Thinking styles and the US presidential candidates: It's how they think as well as what they think

Thinking Styles and the US Presidential Candidates: It’s HOW they think as well as WHAT they think

We know thinking preferences play a part in the decision-making process, and many US residents are facing a big, once-every-four-years decision right now: who they will elect as President.

Putting aside political or ideological differences, when we look at the thinking styles of the two major party candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and their respective running mates, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, we can see some distinct differences. It’s an interesting exercise, because how the candidates think impacts the approaches they use in stating their cases to the voters.

To shed some light on the thinking preferences of the two parties’ candidates, we recently conducted a pro forma process, which is a way to use published information to analyze someone’s thinking and estimate what their preferences might be.

It’s not an actual HBDI® Profile generated from the assessment, but it does provide some clues about how and why different voters react to the different candidates and their different styles.

Your own thinking preferences affect your reactions to the different approaches. Whether you are more convinced by logical arguments or emotional appeals, for example, has roots in your preferences for thinking in each of the four quadrants (A - logical, B - detailed, C - expressive, D - big picture), as depicted by the Whole Brain® Model.

Understanding thinking styles helps clarify your thinking and decision making, as well as better understand how others (like our spouse/partner, family members or friends) make those decisions.

As you look at the pro forma profiles for the candidates below, consider your reaction to the styles you have observed:

  • How do your thinking style preferences impact your reactions, opinions and decision-making as a voter?
  • Aside from your political leanings, what approaches tend to inspire you or irritate you most?

ThinkAbout Communicating

The four-color, four-quadrant graphic, HBDI® and Whole Brain® are trademarks of Herrmann Global, LLC.


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