Skip to main content

Who Are You, Donald J. Trump?

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
The Perils of Populism
  • 223 Accesses

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to decipher President Donald J. Trump’s grand objective to become a spin dictator, as reflected in his personality traits and ethical values. Moreover, the study unveils President Trump’s patterns of leadership behaviors that support his efforts to accomplish this objective. These behaviors include his interpersonal relations, communication, decision-making, and negotiation styles. We argue that the same personality traits and ethical values that endowed President Trump with excellent communication and negotiation behaviors are the same personality traits and ethical values that impair his interpersonal relations and decision-making abilities. On the one hand, he is a spin master and a hardball negotiator, two qualities that brought him to power and sustained his leadership position domestically and internationally. On the other hand, President Trump’s interpersonal relations are muddied by illusion of competence, lack of self-control, social alienation, cognitive distortion, demeaning of affection and cooperation, creating antagonism, external preoccupation, repression, superficial social relationship, distrustful anticipations, vindictive behavior, and weak intrapsychic controls. Since much of the President’s upbringing and socialization processes are still unknown, because of his successful efforts to curtail his personal information, the true President Trump will only be revealed in the future. For the time being, the 45th President of the USA is still an enigma.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Ahmadian, S., Azarshahi, S., & Paulhus, D. L. (2017). Explaining Donald Trump via communication style: Grandiosity, informality, and dynamism. Personality and Individual Differences, 107, 49–53.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • AZ Central. (2023). Donald Trump: Three decades, 4,095 lawsuits. March 23. Retrieved from https://www.azcentral.com/pages/interactives/trump-lawsuits/

  • Baker, P. (2017). Trump abandons trans-Pacific partnership, Obama’s signature trade deal. New York Times. January 23.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baker, P., & Crowley, M. (2019). Trump steps into North Korea and agrees with Kim Jong-un to resume talks. New York Times. June 30.

    Google Scholar 

  • BBC News. (2020). Coronavirus: Trump gives WHO ultimatum over Covid-19 handling. May 19.

    Google Scholar 

  • Benton, A. A., Kelley, H. H., & Liebling, B. (1972). Effects of extremity of offers and concession rate on the outcomes of bargaining. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 24(1), 73–83.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bester, P. (2022). Dangerous charisma: The political psychology of Donald Trump and his followers. Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies, 50(2), 183–188.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Broadwater, L., & Feuer, A. (2022). Judge says Trump signed statement with data his lawyers told him was false. New York Times. October 19.

    Google Scholar 

  • Clarke, I., & Grieve, J. (2019). Stylistic variation on the Donald Trump twitter account: A linguistic analysis of tweets posted between 2009 and 2018. PLoS One, 14(9), e0222062.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dalkey, N., & Helmer, O. (1963). An experimental application of the DELPHI method to the use of experts. Management Science, 9(3), 351–515.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davies, B., Leicht, C., & Abrams, D. (2022). Donald Trump and the rationalization of transgressive behavior: The role of group prototypicality and identity advancement. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 52, 481–495.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Economist. (2019). NATO members’ promise of spending 2% of their GDP on defense is proving hard to keep. March 14.

    Google Scholar 

  • Finance.senate.gov. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/HSGAC%20-%20Finance%20Joint%20Report%202020.09.23.pdf

  • Frazier, I. (2020). Donald Trump and uses and misuses of the bible. The New Yorker. June 15.

    Google Scholar 

  • Graham, D. A. (2018). The president who doesn’t read: Trump’s allergy to the written word and his reliance on oral communication have proven liabilities in office. The Atlantic. January 5.

    Google Scholar 

  • Griebie, A. M. (2021). The influence of personality on presidential leadership style (with a case study of Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States). BA Thesis, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University. April 19.

    Google Scholar 

  • Guriev, S., & Treisman, D. (2022). Spin dictators: The changing face of tyranny in the 21st century. Princeton University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Hella, B. (2021). The communication styles of Donald Trump and Barack Obama, and their influence on the electorate. Masters in Multilingual Business Communication, Faculty of Philosophy, Arts and Letters, UCLouvain, Belgium.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hofstede, G., & Minkov, M. (2010). Long- versus short-term orientation: New perspectives. Asia Pacific Business Review, 16(4), 493–504.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Immelman, A. (2015). Millon inventory of diagnostic criteria (3rd ed., rev.). Unpublished research scale, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, St. Joseph and Collegeville, MN.

    Google Scholar 

  • Immelman, A., & Griebie, A. (2020). The personality profile and leadership style of U.S. president Donald J. Trump in office. In Paper presented at the 43rd annual meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Berlin, Germany, July 14–16, 2020. Digital commons.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jackson, D. (2016). Trump lobbies moderators ahead of debate. USA Today. July 22.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kapoutsis, I., & Volkema, R. (2019). Hard-core toughie: Donald Trump's negotiations for the U.S. presidency. Negotiation Journal, 35(1), 47–63.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Khaled, F. (2021). Donald Trump claims nobody has done more ‘for religion itself’ than him. Newsweek. October 2.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kirkbride, P. S., Tang, S. F. Y., & Westwood, R. I. (1991). Chinese conflict preferences and negotiating behavior: Cultural and psychological influences. Organization Studies, 12(3), 365–386.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Koch-Weser, I., & Murray, C. (2014). The China-Russia gas deal: Background and implications for the broader relationship. U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. June 9. www.uscc.gov

