Charles Manson

Topics: Personality psychology, Antisocial personality disorder, Sigmund Freud Pages: 4 (1334 words) Published: February 25, 2013
An Assessment of
Charles Manson: Two Points of View on a Killer’s Personality Crystal L. Boyanski
Columbia College

Abstract There are many theories about what shapes an individual’s personality and when following these approaches, sense can be made of a certain person’s behavior. Charles Manson is a well-known serial killer whose personality is reflective of two specific personality theorists’ views. Sigmund Freud, whose psychosexual stages of development could explain some of the traits held by Manson. Karen Horney was another theorist whose views on childhood love and nurturing, or lack of it, could explain Charles Manson’s personality. Gathered information on both Freud and Horney’s views will be compared to Charles Manson, his personality and his behaviors to conclude if these theories apply. Historical information from Charles Manson’s biography from childhood to adulthood will be included.

An Assessment of Charles Manson’s Personality Numerous studies have been done on what causes people to behave the way they do and what causes them to have certain personality traits. One specific individual that has an intriguing and horrific personality is the well-known Charles Manson. Charles Manson was said to have had anti-social personality disorder and was also known to be a master manipulator. The history of Charles Manson’s deprived childhood could provide some explanations to how and why an individual reacts to society as he did. Charles Manson was born in 1934 illegitimately to a 16 year old alcoholic and prostitute. His father was never present in his life nor did he ever have a father figure. His mother would abandon him for weeks and sometimes months at a time. When his mother was incarcerated, Charles was sent to live with a religious aunt until his mother’s release. Continuing her...

References: Anti-social Personality Disorder. (2012). Mayo Clinic Staff. Retrieved September 7 2012 from
Feist, J and G. Feist. (2006). Theories of Personality. New York: McGraw Hill.
Rosenberg, J. (2009). Charles Manson: Biography in the 20th century. Retrieved Sept 6 2012
Engler, B. (2009). Personality theories. (8th ed). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
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