Jul
19

Councillor Personality Types

posted on July 19th 2007 in Democracy with 0 Comments

The IDeA have published a report on the personality types of councillors and how they differ from the general population (hat-tip Mike at OpenEye).

Councillors are more likely to be extravert (sic – IDeA are obviously followers of Jung) – 68 per cent compared to the general population’s 52 per cent – and less likely to be introvert than the population as a whole. That is, they are more at home being out and about and engaging in face-to-face conversations with large numbers of people. They will tend to have a broad range of interests and be energised by the cut and thrust of interaction.

Well, there’s a surprise, but it gets better…

Councillors will be more likely to take a hard objective look at the facts and generally will not be ruled by their emotions. They would generally be interested in reaching a solution that was objective and where the ‘business case’ stacked up while the majority of the population would be more concerned with the effect a decision had on people – councillors 67 per cent compared to the population’s 46 per cent.

This is all obviously true and not some puff written to make councillors look good.  I guess that is why "a hard objective look at the facts" by most councillors leads to consensus decision-making across political parties.

I’m also sure that the Myers-Briggs test are accurate and that nobody would answer them with the personality they think they should have rather than perfectly objectively.  I vaguely recall a test from my undergraduate days that categorised your personality from Rock to Plastic depending on how you shaped your persona to the people and environment around you.  If I remember correctly Rob, the Rock, went into corporate banking and Plastic Graeme spent a few years on a PhD before training as a psychologist.  No councillors in our group though.

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