Since the day he launched his campaign in 2015, President Trump’s antics have given cable news anchors plenty of material. They’ve also provided psychologists, academics, and personality experts with a lot to investigate.
In the months following his inauguration, articles have surfaced from psychologists who have suggested that Trump suffers from narcissistic personality disorder, and others have said his behavior matches that of someone suffering from dementia.
The latest report, which was published this month by Small Business Economics, comes from two academics who have spent years studying connections between personality and entrepreneurship. The researchers — Martin Obschonka from the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research at Queensland University of Technology in Australia and Christian Fisch from Trier University in Germany — have scrutinized 3,200 of the tweets Trump posted from 2009 to October 2016, and their work has yielded an interesting analysis of what President Trump’s tweets say about his personality.
Obschonka and Fisch conducted their research using software developed for the “assessment of language and text for psychological purposes.” They used this software to compare Trump’s language use and online personality to those of 105 other influential business managers and entrepreneurs, including Google’s Eric Schmidt, HP’s Meg Whitman, Apple’s Tim Cook, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Dell’s Michael Dell.
Their results indicate that Trump is a “distinct type of person who shows strong features of a…personality that is said to be typical of successful entrepreneurs.”
The personality referenced in the report was first described by Joseph Schumpeter, an economist, and political scientist, in the 1930s as being “very creative, change-orientated, competitive and rule-breaking.”
The analysis also found that Trump has “neurotic tendencies and experiences underlying low well-being.”
Obschonka said that, unlike the other traits mentioned above, Trump’s “neurotic tendencies” are “rather untypical for entrepreneurs.”
‘These traits are rather untypical for entrepreneurs since working as an entrepreneur may not only require emotional stability and optimism but also be able to increase happiness due to procedural utility.’
Obschonka also added that neuroticism isn’t always a bad thing since it can stimulate competitiveness.
Fisch also speculated about Trump’s “high neuroticism,” saying it might be what motivates him to succeed.
‘Maybe this high neuroticism is a major motivator to succeed in Trump’s entrepreneurial projects in his business life, but also in his role as political leader.’
‘If social distinction is a core principle of the entrepreneurial personality, then we clearly see this principle reflected in his unusual personality profile. Many experts agree that really successful entrepreneurs not only dare to be different — they are different.’
While Trump’s personality traits might be beneficial to him as an entrepreneur, it’s questionable whether or not they are ideal for him as a politician.
Obschonka and Fisch suggested that these traits could be advantageous. However, they were quick to stress that leading a country is very different from leading a business, something Trump and his supporters don’t seem to realize. Obschonka and Fisch also said that it is “unclear whether political leaders with an extremely entrepreneurial personality can indeed act strictly entrepreneurially in their highly responsible role.”
Featured image via Karol Serewis/Gallo Images Poland/Getty Images.