Trump often gets compared to Hitler, but there are actually quite a few differences. For one, Hitler actually wrote Mein Kampf himself. Two, Hitler had his own hair. And three, Dr. Kevin Dutton, a psychologist at Oxford University, found that Trump is a bigger psychopath.
In an article for the journal Scientific American Mind, Dutton, the author of books including The Wisdom of Psychopaths, reported findings that The Donald outscored The Führer on the Revised Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI-R) test.
Of course, neither Hitler nor Trump, actually took the test (that would have required Trump to pay attention for an extended period of time). And for the record, the American Psychiatric Association has said that it is unethical for mental health professionals to diagnose candidates they have not personally evaluated. So this is more of a parlor game for psychologists. Still, an interesting one.
Dutton found that Hitler scored 169, and Trump scored a 171 on the test, putting them both in the top echelon of all people who have been evaluated by this tool.
“I don’t know about the Hitler comparison. I hadn’t heard that, but it’s a terrible comparison. I’m not happy about that certainly,” Trump has demurred, in response to questions about Nazi salutes at his rallies.
Although psychopathic traits—which include “fearlessness,” “impulsivity,” and “blame externalization”—are usually considered negative (to put it mildly), they have also been associated with charismatic leaders generally considered pretty good, like Jesus. He scored 157.
“Some of those traits, such as fearlessness or stress immunity, can be positive,” explained Dutton. “Others, such as blame externalization or being unconcerned about the future, are more likely to be negative…Both great and terrible leaders score higher than the general population for psychopathic traits, but it is the mix of those traits that determines success. For example, someone who scores highly for being influential, fearless and cold-hearted could be a decisive leader who can make dispassionate decisions. If those traits are accompanied by a high score on blaming others, they might be a genocidal demagogue.”
Trump beat Hitler on “fearlessness,” while Hitler unsurprisingly excelled at “Machiavellian egocentricity” and “cold-heartedness.”
As for Clinton? She scored a 152 overall, but the scores that put someone in the top 20 percent are lower for women than for men. And she got the same score as Saddam Hussein for “Machiavellian egocentricity” (ME).
Sweet Bernie Sanders got a 129 overall, and was the only candidate among Trump, Clinton and Ted Cruz to not score in the upper 20 percent for any of the traits.
Check out the chart below to see how everyone stacked up on the specific factors.
Yellow highlight indicates that the person has scored in the top 20 percent of all people who have been evaluated with the test.
SI=Social Influence, F=Fearlessness, STI=Stress Immunity
ME=Machiavellian Egocentricity, RN=Rebellious Nonconformity, BE=Blame Externalization, CN=Carefree Nonplanfulness