    Google Scholar 

  • Kochan, T. (2019). Trump’s lessons for business negotiators. Negotiation Journal, 35, 153–156.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kogan, E. B. (2019). Art of the power deal: The four negotiation roles of Donald J. Trump. Negotiation Journal, 35, 65–83.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Körner, R., Overbeck, J. R., Körner, E., & Schütz, A. (2022). How the linguistic styles of Donald Trump and joe Biden reflect different forms of power. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 41(6), 631–658.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kranish, M., & Fisher, M. (2016). Trump revealed: An American journey of ambition, ego, money, and power. Charles Scribner & Sons.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lander, M. (2018). Trump abandons Iran nuclear deal he long scorned. New York Times. May 8.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lee, J.-O., & Lim, Y.-S. (2016). Gendered campaign tweets: The cases of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Public Relations Review, 42(5), 849–855.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lewicki, R. J., Saunders, D. M., & Barry, B. (2010). Negotiation: Readings, exercises and cases (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lipman, V. (2018). The 4 principles of president Trump’s deceptive but effective communication. Forbes. June 15.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lizza, R. (2017). How Trump broke the office of government ethics. The New Yorker. July 14.

    Google Scholar 

  • Millon, T. (1986). A theoretical derivation of pathological personalities. In T. Millon & G. L. Klerman (Eds.), Contemporary directions in psychopathology: Toward the DSM-IV (pp. 639–669). Guilford.

    Google Scholar 

  • Millon, T. (2011). Disorders of personality: Introducing a DSM/ICD spectrum from normal to abnormal (3rd ed.). Wiley.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Mnookin, R. H., Peppet, S. R., & Tulumello, A. S. (2000). Beyond winning: Negotiating to create value in deals and disputes. Harvard University Press, Belknap Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nai, A., Martínez i Coma, F., & Maier, J. (2019). Donald Trump, populism, and the age of extremes: Comparing the personality traits and campaigning styles of Trump and other leaders worldwide. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 49, 609–643.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nasher, J. (2019). Trump’s gamble: How hardball negotiation tactics can win the U.S.-China trade war. Forbes. May 27.

    Google Scholar 

  • O’Reilly, C. A., III, Chatman, J. A., & Doerr, B. (2021). When “me” trumps “we”: Narcissistic leaders and the cultures they create. Academy of Management Discoveries, 7(3), 419–450.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Perry, S. (2018). President Trump and Charlottesville: Uncivil mourning and white supremacy. Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric, 8(1/2), 57–71.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pew Research Center. (2021). How Trump compares with other recent presidents in appointing federal judges. January 13.

    Google Scholar 

  • Politifact (2023). Donald Trump. March 23.

    Google Scholar 

  • Prasad, R. (2021). US historians on what Donald Trump’s legacy will be. BBC News. January 19.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ronay, R., Oostrom, J. K., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Mayoral, S., & Rusch, H. (2019). Playing the trump card: Why we select overconfident leaders and why it matters. The Leadership Quarterly, 30(6), 101316.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rowe, A. J., & Mason, O. R. (1987). Managing with style: A guide to understanding, assessing, and improving decision making. Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schmitt, A. (2019). President Trump’s alarming human rights agenda at home and abroad. Center for American Progress. December 10.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schreckinger, B. (2015). Trump attacks McCain: ‘I like people who weren’t captured. Politico. July 18.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sinaceur, M., Van Kleef, G. A., Neale, M. A., Adam, H., & Haag, C. (2011). Hot or cold: Is communicating anger or threats more effective in negotiation? Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(5), 1018–1032.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Singman, B. (2023). Trump rolls out 2024 trade policy that would ‘tax China to build up America’, reward US producers. Fox News. February 27.

    Google Scholar 

  • Staff, P. (2022). Trump’s negotiating style as president-elect. Harvard Law School, Daily Blog. February 14.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stavans, I. (2017). Trump, the wall and the Spanish language. Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures, 1(2), 213–215.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stempel, J. (2018). Trump university settlement now final as objector drops appeal. Reuters. April 9.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thiers, C., & Wehner, L. E. (2022). The personality traits of populist leaders and their foreign policies: Hugo Chávez and Donald Trump. International Studies Quarterly, 66(1), sqab083.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Trump, D. J., & Schwartz, T. (1987). The art of the Deal. Random House.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wagner, A., Pietrasik, E., & Kroqi, D. (2022). The rise and challenge of populism. In D. E. Abelson & S. Brooks (Eds.), Transatlantic relations. (Ch. 11). Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang, Y., & Liu, H. (2018). Is Trump always rambling like a fourth-grade student? An analysis of stylistic features of Donald Trump’s political discourse during the 2016 election. Discourse & Society, 29(3), 299–323.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wikipedia. (2023a). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump

  • Wikipedia. (2023b). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nicknames_used_by_Donald_Trump.

  • Williams, E. A., Pillai, R., McCombs, K., Lowe, K. B., & Deptula, B. J. (2020). Adaptive and maladaptive narcissism, charisma, and leadership performance: A study of perceptions about the presidential leadership of Donald Trump. Leadership, 16(6), 661–682.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Womick, J., Rothmund, T., Azevedo, F., King, L. A., & Jost, J. T. (2019). Group-based dominance and authoritarian aggression predict support for Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 10(5), 643–652.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Moshe Banai .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Banai, M. (2023). Who Are You, Donald J. Trump?. In: Akande, A. (eds) The Perils of Populism. Springer Studies on Populism, Identity Politics and Social Justice. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-36343-6_19

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics