Ted Bundy personality using Eysenck Personality Theory
Eysenck’s personality approach goes around aspects of nature and nurture combined with how the two determines individual behavior. Eysenck affirms that the interaction of biological predispositions with constant socialization and conditioning forms the foundation of personality. These personalities range from extroverts to introverts, Neuroticism to stability, Psychoticism to superego function which is tailored with unique attributes (Eysenck, 2012). Eysenck tends to explain why individual preferences change based on biological differences. Bundy, who was a serial rapist and a killer of about 36 people requested for an interview with a radio presenter on the eve of his execution. The paper will explain Bundy’s personality through the lens of Eysenck’s biological trait theory.
Three traits of Eysenck’s personality theory
Extraversion is a trait that tends to be displayed in aspects such as being talkative, outgoing, as well as behavior that is based on energy. Individuals who are extroverts are sociable, desire excitement and change hence can be bored easily. These people tend to care less about issues, they are always optimistic and impulsive (Eysenck, 2012). In addition to this, they can easily take risks and are extreme seekers. According to Eysenck, extroverts display this characteristic because they inherit under-stimulated nervous systems; hence they search for stimulation to recover the degree of maximum stimulation.
An individual’s level of neuroticism is identified by the reactivity of their sympathetic nervous system. A person having a stable nervous system tends to be less reactive to stress-based situations, maintain calmness as well as level headed. On the other hand, an individual who is high in neuroticism tends to be unstable and can easily react to issues (Eysenck, 2012). It is apparent that an individual with this trait is prone to fear, anger and worry. For instance, once they are upset, it is very difficult to calm them down.
Psychoticism is a personality trait that is displayed by being aggressive, lacks empathy, lonely, interpersonal hostility and troublesome. These people tend to be anti-social, insensitive, to issues and violent (Eysenck, 2012). A high degree of this trait was believed by Eysenck to be connected to increased vulnerability to cases such as psychosis. In addition, Eysenck believed that a close relation of psychotic would display a high degree of this personality which suggests a genetic link to the trait.
Extraversion to introversion
As for the extraversion score, Bundy displayed himself as an extravert based on his behavior. For instance, he used to attract the ladies, rape and kill them. The ability to attract ladies required extraversion personality. More to this, Bundy was talkative which is displayed in his interview with a radio reporter. He was able to answer the questions with adequate explanations combined with some element of interception to clear up his point. However, Bundy tends to have some traits of introversion. To some extent, he appears to have had a good plan to have executed his actions of raping and killing people.
Neuroticism to stability
In regards to Bundy’s conversation with the reporter, he displayed being remorse for his actions especially for killing 12-year-old Kimberly Leach. More to this, he does not seem to be a neuroticism trait because he was more relaxed and was not likely to be anxious about anything. In the whole interview session, he is stable and not even his coming execution seemed to have disturbed him much. Bundy claimed that killing him would not bring back the beautiful ladies whom he killed.
Psychoticism to superego function
The trait is displayed by an individual’s show of lack of empathy and aggressiveness. Bundy seems to fit this character traits because of his behavior of being insensitive, violent, and aggressive (Eysenck, 2012). The ability to carry out more than 36 rape and killings his lack of empathy, insensitive to what people’s feelings. In addition, his violent behavior is displayed when he began watching soft pornography, but he began to desire more violent kinds. It is important to note that this was a reflection of his actual behavior displayed in rape and killings.
How biology contribute to these traits
Eysenck introduced the theory of personality in regards to biological factors. He believes that individuals usually inherit a kind of nervous system that influences their ability to learn as well as fit to the environment (Eysenck, 2017). It has been disclosed through research that Bundy suffered abuse when he was a child from people close to him such as the parents, maternal grandfather, and uncle. It was also disclosed that Bundy’s maternal grandmother received electronic shock therapy treatment (Stav, 2018). Therefore, there is a possibility of a genetic contribution to Bundy’s behavior.
Eysenck introduced three significant theories of personality; extraversion/Introversion, Neuroticism and psychoticism to assist determine individual behavior. He made sure that in all the three models, it is a continuum that people are dealing with and that most of the people will not be at the extremes but around the middle. However, even with these measures, Bundy was at the extreme. For instance, he had a high degree of psychoticism as a result of attributes such as aggression, insensitivity, and antisocial behavior among others.
Eysenck, H. J. (Ed.). (2012). A model for personality. Springer Science & Business Media.
Eysenck, H. (2017). The biological basis of personality. Routledge.
STAV DIMITROPOULOS (2018, April 16). Ted Bundy’s Childhood: Lonely Boy to Window Peeper to Serial Killer. Retrieved from; www.aetv.com/real-crime/ted-bundy-childhood-turned-into-serial-killer