Group Dynamics and the Public Sphere

Psychology in the Public Sphere

Do politicians have particular personality traits?

Although there has not been much empirical research into the personality traits of politicians, there has certainly been a lot of commentary on this topic from psychoanalysts and other clinicians. The extensive media coverage of the lives of politicians provides ample opportunity for clinicians to make inferences about their psychological traits. The information in the media shares many similarities with the kind of 2 information that psychotherapists gain from their patients during the course of treatment. Notably, the conclusions that different clinicians draw are quite similar. One of the most common traits that clinicians talk about is that of narcissism, maybe because the most active media coverage of politicians follows scandals.


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