Researchers reveal Trump's real personality

Emotionally unstable innovator or just misunderstood?

Donald Trump’s Twitter rants have revealed more about his true personality than he probably realises with scientific analysis indicating that he is in fact “unique”. 

Two ground breaking Queensland University of Technology (QUT) led studies analysed the tweets of more than 100 successful entrepreneurs and CEOs to gain deeper insight into what makes them tick. 

Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, Oprah Winfrey and Trump all had their tweets dissected with researchers concluding that the 45th President of the United States is an “emotionally unstable innovator”.

“Being a single-minded, independent and creative rule-breaker can be good traits for entrepreneurs but they are probably more unusual in high-level politicians, particularly when coupled with high neuroticism,” QUT associate professor and research team leader Martin Obschonka from the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, said of Trump’s analysis.

In the past, personalities of people with great global influence have been difficult to measure but QUT’s international research team used a new computerised scientific method of scrutinising digital footprints to decode the personality profiles of “superstar” business leaders.

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“Our aim was to better understand their business mindsets, how they approach work and how they have achieved their success,” said Obschonka.

He conducted the research along with Dr Christian Fisch from Trier University in Germany, and Ryan Boyd from the University of Texas at Austin.

The study was conducted prior to Trump’s election but Obschonka said now that the US-President was in such a powerful position, his “entrepreneurial personality character” was of very particular interest to the world.

“Probably no other politician or businessperson in the world is currently so strongly associated with Twitter tweets like Trump. His online personality really matters in his approach to political leadership as he makes world policy via his tweets almost every day,” Dr Fisch added.

Researchers set out to re-analyse Trump’s tweets following the election and then compared his personality profile (based on his tweets) with the profiles of “superstar” entrepreneurs and CEOs with results indicating that Trump’s personality really is “unique”.

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The results found that Trump showed stronger features of an innovator personality than other influential business leaders and he scored higher in openness to new experience. Apparently, scoring high in this trait means listening to new ideas and being open for unconventional solutions.

However, he also scored very low in agreeableness which means a person has a strong focus on competition, social distinction, and Machiavellism. Trump’s traits are said to reflect a character prototypical for a classic “Schumpeterian” entrepreneur, encapsulating what 20th Century entrepreneurship researcher Joseph Schumpeter called “creative destruction”.

“We can now ask what such an apparent ‘creative destructor’ personality means for his policy that is influenced by his personality,” Obschonka said.

“Schumpeterian personalities might be on the rise in political leadership in today’s entrepreneurial societies dealing with and proactively responding to rapid change as well as valuing disruptive innovations. We also found Trump scored relatively high in neuroticism. Being high in this trait means being emotionally unstable and having trouble controlling urges.

“So in the end, it seems that we could identify a personality pattern in Trump that makes him so distinct from the superstar entrepreneurs and CEO’s in that he really seems to resemble a type of an emotionally unstable innovator. 

“However, our analysis should not be confused with a proper clinical analysis of the characters of these powerful individuals. This would require their active and willing participation.”