This President Had the Most 'Grandiose Narcissism'

Lyndon Johnson was full of himself, but it may have helped
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 17, 2013 5:30 AM CST
Lady Bird Johnson, left, and President Lyndon B. Johnson are shown in the Oval Office July 26, 1968.   (AP Photo/ LBJ Library Photo/ Yoichi Okamoto)

(Newser) – When you're running the country, being narcissistic may come in handy. Psychologists and experts on presidential personalities have put together a list of the presidents who had the most "grandiose narcissism"—which, the Houston Chronicle explains, is characterized by a showy and extroverted personality. That's in contrast to "vulnerable narcissism," which involves being more sensitive. More than 100 authorities on various presidents assessed the leaders' traits; to judge a president's success, researchers referred to surveys of historians, Futurity reports. Our most grandiosely narcissistic president? One Lyndon Baines Johnson, the study finds.

Runners-up were Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy. Grandiose narcissism is associated with "overall greatness," says the study, published in Psychological Science. It's also linked to being persuasive, good at handling crises, and taking charge of the agenda. Unfortunately, those presidents with the most grandiose narcissism were also prime candidates for impeachment and had questionable ethics. "It’s interesting to me that these are memorable presidents, ones that we tend to talk about and learn about in history classes," a researcher says. "Only rarely, however, do we talk about most of those who had low ratings for grandiose narcissism, like Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore." (Read more Lyndon Johnson stories.)

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