About Barack Obama Bio

Barack Obama is one of the world's best leaders today. He is most recognized as the leader who became the United States of America's first African American president. Because of America's history of racial injustices, the accomplishment was enormous. As a leader, he boasts a variety of personality attributes that have helped him launch his political career with great success. This paper will attempt to examine Barack Obama using the physiologically based trait theory of Eysenck. Eysenck employed a technique known as factor analysis, which reduced behaviors to factors that may be classified under numerous headings known as dimensions.  He found out that behavior can be categorized into two dimensions the first being introversion and extroversion and the second being neuroticism. He referred to these as second-order personality traits. The two dimensions according to Eysenck combine in forming a range of personality characteristics. The paper will try to look at the personality trait of Barack Obama throughout his life. The former president can be categorized as an extrovert due to his social nature, and he can also be referred to as an introvert due to his reserved character and he is also very stable.

Barack Obama


Barack Hussein Obama II was born on 4th August 1961 in Honolulu Hawaii. His mother was Ann Dunham a white American while his father was a black Kenyan from Africa. His father would, later on, go Harvard divorcing his mother and moving back to Kenya. After high school Barack Obama studied for two years in Los Angeles at Occidental college, transferring to Columbia University where he graduated with a degree in political science. Obama moved to Chicago in 1985 after working for two years in the business sector (Redlawsk D.P, 2010). While in Chicago he worked as a community organizer for low income residents. In 1988 he entered Harvard law school. In the same year, he joined as a summer associate, the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin where he met Michelle Robinson who ended up becoming his wife.

He was the first African American to be elected as the editor of the Harvard law review and in 1991, he graduated from Harvard law as magna cum laude. He returned to Chicago where he practiced as a civil rights lawyer, he ran as a Democrat for the Illinois state and later the United States Senate where he won (Redlawsk D.P, 2010). He went ahead to become the first African American to be elected as president of the United States and won again the re-election serving for two terms.

Barack Obama exemplifies a combination of leadership styles which show compassion and ability to adapt, for the American people. He is a man of change who has a lot of conviction and perseverance in everything that he does. He is known worldwide for his risk-taking behavior and his charisma which enabled him through his slogan ‘yes we can ‘to be elected as president. His orating skills and various other features will be evaluated through Eysenck’s biologically based trait theory.

Biologically based trait theory

The personality of a person can be defined as the features which allow the prediction of the actions of a person in certain situations. In his research Eysenck, studied human beings as biosocial beings whose actions depend on social and biological factors. His theory suggested that the personality of a person can be measured across two dimensions the first being extraversion and introversion and the second was neuroticism (Furnham & Petrides 2014). Eysenck categorized neuroticism into two dimensions which are stable versus unstable which when combined with introversion-extroversion form a range of personality characteristics which we will use to analyze Barack Obama's personality.

Barack Obama is known to display both introversion and extroversion character traits. Extraverts are people who are known to get their energy from other people while introverts gain the energy from themselves. Barack Obama can be perceived to be an introvert; this should however not be confused in assuming that he does not like people. On the contrary introverts like and care about people just as much as extroverts do the only difference is that they do not like to be surrounded by people a lot and prefer there close group of friends and acquaintances.

After he completed his high school education, he got accepted to join many colleges. Obama showcased his introversive nature of being thoughtful by choosing to enroll at Occidental college. He reached this decision after he met a woman who had been vacationing in Hawaii with her parents. After entering the college, he decided to take advantage of the transfer program and moved to Columbia University in New York; this highlights his nature as a self-reflective person. New York City changed him to the extent that he did not want to be like his black American middle-class friends (Redlawsk D.P, 2010). His concentration was mainly in his studies where he worked hard, choosing not to be very active in his social life, a character that his highly exhibited by introverts. He later on graduated with a degree in political science. Looking back at his academic experience, he regards it as a very tough time where he spent most of his time in the local library. He exhibited monk like tendencies which limited him from socializing.

