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President Biden’s personality characteristics and his success as US President: a brief analysis

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The current article reviews two studies of President Biden’s personality, one conducted just before and the other following his election to the Presidency in November 2020. Both studies utilized at-a-distance assessment methods involving expert raters who completed standardized personality inventories based on reviewing President Biden’s public persona. Both studies suggested that President Biden possesses prosocial traits, including a high level of extraversion and a moderately high level of agreeableness, enabling him to be a “healer-in-chief.” Yet, despite the prosocial traits emphasized in both studies, President Biden has had low approval ratings by the American public, and most Americans, including Democrats, do not want him to run for re-election. However, public opinion polls do not necessarily reflect a president’s performance, and it may be premature to conclude whether President Biden has had a successful presidency. In this article, President Biden’s personality qualities will be discussed briefly in connection with a study of 41 US presidents that focused partly on associations between presidential personality and presidential greatness or success. President Biden’s “conciliatory extravert” personality style, in conjunction with his modest levels of ambition and dominance, might not be consistent with the particularly high levels of assertiveness and achievement-striving historically characteristic of “great” presidents. This may help explain in part why most Americans have, at the present time, not perceived President Biden as a very popular or successful president. Ultimately, historians will form judgments in the future about his presidency.


personality style, independents, unemployment, interpersonal qualities