July 31, 2018

Psychologist: Trump is how people react to him


Robert Epstein, the senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, penned an op-ed on Monday addressing Donald Trump’s numerous lies, reversal and contradictions. In it, Epstein argues that the president is not, as some suggest, mentally ill, but is instead “highly vulnerable to what can reasonably be called ‘sympathetic audience control.’”

“When Trump is in the presence of someone he dislikes or distrusts, he attacks and will continue to lash out for a while, but not necessarily forever,” Epstein writes. “When someone he perceives as a threat becomes deferential (Rocket Man, for example), Trump not only stops attacking, he also becomes highly vulnerable to influence.”

Meanwhile, the president is “rapidly influenced” by people he “perceives as supportive,” a concept Epstein refers to as “sympathetic audience control.”

“When Trump is in front of a large group of cheering people, his thinking is fully controlled by the crowd,” Epstein adds. “It might seem he’s in control, but the opposite is actually the case. The supportive audience completely dominates his thinking, causing him to repeat, over and over, things he believes the audience wants to hear.”

Trump also, according to Epstein, perceives the world in small time windows, leading hm to shift “his views frequently” — “without shame or even awareness.”

“All that’s shiny and real to him is what friends or foes are saying inside those small time windows,” Epstein writes.

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