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A significant topic within these chapters has to do with the trait approach. They write about the four main trait approaches, the single trait, many-trait, the essential-trait, and the typological approach. The single-trait approach uses a commonality between someone’s personality and their behavior by asking them directly (Funder, 2013, p.
179). The many-trait approach does the opposite as the single approach, by asking the question first to find many traits associated with one behavior (Funder, 2013, p.179). The essential-trait approach is used to answer the question, what are the most important traits? The reason it asks this is because there are so many different words for traits in the dictionary and it wants to find which ones are the most necessary (Funder, 2013, p.180). Finally, the last trait approach would be the typological approach. This is based on the doubt of whether you can really compare people with the same traits. It also based on the hope of finding groups of people that have similar traits (Funder, 2013, p.180). All these approaches come together to answer the most important questions about how someone’s personality traits and behaviors affect one another.
Narrowing in on the single-trait approach you can find someone is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). NPD can be defined as some who has excessive self-love, so much that it is described as a mental disorder. They often seek positions of high power to get the attention from others, that they crave. The term came from an ancient Greek myth about a boy named Narcissus who fell deeply in love with his own reflection and turned him into nothing (Funder, 2013, p.186). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) defines nine qualities of NPD, and for someone to be diagnosed they must display five of those nine qualities. Someone that has been in the news that happens to check off all nine of the traits would be Donald Trump. Many people think that his narcissistic qualities came from trauma in his early childhood. Both of his parents were not around very much since his father was also working and his mother became very ill when he was young. A crisis he could have faced would be him losing his appeal to the masses, this is a very common theme among people with NPD. Since being elected president he has lost lots of the people that once supported his, making this a crisis for him.
While there are many debates over whether or not he has been successful in his past and current endeavors, there are arguments that support each side. Before becoming president he gave off the impression to the public that he was a very successful businessman that had his own company and reality tv show. Another success he has had would be being able to become president of the United States. These two things are both big accomplishments Trump has had. On the other side, there are many points throughout his presidency that would be considered unsuccessful. An unsuccessful aspect of his presidency thus far would be all the promises that he made during his campaign that he has yet to fulfill. Many people who did support his for these promises have no longer back him up and those that never supported him still disapprove of him as the president. A key factor showing narcissistic qualities in this situation is how he has handled all the backlash. He has tended to blame other people for his mistakes which is a big sign of NPD since a narcissistic person can never admit if they have done something wrong because in their eyes they are always perfect.
“Narcissists crave feelings of power, prestige, success, and glory. Rather than take the slow and difficult route toward enjoying these feelings- such as by working hard or being courageous- they take the shortcut of expressing feelings of superiority whenever they feel the need, justifies or not (Funder, 2013, p.186-187).” This quote, I feel, encapsulates the main idea of narcissism and what is mean to diagnosed with this mental disorder. The personality that Donald Trump has shown the public displays a very elevated sense of narcissistic qualities.
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