of personality according to James David Barber
in The Pulse of Politics (New York: W.W. Norton, 1980).
Activity or Passivity
much energy does a president invest in his presidency?
Positiveness or Negativeness toward the job of president
the president enjoy his job? Does he enjoy exercising power?
Does the job make him sad or discouraged?
dimensions are closely related to dimensions of dominance/submissiveness,
extroversion/introversion, and optimism/pessimism.
president who spends a lot of energy and enjoys his job.
This type of president tends to have high self-esteem.
He tends to be productive in pushing programs through.
He is flexible enough to try something else when his plans are stymied.
He wants results.
FDR, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, George Bush (The first Bush presidency)
president who spends a lot of energy but does not enjoy his job.
This type tends to have low self-esteem.
Expands his energy compulsively to compensate for some shortcoming or
to prove to others that he is a person to be reckoned with,
Seeks and tries to retain power. Is
rigid when stymied. He wants to
get and keep power.
Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Lyndon Johnson
president who does not spend much energy but nevertheless likes the job.
Tends to have low self-esteem and compensates for this by seeking
affection instead of power. He
does this by being agreeable and cooperative rather than assertive.
He wants affection.
Howard Taft, Warren Harding, Ronald Reagan
president who does not spend much energy and does not like the job.
He becomes president because he thinks he should, out of a sense of
service to the country. He wants
the grim satisfaction of doing his duty.
Calvin Coolidge, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon
For more United States History notes, visit Mr. Crown's United States History and Government Page.
For fiction, literary criticism, political theory, political science, and history stories and essays, visit the online resume/CV/portfolio of Andrew Lawrence Crown. Click here and scroll down to the bottom of the resume/CV/portfolio to find the links to the Collected Writings of Andrew Lawrence Crown.