaluated together with the person’s reality-orientation, planning and organising abilities, and sense of responsibility. The OPQ dimensions associated with the domain of Thinking Style (grouped as analysis, creativity and change, and structure) are considered together with the 16PF primary factors that form part of the second-order factors Tough Poise and Compulsivity as well as the primary factors Reasoning, Openness to Change, and Self-reliance. Details on the scales associated with this category are presented in Table 3. Table 3. The OPQ and 16PF scales associated with thinking styles and problem-solving patterns OPQ 16PF Thinking Style Analysis Data Rational Evaluative Behavioural Creativity and change Conventional Conceptual Innovative Variety Seeking Adaptable Structure Forward Thinking Detail Conscious Conscientious Rule Following Tough Poise Warmth Sensitivity Abstractedness Compulsivity Rule-consciousness Privateness Perfectionism Other Reasoning Openness to Change Self-reliance The second category deals with the individual’s emotional adjustment and resilience as well as his or her energy and achievement-orientation. Information based on the dimensions of the domain Feelings and Emotions (grouped as emotion and dynamism) are used together with the 16PF primary factors associated with the second-order factor Anxiety. Detail on the scales associated with this category are presented in Table 4. The third category deals with the extent to which the individual enjoys social interaction and what role he or she plays in such interaction, how comfortable and competent he or she is in social situations, and the person’s approach in terms of decision-making and taking the lead. In the case of the OPQ the dimensions of the domain Relationships with People (grouped as influence, sociability, and empathy) and the dimensions Variety Seeking and Adaptable are considered. The latter is interpreted together with results on the 16PF second-order factor Extraversion, the related primary factors, and the primary factors Vigilance and Privateness. Detail on the scales associated with this category are presented in Table 5. René van Eeden, Frans Cilliers and Vasi van Deventer 260 Table 4. The OPQ and 16PF scales associated with general adjustment OPQ 16PF Feelings and Emotions Emotion Relaxed Worrying Tough Minded Optimistic Trusting Emotionally Controlled Dynamism Vigorous Competitive Achieving Decisive Anxiety Emotional Stability Vigilance Apprehension Perfectionism Tension Table 5. The OPQ and 16PF scales associated with relationships and interpersonal styles OPQ 16PF Relationships with People Influence Persuasive Controlling Outspoken Independent Minded Sociability Outgoing Affiliative Socially Confident Empathy Modest Democratic Caring Other Variety Seeking Adaptable Extraversion Warmth Dominance Liveliness Social Boldness Self-reliance Other Vigilance Privateness LEADERSHIP STYLES AND ASSOCIATED PERSONALITY TRAITS Expectations based on the conceptualisation of and research on the leadership styles as defined in the full range model are described. The trends identified in each group in the present study as well as the differences across the two groups are then presented. Thinking styles and problem-solving patterns Numerous authors refer to innovativeness and entrepreneurial qualities that lead to change, as personality characteristics of the effective leader (e.g. Bass, 1990; Bass & Avolio, 1994, 1995; Church & Waclawski, 1998; Hogan, 1994; Howell & Higgens, 1990; Miller et al., 1982; Van Rensburg & Crous, 2000; Wofford et al., 1998). Inspirational motivation implies a vision for the future that is Leadership styles and associated personality traits 261 different and challenging. This requires someone with a strategic approach and a willingness to experiment and implement change. A holistic perspective, an interest in conceptual thinking, a creative approach as well as a willingness to question assumptions, are also requirements for the function of intellectual stimulation (see Table 1). It was expected that the above traits would be more prominent in the case of the transformational group in the present study. However, a clear distinction could not be made between the two groups in terms of conceptual and creative thinking. The results for the managers in both groups ranged from a focus on practical concerns to a high interest in conceptual thinking, innovation, and the critical evaluation of information. Adherence to moral standards and rules furthermore reflects the ethical stance associated with a leader who exhibits idealised behaviour and also provides associates with values with which they can identify (Bass, 1990). A sense of responsibility also reflects the dedication that inspires associates to share the leader’s vision and goals. Clarity in terms of goals and the roles of associates in achieving them are requirements for both inspirational motivation and idealised behaviours. However, a preference for the structure provided by guidelines and adherence to regulations are also related to a contingent reward strategy and the use of active management by exception. Various authors (Bass, 1997; Hogan, 1994; Miller et al., 1982) refer to the transactional leader’s focus on task performance and use of procedures to maintain control. These patterns were observed in the present study and as this is one of the aspects where a clear distinction could be made between the two groups, detail is provided in Tables 6 and 7 to illustrate the interpretation process. With one exception, the managers exercising a transformational style indicated adherence to moral standards and rules and a sense of responsibility in both work and social contexts. All the managers in this group furthermore showed adherence to regulations in the work context implying a degree of rigidity. These traits reflected the managers’ reliance on both transformational and active transactional behaviours. The managers in the second group either showed concern for moral standards and rules or strict adherence to regulations in a work context, but did not indicate a consistent profile of commitment to social as well as work-related obligations. This reflected the active transactional style of this group combined with aspects of the passive styles such as talking about getting work done but not always taking responsibility. General adjustment Resilience in terms of self-confidence, self-determination, a lack of internal conflicts, and the ability to handle pressure underlie the idealised influence practiced by the transformational leader (Bass, 1990; Hogan, 1994; Ross & Offermann, 1997). The effective leader (who primarily relies on transformational behaviour and only uses the other styles when appropriate) is furthermore focused on achievement (Van Rensburg & Crous, 2000) and dedication, inner direction, and a high activity and energy level contribute to the leader’s function as role model. Enthusiasm and optimism are also required to create a vision of the future and effective problem solving requires self-confidence. Although a clear distinction between the two groups in terms of general adjustment was not possible, the trends support the expectations in terms of leadership styles. The managers in both groups seemed to be resilient, although some apprehension and emotional reactiveness were noted. A degree of complacency was observed in the case of the second group (the managers who did not show a preference in terms of leadership style). The managers in both groups furthermore seemed ambitious, with more moderate levels of energy and drive indicated in the case of the second group. The more placid, less active profile seen for this group probably reflects times when these managers used a style of taking action only when things go wrong and being absent and not taking responsibility for setting goals and making decisions. René van Eeden, Frans Cilliers and Vasi van Deventer 262 Table 6. The interpretation process in terms of social and work related obligations (group 1) Personality traits Man
ager 1 Manager 2 Manager 3 Manager 4 16PF: Rule-consciousness 16PF: Perfectionism OPQ: Conscientious OPQ: Rule Following 8 8 8 8 9 7 4 8 7 7 9 7 4 6 4 7 Interpretation for manager 1 The manager is disciplined and ordered and he would strive to behave in a considerate and socially precise manner. He is furthermore a responsible and persevering person who needs to see tasks through to completion. (He probably expects the same from others.) Together with the adherence to standards and regulations this might indicate some lack of flexibility (but a high degree of reliability where deadlines and prescribed work methods are set down). Interpretation for manager 2 The manager tends to be self-disciplined and organised and he would make an effort to behave in a considerate and socially acceptable manner. He is a responsible and persevering person who could be somewhat rigid in conforming to standards and rules. He prefers the structure provided by clear guidelines and this adherence to regulations could at times be at the cost of completing a task or meeting deadlines. Interpretation for manager 3 The manager tends to be self-disciplined and seems to conform to what is generally regarded as acceptable behaviour and to show regard for moral standards and rules. He is a conscientious and persevering person with a strong emphasis on task completion and meeting deadlines. Also in a work context does he show a preference for some structure in the form of guidelines. Interpretation for manager 4 The manager seems reasonably self-disciplined and aware of and willing to adhere to what is regarded as socially approved behaviour. Nevertheless, in both a social and a work context some flexibility with regard to obligations is observed. In the latter context he shows some preference for structure and a tendency to follow rules and regulations. Trends observed for the group* With one exception, the managers exercising a transformational style indicated adherence to moral standards and rules and a sense of responsibility in both work and social contexts. All the managers in this group furthermore showed adherence to regulations in the work context implying a degree of rigidity. These traits reflected the managers’ reliance on both transformational and active transactional behaviours. Note: * The scores on the personality traits were used to formulate the individual interpretations. Trends were based primarily on these integrated interpretations that provide more information than the scores on the specific traits or averages for traits or a combination of traits. Relationships and interpersonal styles According to Bass (1990), charismatic leaders have a need to influence others. This, however, is coupled with sensitivity to follower’s needs. Social impact involves confidence and assertiveness in social situations (Hogan, 1994; Ross & Offermann, 1997). Idealised influence implies that the leader has to provide clear direction for the group and show confidence in their purpose and actions. One expects the leader to be willing to influence others either through taking control and providing direction or through negotiation and persuasion. Idealised influence, inspirational motivation, and intellectual stimulation furthermore require an assertive and outspoken leader who voices his values and beliefs, clearly states his vision, questions assumptions, and challenges associates in terms of their performance and development. These functions of transformational leadership, however, also Leadership styles and associated personality traits 263 Table 7. The interpretation process in terms of social and work related obligations (group 2) Personality traits Manager 1 Manager 2 Manager 3 Manager 4 16PF: Rule-consciousness 16PF: Perfectionism OPQ: Conscientious OPQ: Rule Following 9 9 6 6 5 7 6 8 4 6 5 8 8 6 3 4 Interpretation for manager 1 The manager is perfectionistic and would conform to what is regarded as socially approved behaviour with (rigid?) adherence to moral standards and rules. High expectations would also be set for others. However, in a work context