It’s not likely nor do I expect that the idea of testing our politicians across a number of psychological dimensions or on some mental and personality factors would be undertaken, I do see the great advantage to the nation in doing so. I am not proposing that this testing is any form of “qualification” for being allowed to run for office since there is no legal requirement for such to be elected, nor should there be. I propose that we test politicians only for the information that can be gleaned from the data. Such testing could provide insights into a candidate that may be importance to better understand the individuals that are striving for your vote.
I suspect that people are thinking that I am proposing an Intelligence test, however; I don’t think that an intelligence measure would be an overly meaningful indicator of a politician’s potential effectiveness or competency in office. After all, I suspect that we have had politicians who would have scored high in intelligence that performed just modestly to poorly, and we have had some who would have scored as basically average in intelligence who were excellent leaders. Of course, if a candidate couldn’t score above the level of a highly impaired intelligence rating there ought to be value in knowing that before one votes.
More important than intelligence, which one would hope all candidates would possess at a basic level, are various aspects of a person’s personality, social traits and behavioral attributes. These dimensions could inform a voter’s expectations of qualities that they are expecting in a candidate, or are not concerned that they possess or don’t possess.
Consider whether you would be comfortable in electing a candidate who didn’t have at least a normal level of empathy and compassion for others, or that couldn’t work well with anyone who challenged or disagreed with them. On the other side of the coin would you feel confident in voting for someone who exhibited highly sociopathic tendencies, that was prone to fits of rage and anger when frustrated, or if they had issues in distinguishing delusions from reality? The decision to vote for someone based on this information doesn’t tell you which way you should vote. You would still be making that decision based on all the issues and interests that are important to you. This additional information would just be more information that you can include in that decision. You may prefer a person who possess a higher degree of sociopathic tendencies than average; perhaps based on the view that such personality types do show up in successful individuals in organizations (not that all successful individuals must be sociopaths).
What about basic mental functions that indicates how normally a candidate’s brain is functioning? Shouldn’t you know if someone has a normal memory, is able to perform basic reasoning tasks, can comprehend information presented, or is able to make a decision without complete information and provide a reasoned explanation of how they arrived at their decision?