The study of personality and politics is possible and desirable, but systematic intellectual progress is possible only if there is careful attention to problems of evidence, inference, and conceptualization. This chapter reviews such problems, setting forth a conceptualization that takes account of, and builds on, many of the recurring reservations that are advanced about the utility of studying the personalities of political actors. In doing so, it takes selective account of the classical literature on political psychology and more recent developments in the field. The study of personality and politics sometimes appears to have more critics than practitioners. The relative effect of environment and personality on political behavior varies. The dramatic reduction of political repression in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the late 1980s led to an outpouring of political action. The incidence of psychopathological and other motivational bases of political orientations needs to be established by empirical inquiry.