task deadlines and rules and procedures would be approached with more flexibility (average scores were obtained). Interpretation for manager 2 The manager tends to be disciplined and he would make an effort to behave in a socially approved manner. He indicates reasonable responsibility in terms of social and work related obligations and in the latter context he would emphasise adherence to rules and procedures. Interpretation for manager 3 The manager is reasonably self-disciplined and aware of what is regarded as socially acceptable. However, he tends to be less conforming in terms of social standards and this could to some extent affect the way in which he regards his obligations in this context. He indicates moderate concern for task completion and he would in a work context adhere to regulations and procedures. Interpretation for manager 4 The manager indicates reasonable self-discipline and regard for what is seen as socially acceptable behaviour. He furthermore takes his social responsibilities seriously and would adhere to moral standards. Somewhat conflicting with this he tends to be less restricted by regulations in the workplace and he is flexible in terms of task completion and meeting deadlines. Trends observed for the group* The managers in the second group either showed concern for moral standards and rules or strict adherence to regulations in a work context, but did not indicate a consistent profile of commitment to social as well as work-related obligations. This reflected the active transactional style of this group combined with aspects of the passive styles such as talking about getting work done but not always taking responsibility. Note: * The scores on the personality traits were used to formulate the individual interpretations. Trends were based primarily on these integrated interpretations that provide more information than the scores on the specific traits or averages for traits or a combination of traits. require consultation with and active participation by associates. They need to feel a sense of empowerment and ownership (idealised influence), goals need to be in alignment with their own needs (inspirational motivation), and their intellectual ability needs to be valued and their creativity developed (intellectual stimulation). The managers exercising a transformational style scored average to high in terms of the traits associated with influencing others and taking the lead. With one exception, these managers also indicated that they were open to suggestions, involved others in decision making, and were inclined to go with the majority decision. The managers in the other group indicated assertiveness and a willingness to express themselves, and they scored average to high in terms of their willingness to influence others. However, only one of the managers in this group involved associates, while the others showed self-interest and valued their own intellect more than that of their followers reflecting a directive transactional approach or the passive styles at times practiced by these managers. René van Eeden, Frans Cilliers and Vasi van Deventer 264 Murphy and Ensher (1999) discuss the concept of a continuum of leader-member roles which reflects the extent to which the leader treats followers as in- or out-group members. The relationship with the in-group members is based on transformational behaviours, with the leader showing a need for affiliation and being warm, accepting, and supportive in his or her interpersonal relationships (Liden & Maslyn, 1998; Ross & Offermann, 1997; Van Rensburg & Crous, 2000). According to Bass (1990), the charismatic leader inspires trust, confidence, acceptance, obedience, and affection from followers. Identification and trust and inspiring and stimulating others imply active participation by the leader. Individualised consideration, however, provides the means for moving from transactional to transformational leadership (Avolio & Bass, 1995). This requires concern for subordinate development at an individual level. The relatio
nship with out-group members is based on the contract characterising the transactional style. The manager who preferred to make his own decisions also seemed more reserved, but the other managers in the transformational group indicated that they were outgoing, enjoyed the company of others, and were active in their interactions. All of them indicated trust in and tolerance towards others and were at least reasonably caring and supportive towards and concerned about others (average to high scores). However, being objective individuals implied greater task orientation than people orientation. This made sense in terms of their use of active transactional behaviour where the interaction with associates is aimed at the delegation of tasks rather than individual issues or problems. The managers in the second group mostly indicated that they were reserved and impersonal although they were at least reasonably responsive in their interactions (with the manager who involves others in decision making being more extroverted but with a tendency to be wary of others). They were furthermore mostly selective with their support and preferred to remain detached from others’ problems. This non-involvement is a feature of the passive styles. CONCLUSIONS The findings of the present study largely supported the conceptualisation of leadership styles in terms of the full range model of leadership. The leadership styles practised were associated with personality traits and behaviours relevant to the descriptions of these styles. In summary, the managers who used a transformational style indicated personality traits associated with this type of leadership. Average to high scores in terms of strategic thinking, a conceptual and innovative approach, and critical evaluation of information were coupled with moral concerns, a sense of responsibility, and perseverance. These managers also showed at least reasonable resilience as well as ambition and motivation. Regarding the interpersonal aspect of leadership, this group indicated assertiveness and a need to influence others while also allowing participation by associates and involving others in decision making. These managers were characterised by a need for affiliation, responsiveness in interaction, trust in and tolerance towards others as well as being reasonably caring. The manifestation of these traits, however, was influenced by their use of transactional leadership. They seemed more task oriented than people oriented, and their need for structure probably also affected the inspirational aspect of leadership. One of the managers in this group did not in all aspects fit the above profile and his personality characteristics corresponded to some extent with that of the second group. Although the people who rated him observed much of his behaviour as transformational, this was not always supported in terms of the expected personality traits. For fear of over interpretation only a tentative explanation is provided, namely, that his lower post level implied raters at a lower post level who might have evaluated leadership behaviour differently. Because the managers in the other group used a transformational style at times, the associated traits were also to some extent observed in that group. Traits and behaviours associated with transactional leadership as well as with the more passive styles were, however, also noted. The managers in this group seemed to be task oriented and probably practiced a more directive rather than partici- Leadership styles and associated personality traits 265 pative transactional style. Passive behaviours included a placid attitude, fluctuation in commitment, and a lack of involvement with others. Also in this group the profile of one of the managers varied from the above. This can be explained in terms of his emphasis on certain transactional and passive behaviours despite an overall transformational profile. Interpersonal styles and work and social ethics distinguished the managers practising transformational leadership and it was therefore mainly the traits and behaviours associated with idealised influence and individualised consideration that characterised this leadership style — the interpersonal more than the visionary aspect of leadership. This distinction has been related to identification with the person versus identification with goals. The findings provide valuable guidelines on determining the profile of the effective leader, but also partly indicate perceived effectiveness rather than an objective evaluation. The leader is evaluated by others and it is possible that these raters associated effective leadership with social values and interpersonalsatisfaction. The managers in this study furthermore emphasised transactional behaviours in terms of their need for structure and their focus on task performance. This is probably not only necessary (given the manufacturing environment) but also effective and shows the need for contextual considerations in applying a theory or model. The small sample size and the very specific nature of the management team and of the company imply that the generalisability of the results is limited. However, these factors made it possible to use an approach that highlighted trends in the personality–leadership relationship that would probably have been obscured in a quantitative study. 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Journal of Leadership Education Volume 11, Issue 1 – Winter 2012 49 Impact of Personal Growth Projects on Leadership Identity Development Summer F. Odom Assistant Professor Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications Texas A&M University 2116 TAMU College Station, TX 77843-2116 email@example.com (979) 862-7650 Barry L. Boyd Associate Professor Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications Texas A&M University 2116 TAMU College Station, TX 77843-2116 firstname.lastname@example.org (979) 862-3693 Jennifer Williams Assistant Professor Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications Texas A&M University 2116 TAMU College Station, TX 77843-2116 email@example.com (979) 862-1423 Abstract Within personal leadership education courses, leadership educators should include experiences which help students develop themselves as leaders. In this article, the authors discuss results from a qualitative research study involving the analysis of Personal Growth Project (PGP) assignments in a personal leadership education collegiate course. The authors analyzed PGP assignments using the lens of the Leadership Identity Development model (Komives et al., 2005). All aspects of the developing self component of the model including deepening self-awareness, building self-confidence, establishing interpersonal efficacy, applying new skills, Journal of Leadership Education Volume 11, Issue 1 – Winter 2012 50 and expanding motivations were evident in student reflections about their PGP. The PGP assignment seems to be very effective in promoting the development of students’ leadership identity, especially in the “developing self” category of the Leadership Identity Model (Komives et al., 2005). Introduction “Personal growth is such an interesting thing that it almost isn’t fully learned or understood until after the season of growth.” (Student B19) Boyd and Williams (2010) identified a classroom assignment in a personal leadership education collegiate course designed to foster life-long learning in students. Students in this course are required to complete a personal growth project where they learn a new skill or gain new knowledge. Students are allowed to choose their project with the approval of the instructor. The students must choose to learn something completely new. Examples of projects include learning a musical instrument, learning to cook, learning a new physical activity such as yoga, or expanding their spiritual awareness. Students document and reflect on their personal growth throughout the project and connect course content to their personal growth process. Course content includes topics such as emotional intelligence, personality type, strengths, values, life purpose, creativity, and personal vision. Beyond fostering life-long learning skills, there are other beneficial outcomes to the personal growth project assignment such as developing self- awareness. As leadership development is mostly personal development, becoming more aware of one’s self is a necessary component of personal development (Day, Zaccaro, & Halpin, 2004). To effectively lead others, one must first be able to lead themselves (Neck & Manz, 2007). “The instrument of leadership is the self, and the mastery of the art of leadership comes from the mastery of the self” (p. 344). Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses, what you value and believe, and your preferences for learning, thinking, and relating help you relate to others and establish credibility in those relationships (Komives, Lucas, & McMahon, 2006). Leadership occurs in the context of interpersonal relationships. Interpersonal skill development enhances our capacity to lead others as we learn from our experiences, acquire new skills, and develop our self-concept (Fritz, Brown, Lunde, & Banset, 2004). Interpersonal skill development is really about discovering who you are. This self-discovery which leads to self-confidence is “really awareness of and faith in your own powers. These powers become clear and strong only as you work to identify and develop them” (Kouzes & Posner, Journal of Leadership Education Volume 11, Issue 1 – Winter 2012 51 1990, p. 298). Because people are not fully conscious of all aspects of their identities (Day et al., 2004), leadership educators should help students become aware of the components of their self and develop a deeper self-awareness of the individual. This paper discusses the impact of using Personal Growth Projects (PGPs) to help students “develop self” in a personal leadership education collegiate course. Students’ reflections from completing a personal growth project were analyzed using the Leadership Identity Development model as the framework (Komives, Owen, Longerbeam, Mainella, & Osteen, 2005). Literature Review and Conceptual Framework London (2009) describes leadership development as a process contributing to continuous growth of the person. One of the four primary components to leadership development is personal growth (Conger, 1992). An integral part of the development process is the concept of continuous learning. London states that continuous learning is imperative if leaders are to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change and the expansion of the global economy. London and Smither (1999) defined continuous learning as “a self-initiated, discretionary, planned, and proactive pattern of formal or informal activities that are sustained over time for the purpose of applying or transporting knowledge for career development’’ ( p. 81). Leadership educators should try to foster continuous learning experiences in students to help them develop as leaders. One way to do this is through experiential learning activities such as the PGP. Kolb (1984) described experiential learning as a process which links education, work, and personal development. Kolb’s model, based on the work of Dewey (1938), Lewin (1958), and Piaget (1970), revolves around four key points in cyclical form. First, individuals have a concrete experience, which is followed by reflective observations, abstract conceptualizations, and active experimentation (Kolb, 1984). Each point is unique to the learner’s experience. Giving learners an opportunity to reflect on and observe experiences is key to learning in Kolb’s model (1984). PGPs allow students to experience something new (concrete experience), reflect on their experience and what they learned (reflective observations), state changes they foresee or may encounter (abstract conceptualizations), and apply it to other aspects of their life (active experimentation). By purposefully constructing the PGP assignment, leadership educators create an experiential learning activity for students. Journal of Leadership Education Volume 11, Issue 1 – Winter 2012 52 Based on grounded theory research, the Komives et al. (2005) model for developing a leadership identity is a useful framework for assessing the effect of PGPs on student learning and development. Komives et al. proposed a model for developing a leadership identity based on an emergent design. This study linked student development theories with the process of leadership development to build a model for assisting leadership educators in facilitating leadership development in students. In the study by Komives et al., a sample of students who exemplified relational leadership were identified and interviewed to arrive at the process of developing a leadership identity. In the Leadership Identity Development (LID) model, six stages of the developmental process were identified as leadership constructs (Komives et al., 2005): • Awareness. • Exploration/Engagement. • Leader Identified. • Leadership Differentiated. • Generativity. • Integration/Synthesis. “Leadership identity develops through six stages moving from awareness to integration/synthesis” (Komives et al., 2005, pp. 608-609). These stages are conceptualized as cyclical, which allows for individuals to go between stages and repeat stages, learning and acquiring information through each repeated stage. Five
