Public Politics - Overview

Political types pervade our cultures: liberal, conservative, green, libertarian. But what does it mean to say one is a "political type"? And, what factors influence one to be "typical" when it comes to political matters?

The search for personality and political types has a long history. From the Hellenistic Age to Medieval and Renaissance thought, both medicine and personality theorists relied on typologies related to bodily fluids (e.g., sanguine, melancholy, choleric, and phlegmatic personality types). The political psychologist Harold Lasswell wrote in the early 20th Century of three political types: Administrator, Agitator, and Theorist. Temperament theorist David Keirsey has analyzed the temperament types of U.S. presidents. More recently the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press has proposed there are eight political types in U.S. politics.

One of the objectives of Political | Types is to build on this work, particularly by exploring the relationship between Jung's psychological types and public political orientations. Although there is little research in this area, Consulting Psychologists Press--the publisher of the MBTI--has published some research. These results are discussed in an article that can be found by clicking on the "Articles" link in the Public Politics menu above.

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