Based on the interpersonal theory, what night be the personality or character type of a famous musician like Prince?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Based on the image that a musician such as Prince intends to project onto his fans, and for the purposes of the media, some conjectures could be made regarding his superficial, most salient traits.

This does not mean, however, that the man behind the artistic persona suffers from any type of personality disorder. The conclusions that we can make about Prince are merely based on what he wants us to see.

In Prince's case, what sets his behavior apart is perhaps the media revolution that he caused when he purposely changed his name, Prince, to an unpronounceable symbol with which he identified himself for nearly two years, causing much speculation.

After this media move, he also began to show up in public with the word "slave" written on his cheek at all times, in response to changes made to his creative license by his record label.

These behaviors, although made entirely for publicity's sake, lead someone with some background knowledge in interpersonal theory to label Prince (perhaps unfairly) as a person whose behavior has narcissistic and histrionic tendencies.

Narcissistic behavior is synonym with the following behaviors

  • extreme sense of self-importance
  • selfish choice-making
  • a need for hedonism

All that we could conclude from Prince's artistic shell is that his actions are a result of a sense of grandiosity that may or may not be well-founded.

Histrionic behavior is often associated with behaviors such as

  • excessive need for attention
  • sexually charged behavior
  • manipulative behavior
  • over-dramatic discourse

If we base Prince's artistic persona within the 5 personality types as traditionally accepted within the paradigms of interpersonal theory, such as Oliver John's "Big Five" personality taxonomy. then he would fall under

  • extrovert (although he wants to bring out a conflicting image where he hardly gives out interviews)
  • open (introspective, creative) 
  • conscientious extreme (goal-driven, organized)
  • agreeable (overall sympathetic)

 

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