Individual Presentation:
• Robert Gordon: Measuring the Mental Functioning of Putin, Trump, and Zelenskyy (60 min)

Abstract: History informs us that the malignant mental illness of autocratic leaders causes the worst avoidable suffering.  It is the duty of experts to educate and warn of such dangers. One objective way to do so is to consider a person’s capacity for mature leadership by assessing: weighting evidence, insightfulness, communication skills, making rational decisions, being realistic, high stress tolerance, resiliency and adaptation, good impulse control, and healthy standards and ideals. The Psychodiagnostic Chart (PDC-2) is the assessment tool of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2). The PDC-2’s Mental Functioning scales were used in this study since they show a high degree of utility for measuring these mental traits and are useful for informing the voting public.

To test the utility of the Mental Function scales we used a purposive group of 50 mental health experts to rate Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelenskyy. This study demonstrated that the PDC-2’s Mental Functioning scale was sensitive to both large and subtle differences in these political leaders. The Mental Functioning scale measured Volodymyr Zelenskyy with an over-all percentage of 91%. This indicates a psychologically healthy leader. Vladimir Putin’s average score was 41 % which is in the severe mental illness range. Donald Trump was rated at the 25% level of Mental Functioning or in the severe mental illness range. Putin and Trump both scored in the dangerous range in all 12 Mental Functions.

Bio: Robert M. Gordon PhD, ABPP, is a licensed psychologist and a Diplomate of Clinical Psychology and a Diplomate of Psychoanalysis and served on the governing council of the American Psychological Association. He was president of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association and received its Distinguished Service Award. He was elected Honorary Member of the American Psychoanalytic Association. He authored many scholarly articles and books in the areas of ethics, the MMPI-2, psychotherapy, relationships, forensic psychology, personality assessment, diagnoses, the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual, a PDM-2 editor and researcher, and co-author of the Psychodiagnostic Chart. Dr. Gordon is rated by ResearchGate as a top researcher. He has an international consulting practice.

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