Is [Your Favorite Politician Here] Narcissistic Enough to Be a Good President?

Clinton-EsquireI expect we all agree that the presidency is not a job for a shrinking violet.  We acknowledge that a president without self-confidence would be a disaster in the making.  But just how confident do we want our president to be?  Is the kind of extroversion that helps people succeed in modern political campaigns also helpful in making our presidents better leaders once elected?

An interesting study published in Psychological Science suggests the benefits of narcissism outweigh the harms.  The study rated all U.S. presidents (through George W. Bush) on a narcissism scale, and then tested whether their level of narcissism was correlated with objective measures of their success as presidents.  Researchers broke narcissism into two subdomains: (1) grandiose narcissism—characterized by flamboyance and interpersonal dominance and (2) vulnerable narcissism—characterized by emotional fragility and social withdrawal…

(See how the presidents stack up and comment at Forbes)

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