organizational categories also emerged for the process of developing leadership identity: • Developmental influences. • Developing self. • Group influences. • Changing view of self with others. Journal of Leadership Education Volume 11, Issue 1 – Winter 2012 53 • Broadening view of leadership. Developing self, one of the categories emergent in Komives et al. (2005) study, was the focus of this research study. Dimensions of personal growth were evident in the developing self category, which includes “deepening self-awareness, building self-confidence, establishing interpersonal efficacy, applying new skills, and expanding motivations” (p. 599). Deepening self-awareness involves moving from having a vague sense of self to affirming your strengths, weaknesses, and roles in which you thrive. According to George (2007), members of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council listed self-awareness unanimously as the “most important capability for leaders to develop” (p. 69). Self-awareness includes affirmation of personal values, sense of personal integrity, strengths, and weaknesses. Self-confidence evolves through meaningful experiences, which support a positive self-concept. This self-confidence results in taking more risks and a feeling of empowerment (Komives et al., 2005). Learning to “relate to and communicate with people different from themselves” (Komives et al., 2005, p. 601) is a part of establishing interpersonal efficacy. By working closely with others who are different from you, an appreciation of diverse points of view and the valuing of different perspectives occur. Applying new skills occurred as a result of being involved in different experiences. Public speaking skills, delegating, motivating, team-building, facilitating, and listening skills are examples of new skills which can be acquired due to engagement in multiple experiences (Komives et al., 2005). While making friends or participating in interesting activities was an initial reason to get involved in experiences, as students gained more experience, their goals were refined and their focus changed to that of seeking out those things which meant something to them. Their experiences sparked a “deep sense of commitment to something and knew that passion would be a strong motivation to action” (Komives et al., 2005, p. 602). Expanding motivations includes following your passion or interest, exploring and engaging in a concept beyond the initial introduction to it. There is very little empirical research found in the literature regarding the leadership identity development model. Furthermore, research on the leadership identity development model focuses on how students developed their leadership identity. For instance, Oldham (2008) focused on the “unique collegiate experiences of African American students at a predominantly White institution, Journal of Leadership Education Volume 11, Issue 1 – Winter 2012 54 with the intent of finding avenues to further support not only their academic journeys, but also their personal growth and development” (p. 108). This research study focused on the use of a collegiate course assignment in helping students develop self. While theory is useful in describing, explaining, and predicting student behavior, influencing student development is the ultimate goal of leadership education and practice (McEwen, 2003). Komives et al. (2009) recommended that “all leadership courses and other educational experiences should integrate opportunities for self-awareness and personal assessment that were critical to the development in each of the LID stages” (p. 37). The use of PGPs promotes leadership identity development in students by providing experiences from which they can develop their sense of self. Through their PGPs, students are challenged to participate in an experience which takes them out of their comfort zone and creates new conditions and contexts from which to grow. By reflecting on these new experiences, students deepen their selfawareness, build self-confidence, establish interpersonal efficacy, apply new skills, and expand their motivations. Methodology Understanding how a leadership identity is formed is a severely multifarious phenomenon. According to Conger (1998), qualitative research “can be the richest of studies, often illuminating in radically new ways phenomena as complex as leadership” (p. 107). Basic qualitative methodology was chosen as the most effective means to investigate the research question. As Flaum (2002) noted, effective leadership is often learned during leadership experiences. Because of this and based on the work of several leadership scholars (Flaum, 2002; Brungardt, 1996; Bass & Bass, 2008), the researchers chose to frame this study in the inquiry paradigm of phenomenology. Phenomenology explores “how human beings make sense of experience and transform experience into consciousness” (Patton, 2002, p. 104). Population and Sample The population for this study is undergraduate students enrolled in a personal leadership education course at Texas A&M University. One of the objectives of the course is for students to become more aware of, apply, and reflect upon personal leadership capacities. Students achieve this objective by participating in the abovementioned PGP. Journal of Leadership Education Volume 11, Issue 1 – Winter 2012 55 The sample of this study consists of 90 students’ PGP reflection papers. Three different instructors during the Spring 2010 and Fall 2010 semesters contributed random samples of students’ PGP reflections (a total possible n of 229). A sample of 34 reflections came from the Spring 2010 section, 26 from one section in the Fall of 2010, and 30 from another section in the Fall of 2010. Purposeful random sampling was chosen to “to reduce bias” (Patton, 2002, p. 244) in sampling three different sections of Personal Leadership Education. Each reflection paper was given a code identifying which section (S, J, or B) it was taken from and numbered at random. Data Collection The type of data collected should be emergent from the research design and the purpose of the research. In this phenomenological study, it was concluded that students’ reflections of their experiences in their personal growth projects would yield the most rich data. In phenomenology, reflection is retrospective, not introspective (Van Manen, 1990), so asking students to reflect on their lived experiences within the PGP assignment fulfills this retrospective reflection. As part of the PGP assignment, students were asked to reflect on their PGP experience. Students cogitated on how their chosen project effected their leadership development as well as how the PGP helped them experience models and theories covered in class. The random sample yielded 90 usable