Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1462386
 
 

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Bush's Brain (No, Not Karl Rove):‎ How Bush’s Psyche Shaped His Decision-Making


Robert Maranto


University of Arkansas - Education Reform

Richard E. Redding


Chapman University, Office of the Chancellor

August 26, 2009

R. Maranto, JUDGING BUSH, Stanford University Press, 2009
Chapman University Law Research Paper No. 09-42

Abstract:     
‎We summarize the most systematic work on George W. Bush's psyche. SAT scores and other available measures indicate that Bush has ‎sufficient intelligence to serve as president. Yet the best studies, in which raters evaluate ‎statements without being aware of their source, suggest that Bush lacks integrative complexity ‎and thus views issues without nuance. The leading personality ‎theory (the “5-Factor Model”), as measured by the NEO Personality Inventory, suggests that ‎Bush is highly extroverted but not very agreeable or conscientious. He also scores low on ‎‎“Openness to Experience." Similarly, using the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria, Bush fits the “Outgoing,” “Dominant (Controlling),” and “Dauntless” personality ‎patterns, which together constitute a style given to lack of reflection, superficiality, and ‎impulsivity. When compared to other presidents, Bush most closely resembles Jackson, Reagan, ‎and Harding, but is very unlike his father, George H.W. Bush. ‎

We apply these findings to discussions of President Bush's decision-making in the ‎cases of his most notable success, education reform, and his most notable failure, the Iraq war. ‎We argue that Bush's psychological predispositions were particularly noteworthy in the latter, in ‎part because greater presidential power in foreign policy magnifies the impacts of leader personality.‎

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

Keywords: Bush, Presidential Greatness, Presidential Leadership, Iraq War, No Child Left Behind Act, Personality, Cognitive style, Presidential Decision making

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Date posted: August 26, 2009 ; Last revised: May 29, 2014

Suggested Citation

Maranto, Robert and Redding, Richard E., Bush's Brain (No, Not Karl Rove):‎ How Bush’s Psyche Shaped His Decision-Making (August 26, 2009). R. Maranto, JUDGING BUSH, Stanford University Press, 2009; Chapman University Law Research Paper No. 09-42. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1462386

Contact Information

Robert Maranto
University of Arkansas - Education Reform ( email )
201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States
479-575-3225 (Phone)
479-575-3196 (Fax)
Richard E. Redding (Contact Author)
Chapman University, Office of the Chancellor ( email )
One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866-1099
United States
714-628-2688 (Phone)
714-628-2564 (Fax)
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