After a brief job as a coordinator, he moved to Chicago where he worked as a project coordinator for community projects. The position required interaction with a lot of people showcasing barrack’s extroversive nature since the job expected him to be social to people. His sensitivity to people in his community led him to seek a degree in law at Harvard. While in law school his leadership skills were developed when ran for president of the Harvard Law Review, becoming the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review. Leadership is a trait that is exhibited by people who tend to be extroverted and stable according to Eysenck (Furnham & petrides 2014). He was also optimistic in vying for the seat by believing that he would be able to win the seat regardless of his race.

He went ahead to practice civil rights law and later he transferred to the University of Chicago, teaching constitutional law as a lecturer and then as a professor. He focused on the teaching aspect of his law career showing extraversion. His passion for serving other people led him to start his political career in 1996 in the Illinois legislature. His excellent communication skills and friendly nature, which are highly regarded as extroversive led him to get crime legislation and campaign finance reform while Democrats were in the minority (Redlawsk D.P, 2010). The art of communication is not limited to speaking only; a great leader is supposed to have excellent listening, reading and writing skills.

When he lost the Democratic primaries for the House of Representatives, he did not lose hope and was undeterred to the extent that he started his preparation for the senate race calculating his moves carefully since he knew that Senator Fitzgerald did not plan to run for re-election and was not popular. Together with his partners from the Republican Party, in his senatorial career, his aggressive nature led him to advocate that the weapons of mass destruction are destroyed in Eastern Europe and Russia.

His charismatic nature led him to draw out crowds in the US and the rest of the world when he decided to run for the presidency. He was very optimistic that he would win regardless of the fact that he was African American. His outgoing and sociable nature together with his charisma led him to draw out large numbers of younger voters. He took the risk of running for the presidency even though he was strongly advised that he should not. He exuded his extroversive nature throughout the public rituals that are carried out in his campaign process such as the endless speeches, shaking the hands of many people and much more.

He exudes his introversive nature in his stated preferences and demeanor. He is a leader that is very keen in his speech, demonstrating that he likes to think before articulating certain words. He also likes Teleprompters which is a good indicator that highlights his introversive nature since he likes to go through every word before he says it in his speech.

He is a cool and calm individual an attribute that people who are introverted and stable tend to possess. The attribute became an advantage while he faced crisis and was under pressure while in the white house. His term at the presidency forced him to deal with calamities one day after another. He expressed so much poise while making bold judgments while in the white house.

Eysenck second dimension as that of neuroticism can also be used to analyze Barack Obama. Eysenck categorized neurotics or unstables as people who tend to worry a lot are moody and very anxious. Unstable people tend to be very emotional, and once they are upset, it becomes challenging to calm them down ( Furnham & petrides 2014). Obama, on the other hand, can be categorized as a stable person since he tends to showcase features similar to that of a stable person. Characteristics such as being emotionally calm have helped him to run the country for two consecutive terms. Being the most powerful man on earth can sometimes be tough for a person to bear, but he exuded nothing but prowess regardless of the situation he was in.


Analyzing the personal traits of Barack Obama can be very difficult, and therefore we cannot be a hundred percent sure of the type of features that he possesses. Using Eysenck theory of personality trait, we can be able to conclude that Barack Obama possesses characteristics that are found in both dimensions of Eysenck theory. Some people argue that he is an extrovert in nature due to his career profile as a politician. There are others however who believe that he is an introvert in nature. Just because he is a politician, they argue that it doesn’t make him an extrovert but his real character is that of an introvert. In the other Eysenck dimension of his personality trait theory, Obama can be categorized more as a stable person. All of these attributes are the ones that have contributed towards his success in leadership in United States and becoming a recognized worldwide hero.


Furnham, A., & Petrides, K. V. (2014). Eysenck’s Personality Theory. In Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice(pp. 1538-1545). Springer New York.

Redlawsk, D. P., Tolbert, C. J., & Franko, W. (2010). Voters, emotions, and race in 2008: Obama as the first black president. Political R (Redlawsk D.P, 2010)esearch Quarterly, 63(4), 875- (V F. A., 2014)889.

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