Armchair Psychology

Trump in a straight jacket babbling about Hillary and ISIS and such.

Insane. Compulsive vs. pathological liar. Sociopath vs psychopath. Narcissistic personality disorder. Paranoid personality disorder.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the president. I have no training in psychology, but these articles and many more give helpful insights. Something else has been on my mind, though, ever since I saw the video where DJT discusses eugenics. It made me laugh at first, too. At first. Then I remembered he’s the president, and this fool believes that he is the superior offspring of two superior people.

He might still believe that he possesses a “certain intellect,” “brainpower,” a “very, very high aptitude,” and a genetic “drive for success.” He thinks he’s “good at English” and can “genetically handle pressure.” This would be hilarious if he wasn’t so utterly wrong, and if he wasn’t the President of the United States. At first I thought it might be illusory superiority. Maybe over time, even possibly from doting parents or teachers, he developed this unusually high opinion of himself and his capabilities, but that’s not it. Or that’s not all of it.

45 says he “believes in the gene thing;” he’s a “gene believer.” Most of us believe in genes. They exist, and we have some idea of how they work. Scientists can map them. As a former animal breeder I can tell you that, yes, you can select for traits when breeding, and you can “set” traits in animals. I can also tell you there are certain traits you will avoid mixing if there could ever be a reason that you would need to separate the two traits later (tough lesson as an animal breeder, if you’re curious look up “linkage”). Breeders use line breeding and inbreeding to set positive traits and to expose negative ones over many generations. Outcrossing, what humans do in almost every single pairing, is not how you (intentionally) produce a superior anything. Besides, what he’s talking about is a very involved, long term scientific process that his parents would NEVER have been selected for, and they certainly would not have been paired together.

This all leads me to the Dunning-Kruger effect. It would explain 45’s abnormally high opinion of himself and his abilities assuming his parents were of the same opinion (regarding themselves and also their. . . spawn). The short explanation from the link is “people who are too stupid to know how stupid they are.” Interestingly, also from this article, “the inverse also applies: competent people tend to underestimate their ability compared to others; this is known as impostor syndrome.” There is much more to it, and it’s fascinating when applied to oneself in introspection. It also leads one to consider the old nature vs nurture debate anew seeing as how 45 is convinced that he possesses attributes that he clearly does not. He might have at least some of the aptitude he believes he has, but he’s not developed really anything to a point where an observer would notice he is special in an area. As much as we’ve seen of him, and he makes sure it’s a lot, he has shown himself to be average or below average in everything. He’s not even a good liar.

I don’t doubt that 45 is at least a compulsive liar, a sociopath, paranoid, and a narcissist. If he’s not all of these, he’s put in a lot of effort over many years to convince us he is. I’m including a silly tweet (with graphic) to help us get through the bizarre and sometimes frightening statements and actions from our president. They’re piling up faster than usual lately. And give some thought, fellow armchair psychologists, to the Dunning-Kruger effect. What do you think?

10 May 2017

Link: “Donald Trump believes he has superior genes, biographer claims” – by Caroline Mortimer of Independent

Link: “The Mind of Donald Trump” – by Dan P. McAdams of The Atlantic – contains a tidbit I first saw here, an assessment of 45 by Mark Singer in the 1990’s: “. . .(Trump) had managed to achieve something remarkable: ‘an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.'”

Link: “Shrinks Battle Over Diagnosing Donald Trump” – Psychology Today Editorial

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