A recent Psychology study has posited that actors have a significantly higher rate of disordered personality traits.
The study was conducted among 214 professional actors and a similarly sized pool of non-acting American subjects by scientists at University College London.
The study found higher measures of “antisocial, narcissistic, histrionic, borderline, schizotypal and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder traits” than in non-actors, as defined by the Coolidge Axis-II inventory of personality disorders. While these traits may seem concerning to some, it should be notes that traits are distinct from disorders – Psychology applicants may note that the ‘right’ amount of these traits can contribute to success rather than be debilitating, such as narcissism leading to good first impressions and an ability to perform.
Experimental Psychology applicants should also consider the parameters of this study, most notably the fact that data about personality was self-reported – could it be that actors, who spend time emotionally exploring themselves and others for roles, are better at identifying their emotions than the general population? English and Modern Languages applicants should consider whether this same emotional connectivity actors feel applies to authors – and whether they would be seen as histrionic narcissists too.