reflections. These reflections vary on length and chosen PGP. Data Analysis Deductive content analysis was conducted on the 90 student sample reflections. The developing self component of the Leadership Identity Development (LID) model (Komives et al., 2005) was used as the deductive lens. In order to establish inter-rater reliability, all three researchers conducted separate hand-coded content analysis. Each researcher coded the reflections into unitized data in accordance to their perception of LID application. Data units were extracted from the original sources and then categorized into core consistencies (Lincoln & Guba, 1989). The combined efforts of the researchers resulted in over 200 unitized data segments. Inter-rater reliability or the triangulation of analysis, in which “two or more persons independently analyze the same qualitative data and compare their findings” (p. 560) adds to the reliability of data analysis (Patton, 2002). Because the same procedure of unitizing data was used by all researchers, triangulation was established by comparing the data units which were assigned to the five sub-categories of the LID model. Data units, which were coded into internally homogeneous categories by the researchers, were used as a viable pool for describing the findings of the resea
rch. The narrative descriptions of the data Journal of Leadership Education Volume 11, Issue 1 – Winter 2012 56 units and core consistencies provided sufficient detail to enable the reader to make adequate interpretations and transferability decisions. An audit trail including the initial hand-coded content analysis and compilation of data units into core consistencies was kept with each coded writing sample to ensure dependability and confirmability (Lincoln & Guba, 1989). Findings This study examined the leadership identity development of students who completed a PGP in an upper-level course on personal leadership education. Specifically, the researchers examined students’ development as it relates to the Developing Self component of the LID model (Komives et al., 2005). The Developing Self component consists of five sub-categories – Deepening SelfAwareness, Building Self-Confidence, Establishing Interpersonal Efficacy, Applying New Skills, and Expanding Motivations. Deepening Self-Awareness Eighty-five point five percent of the sample described becoming more aware of certain personal traits than they were before the personal growth project. Areas of self-awareness that were reported included realizing how they learn and solve problems, their levels of patience when tackling new and unfamiliar tasks, as well as their levels of drive and persistence in completing their projects. One student noted, “It (the project) forced me to take a long hard look internally, where I came to realize things about me that I thought were good, but also many things that I know I need to improve on.” Student B21 observed, “I normally rely on people for help with many things in life. This project made me see that I am capable of learning new things and doing tasks on my own.” Other students, such as S26, noted that “I really like learning new things” and “I learned that I excel under pressure!” Building Self-Confidence Almost 52% of the sample described an increase in self-confidence as a result of completing their growth project. This increase in self-confidence instilled within the students a desire to continue attempting new things and move out of their comfort zone. Many students noted that this new-found confidence would encourage them to seek leadership roles and be more vocal in their organizational meetings. Journal of Leadership Education Volume 11, Issue 1 – Winter 2012 57 Student S19 claimed that “My life has already changed a great deal from taking this class (Crossfit), it has truly inspired me to be better in every aspect of my life.” Another student noted, “a new confidence in me has come with it. Now I am no longer afraid to tackle new challenges that are placed in front of me.” (S21) This same sentiment is echoed by other students. “This experience has helped me realize that I should not let fear keep me from trying something new” (B22) and “In the future, if a strenuous assignment is placed before me, I know that I have the capability to go out and accomplish it.” (J4) Establishing Interpersonal Efficacy More than 44% of the sample reported increases in their interpersonal efficacy. This lower percentage might be explained by the number of projects where students worked independently and thus did not have the opportunity to interact with others and build this skill. Those who did report gains in this area noted stronger relationships with family members and friends who shared an interest in their topic as well as new friendships that were established. “My ego has had to take a back seat while learning this skill (archery) and I am now more empathetic when others come to me for help.” (J12) This student understood the need to identify followers who can compensate for her weaknesses as a leader. In the context of her cooking project she described the experience stating, “I see with greater clarity the need for people on my team or in my community that complement what I do well by picking up the slack where I am weak. If I am an especially salty and starch-heavy course of chicken and dumplings, then I need people with me who add sweetness like a pie or crisp, lively energy like a green salad.” (B5). Applying New Skills Nearly 57% of the sample reported learning new skills that could be applied in their leadership roles. The ability to listen to others was a key skill noted by students. Other leadership skills included improved problem solving and timemanagement skills. Continuous learning is an essential attitude for leaders. This student proclaimed, “I can take the steps I used in cake decorating and apply them to any new thing that I want to learn in the future. “ (B2) Another student stated “I have always taken the easy route in life and this project helped me to see that sometimes it is more beneficial to