Using Science to Choose the President

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-1-2016


What if the president of the United States of America was selected rather than elected? In other words, what if candidates applied for the job of president in much the same way that executives apply for the job of CEO? What would the selection process look like? What knowledge, skills, and abilities would the ideal presidential candidate possess? I-O psychologists are all over the place in government work. For example, SIOP’s GREAT committee advocates for evidence-based decision making in government. Many I-O psychologists work within government agencies such as the TSA, the FBI, OPM, and the Social Behavioral Sciences Team. There are also plenty of I-O organizations that often subcontract with the government, including FMP, HumRRO, and PDRI. Clearly, I-O psychologists are deeply involved in many government processes. Why not selecting a president? We posed these questions during interviews with a variety of SIOP members. We are not suggesting a change in the Constitution. Consider this as a kind of thought experiment in employee selection.



Publication Title

The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist