FAQ

To calculate the at-a-distance psychological values speech data is collected for each leader in the data set. This speech data can be either prepared (meaning a leader has prepared remarks for a given speech), or it can be spontaneous (meaning a leader is responding to questions or comments in a spontaneous fashion).

Once speeches are identified, collected, and properly annotated to ensure validity, they are then processed using Social Science Automation’s Profiler Plus. For valid estimates of psychological traits, any word count under 4000 is unreliable.

  • For an excel with the embedded calculations for LTA click HERE

  • For an excel with the embedded calculations for OpCode click HERE


Text-based calculations for the raw totals and specific variable information are as follows:

Leadership Trait Analysis

Leadership trait analysis is a method for assessing a variety of personality traits. This method has been developed largely by Hermann (1980).

Distrust

This variable is concerned with a leader’s feeling towards others. Scores higher in this category indicate a heightened suspicion of others. Motives and actions of others are perceived with skepticism and concern.

Task

This variable represents the leader’s focus on either group cohesion (low scores), or task completion (high scores). Scores in the middle range represent a balanced approach at both of these goals.

Belief in Ability to Control Events

This variable represents the leader’s belief they are personally capable of controlling the situation being discussed. Scores high on this scale indicate an increased belief in their own ability.

In Group Bias

This variable represent the degree of bias towards their own group a leader maintains. Higher scores in this variable indicate a greater attachment to a particular leader’s group.

Self Confidence

This variable represents a leader’s sense of self. Those with higher levels of self-importance will score higher on this scale.

Conceptual Complexity

This variable represents the degree to which a leader contextualizes the world in either absolute or relative terms. Leaders who score higher in conceptual complexity view the world in shades of gray.

Need for Power

This variable represents the leader’s personal need for authority. Leaders who score higher on this scale are more likely attempting to control situations or people.




Operational Code

Operational code is based off of ten fundamental questions posed by George (1969). These have been adapted by Holsti (1977) and Walker (1983). More recently they have been made computationally derivable using the Verbs in Context System (Walker, Schafer, Young 1998).

I-1

This variable measures a leader’s instrumental belief in what is the best means to achieve a goal. Lower scores indicate conflict is the preferred strategy, and high scores indicate favor towards cooperation.

I-2

This variable measures a leader’s instrumental belief in how intensely tactics to achieve a goal should be. Higher scores would indicate cooperation, and lower scores indicate conflictual tactic intensity.

I-3

This variable measures a leader’s instrumental belief in risks associated with political action. Low scores indicate a leader who is risk averse, versus high scores which suggest an increased risk acceptance

I-4a

This variable measures a leader’s instrumental belief in the flexibility of tactics, specifically between cooperation and conflict. Higher scores indicate a flexible approach and low scores indicate inflexibility.

I-4b

This variable measures a leader’s instrumental belief in the flexibility of tactics, specifically between words and deeds. Higher scores indicate a flexible approach and low scores indicate inflexibility.

I-5ap

This variable measures a leader’s instrumental belief in the utility of the approach appeal or support. Higher scores indicate the leader views this approach has utility, and low scores indicate they do not.

I-5pr

This variable measures a leader’s instrumental belief in the utility of the approach promise. Higher scores indicate the leader views this approach has utility, and low scores indicate they do not.

I-5re

This variable measures a leader’s instrumental belief in the utility of the approach reward. Higher scores indicate the leader views this approach has utility, and low scores indicate they do not.

I-5op

This variable measures a leader’s instrumental belief in the utility of the approach oppose or resist. Higher scores indicate the leader views this approach has utility, and low scores indicate they do not.

I-5th

This variable measures a leader’s instrumental belief in the utility of the approach threaten. Higher scores indicate the leader views this approach has utility, and low scores indicate they do not.

I-5pu

This variable measures a leader’s instrumental belief in the utility of the approach punish. Higher scores indicate the leader views this approach has utility, and low scores indicate they do not.

P-1

This variable measures a leader’s philosophical belief in the fundamental nature of the political universe. Higher scores indicate that a leader views the world in friendly terms, and lower scores indicate a hostile universe.

P-2

This variable measures a leader’s philosophical belief in how political values are realized. If the score is higher a leader views political value realization in optimistic terms. Lower scores indicate a more pessimistic philosophical belief.

P-3

This variable measures a leader’s philosophical belief in the predictability of the political future. Higher scores indicate a leader views the future as predictable and lower scores indicate it is more volatile.

P-4

This variable measures a leader’s philosophical belief in one’s own control over the direction of history. A high score indicates that a leader views historical development as mostly within their own control, and low score indicates a lesser personal control over events.

P-5

This variable measures a leader’s philosophical belief in the role of chance in historical development. A high score indicates that a leader views historical development as mostly occurring due to chance, and low score indicates low chance.

Citations

  • George, A. L. (1969). The ``operational code”: A neglected approach to the study of political leaders and decision-making. International studies quarterly, 13(2), 190-222.

  • Hermann, M. G. (1980). On ``Foreign Policy Makers, Personality Attributes, and Interviews: A Note on Reliability Problems”. International Studies Quarterly, 24(1), 67-73.

  • Holsti, O. R. (1977). The ``Operational Code” as an Approach to the Analysis of Belief Systems: Final Report to the National Science Foundation Grant No. Soc75-15368. Duke University.

  • Walker SG. The motivational foundations of political belief systems: A re-analysis of the operational code construct. International Studies Quarterly. 1983 Jun 1;27(2):179-202.

  • Walker, S. G., Schafer, M., & Young, M. D. (1998). Systematic procedures for operational code analysis: Measuring and modeling Jimmy Carter’s operational code. International Studies Quarterly, 42(1), 175-189.