The Personality Disorder Profile of Professional Actors

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The personality disorder trait profiles of 214 professional actors were compared with a general population American sample. Both male and female actors scored significantly higher than nonactors on Antisocial, Narcissism, Histrionic, Borderline, and Obsessive–Compulsive personality disorder scales of the Coolidge Axis-II inventory (Coolidge, 2001). Male actors scored significantly higher than the male comparison group on Schizotypal, Avoidant, and Dependent personality disorder scales. Relationships between personality disorder traits in actors and their self-reported acting abilities, preferences, and success were examined. The results are discussed with reference to how heightened subclinical levels of personality disorders traits are potentially unhelpful to acting performance and managing the demands of the profession. Limitations of the study are noted.

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