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"We also found Trump scored relatively high in neuroticism." (Image: Donkey Hotey/flickr/cc)

"We also found Trump scored relatively high in neuroticism. Being high in this trait means being emotionally unstable and having trouble controlling urges," said Christian Fisch of Trier University in Germany, one of the reserchers involved in the new study. (Image: Donkey Hotey/flickr/cc)

Researchers: Trump Tweets Reveal 'Neurotic' and 'Unstable' Leader

Newly published study looks at how language of Trump's tweets compares with that of over 100 CEOs and entrepreneurs

Andrea Germanos

What do the frequent tweets from Donald Trump say about his online personality?

According to a team of international researchers, they indicate he's an "emotionally unstable motivator."

The study was conducted before Trump took office, analyzing 3,200 tweets he issued by October 2016, and was led by Martin Obschonka from the Australian Center for Entrepreneurship Research at Queensland University of Technology in Australia, and Christian Fisch from Trier University in Germany.

They also compared Trump's tweets with those of over 100 CEOs and entrepreneurs including Google's Eric Schmidt, HP's Meg Whitman, Tesla's Elon Musk, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

"We looked at Twitter tweets and employed a new method that uses machine learning and other computer science methods to analyze characteristic language styles, contents, and patterns that together can reveal remarkably valid information on a person’s personality profile," Obschonka explained in a press statement.

Trump's online personality, they found, stood apart from those in the other group, as it has characteristics that more strongly match the personality traits economist Joseph Schumpeter laid out in the 1930s as being markers of a successful entrepreneurs—they're competitive and creative, and also change-oriented rule-breakers.

"We also found Trump scored relatively high in neuroticism. Being high in this trait means being emotionally unstable and having trouble controlling urges," Fisch noted.

"So in the end," added Obschonka, "it seems that we could identify a personality pattern in Trump that makes him so distinct from the superstar entrepreneurs and CEOs in that he really seems to resemble a type of 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," he said.

As for what that means for the White House, Obschonka said, "Such a personality pattern could be something like a double-edged sword: more entrepreneurial thinking and acting in high-level politicians could boost an entrepreneurial economy, but such entrepreneurial personalities could also show an unconventional political leadership style that is highly successful in the business world but maybe not so successful in the political realm that requires careful diplomacy instead of risky entrepreneurial thirst for action."

The study was published online Tuesday in the journal Small Business Economics.


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