stray away from the safe zone in order to expand your knowledge.” (B4) Student S12 observed, “I actually saw that in different situations that I actually could see my strengths take action.” Journal of Leadership Education Volume 11, Issue 1 – Winter 2012 58 Expanding Motivations Expanding motivations is described as narrowing or focusing goals and seeking a deeper commitment to something (Komives, et al., 2005). Almost 39% of the sample noted growth in this area. Student B15 stated, “This project alone made me realize the importance of finding a career that suits my strengths and addresses my personality type. …I am determined to find a career that addresses my creativity and allows the artistic side of me to flourish.” Student S11 found a new passion in the project, “I think that this experience is going to become a pastime that I will embrace for the rest of my life.” “I realized that even knowledgeable leaders also have room to grow and learn more,” noted student J33. Student B26 noted that “in many situations, you may have all of the resources sitting right before your eyes, but be unable to put them all together. The project helped me look at those pieces and instead of just seeing pieces, I saw the big picture that those pieces, when working together, could create. As a leader, people will look at you to be that person who is able to take those pieces and create the ‘bigger picture’ that no one else can see.” Student J10 learned that leaders cannot do it alone: “I cannot do everything by myself no matter how strong I think I am at any given thing. I need a team of people around me to tell me how they were able to succeed and give me perspective when I look at something too narrowly.” (J10) The actual number of students making at least one comment for each sub-category is listed in Table 1. Additional themes emerging from the sample included: • Their chosen project reduced stress in their lives. • Increased levels of patience. • Learned independence. Journal of Leadership Education Volume 11, Issue 1 – Winter 2012 59 Table 1 Number and percentage of students reporting in each sub-stage of the LID Model, N=90. LID Subcategory n* Percentage Developing Self-Awareness 77 85.5 Building Self-Confidence 45 51.8 Establishing Interpersonal Efficacy 40 44.4 Applying New Skills 51 56.7 Expanding Motivations 35 38.9 *Note: n=number of students from the sample of 90 that exhibited growth in that trait. Conclusions The PGP assignment seems to be very effective in promoting the development of students’ leadership identity, especially in the “developing self” category of the Leadership Identity Model (Komives et al., 2005). Researchers found evidence of each component of Developing Self (deepening self-awareness, building selfconfidence, establishing interpersonal efficacy, applying new skills, and expanding motivations) in students’ reflections. The greatest area of growth was in Developing Self-awareness. Sparrowe (2005) notes that self-awareness is a key component for developing authenticity. Continual development of self-awareness is part of the journey to students’ developing their leadership identity. Over onehalf of the students gained self-confidence in their ability to complete new and challenging tasks. Kolb (1999) found that s
elf-confidence to be a predictor for identifying emerging leaders for further training and development. Because developing relationships is critical to effective leadership, improving Interpersonal Efficacy is an important concept in developing a leadership identity. More than 50% of the students were able to see how the skills they developed in their PGP could be transferred to a leadership role. Taking concepts learned in one context, reflecting on their application in a different context, then testing those concepts in that new context perfectly describes Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model (1984). The Expanding Motivations subcategory had the fewest number of students indicating growth. The prompts for reflection in this assignment were not designed to have students reflect on this concept and could indicate the lower number of students reporting growth in this area. Journal of Leadership Education Volume 11, Issue 1 – Winter 2012 60 Recommendations and Implications Having students complete a PGP assignment can be effective in helping them develop self. Developing self is important in leading others (Neck & Manz, 2007; Komives, 1998). As leadership educators, we should be concerned about how students learn leadership. Huber (2002) stated “as leadership educators, we help people to understand what it means to be a leader” (p. 31). This PGP assignment has implications for leadership educators who teach personal leadership education courses. As the research concluded, leadership educators could use this PGP assignment to help students develop self. The reflection is a critical component to this assignment. Providing students with a few questions to think about in regard to their personal growth is important in this process. This assignment gives students the opportunity to learn something new, take risks, learn outside the classroom, and do something they really enjoy. This ultimately leads to promoting “developing self” in order to grow as a leader and gain selfknowledge. Additional research is needed that focuses on other outcomes of the PGP assignment. Other possible avenues include examining the effect of the PGP on the development of emotional intelligence, as well as the development of the attitude of life-long learning. Comparing courses which use similar projects to develop personal leadership skills and knowledge would add to the validity of the study. This would also cross-validate the assignment as a viable option in personal leadership development. Journal of Leadership Education Volume 11, Issue 1 – Winter 2012 61 References Bass, B. M., & Bass, R. (2008). The Bass handbook of leadership: Theory, research, and managerial applications (4th ed.). New York: Free Press. Boyd, B. 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