Long recognized for the diverse array of personalities it hosts, the U.S. Senate constitutes an institution in which individual psychological differences among its members carry significant potential consequences. Unfortunately, studying those individual differences is no easy task. This study introduces a new approach for doing so. Specifically, the study develops Big Five trait ratings for eighty-seven U.S. senators, with data drawn from assessments provided by a set of experts, U.S. Senate insiders. The paper explains the rationale for use of expert evaluations, offers evidence regarding the reliability and validity of the resulting measures, and explores possible relationships between personality and ten aspects of Senate behavior.
- Big Five
- U.S. Senate
- elite personality
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science