PTypes - Personality Types
PTypes Main Interests of the Personality Types Aggressive Type

Dramatic Personality Type

The interests of the Dramatic Personality Type include (Oldham, pg. 131):

  • lifting the spirits of others
  • filling your world with excitement
  • making things happen in your life
  • being the life of the party
  • transforming the ordinary happenings of life into theater

Main Interests of the Dramatic Personality Type

  1. receiving attention, approval, and affection

  2. being sexually attractive

  3. being able to express emotion in reaction to events

  4. having an attractive physical appearance

  5. being able to express yourself dramatically

  6. being able to display emotions freely and openly

  7. getting guidance and help from others; having others give you ideas and suggestions

  8. having intimate relationships

Characteristic Traits and Behaviors

Dr. John M. Oldham has defined the Dramatic personality style. The following seven characteristic traits and behaviors are listed in his The New Personality Self-Portrait.

  1. Feelings. Dramatic men and women live in an emotional world. They are sensation oriented, emotionally demonstrative, and physically affectionate, They react emotionally to events and can shift quickly from mood to mood.

  2. Color. They experience life vividly and expansively. They have rich imaginations, they tell entertaining stories, and they are drawn to romance and melodrama.

  3. Attention. Dramatic people like to be seen and noticed. They are often the center of attention, and they rise to the occasion when all eyes are on them.

  4. Appearance. They pay a lot of attention to grooming, and they enjoy clothes, style, and fashion.

  5. Sexual attraction. In appearance and behavior, Dramatic individuals enjoy their sexuality. They are seductive, engaging, charming tempters and temptresses.

  6. Engagement. Easily putting their trust in others, they are able to become quickly involved in relationships.

  7. The spirit is willing. People with Dramatic personality style eagerly respond to new ideas and suggestions from others.

Source: Oldham, John M., and Lois B. Morris. The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love, and Act the Way You Do. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam, 1995.

Idealized Image

I did conceive of "character strengths and virtues" in a positive way as Martin Seligman does in his Positive Psychology, but now see them as images of perfection that inflate the idealized self theorized by Karen Horney.

Character Strengths and Virtues (what the Histrionic type is proud of)

The "Character Strengths and Virtues" are attributes of the idealized self, or ego ideal. As "conditions of worth" they are idols.

  1. Forgiveness, Mercy, Magnanimity.
  2. Hope, Cheerfulness, Sociability.
  3. Tolerance, Liberalism, Open-mindedness.
  4. Liberality, Graciousness, Politeness, Courtesy.
  5. Charity, Affability, Empathy, Sensitivity, Considerateness, Friendliness, Compassion.
  6. Tenderness, Agreeableness.
  7. Refinement, Idealism, High-mindedness.
  8. Energy, Attentiveness, Enthusiasm.
  9. Artistry, Culture.
  10. Boldness, Spontaneity.
  11. Creativity, Humorousness, Wittiness.

This profile was derived from Cawley's 23 "Virtue Subclusters" in Michael J. Cawley III, James E. Martin, John A. Johnson (1999), A Virtues Approach to Personality.

Top Strengths*

"Creativity [originality, ingenuity]: Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things; includes artistic achievement but is not limited to it"

"Vitality [zest, enthusiasm, vigor, energy]: Approaching life with excitement and energy; Not doing things halfway or halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated"

"Love: Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated; being close to people"

"Social intelligence [emotional intelligence, personal intelligence]: being aware of the motives and feelings of other people and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick"

"Forgiveness and mercy Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting the shortcomings of others; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful"

"Appreciation of beauty and excellence [awe, wonder, elevation]: Noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience"

"Hope [optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation]: Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it; believing that a good future is something that can be brought about

"Humor [playfulness]: Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; see the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes" (Peterson & Seligman, 29, 30).

* Selected from Christopher Peterson and Martin E. P. Seligman, (2004). Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification. Oxford: Oxford UP.


Dramatic: "1. Of or pertaining to drama or the theater. 2. Resembling a drama in emotional content or progression. 3. Striking in appearance or forcefully effective." (AHD)

Drama: "3. A situation or succession of events in real life having the dramatic progression or emotional content characteristic of a play. 4. The quality or condition of being dramatic." (AHD)

Synonyms: "theatrical, dramaturgic, melodramatic, histrionic"

""dramatic, theatrical, dramaturgic, melodramatic, histrionic are not close synonyms although all imply special reference to plays as performed by actors or to the effects which are produced by acted plays. Dramatic basically denotes relationship to the drama as written or as produced ... It may imply an effect or a combination of effects appropriate to the drama (as a stirring of the imagination and emotions by vivid and expressive action, speech, and gesture, or by the exciting complications of a plot) ... Theatrical denotes relationship to the theater ... It may imply effects appropriate to the theater as the place where plays are produced, and to the demands which its limitations, its convention, and, often, its need of financial success make both upon a play and its performance; the term therefore usually implies a marked degree of artificiality or conventionality, a direct and sometimes a blatant appeal to the senses and emotion, and often an overdoing or exaggeration in gesture, in speech, or in action ... Dramaturgic, which stresses the technical aspects of the drama and its presentation, may be used in place of theatrical when the more or less derogatory connotations of that word are to be avoided and the emphasis is upon those elements in a play which fit it for representation in a theater ... Melodramatic implies a manner characteristic of melodrama; it, therefore, usually connotes exaggerated emotionalism or inappropriate theatricalism ... Histrionic is more limited than theatrical for it implies reference to tones of voice, gestures, movements, and appearance characteristic of actors, especially in times before realism was attempted in dramatic performances ... " (MW, 268)




The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1981, c.1969). William Morris, Ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Merriam-Webster (1984). Webster's New Dictionary of Synonyms: A Dictionary of Discriminated Synonyms with Antonyms and Analogous and Contrasted Words. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Careers and Jobs for the Dramatic type

Google Answers: selecting the right career for me

This list represents careers and jobs people of the Dramatic type tend to enjoy doing.

college professor
legal mediator
social worker
holistic health
occupational therapist
diversity manager
human resource
...development specialist
employment development
writer: poet/novelist
editor/art director
organizational development

Source: U.S. Department of Interior, Career Manager - INFP.

Noteworthy examples of the Dramatic personality type

Many people (and not just those of the Dramatic personality type) have dramatic traits or behave in a dramatic manner. But the traits and behaviors of the Dramatic personality type are not so inflexible and maladaptive or the cause of such significant subjective distress or functional impairment as to constitute

Histrionic Personality Disorder

The noteworthy examples of the Dramatic personality type listed below are examples of a *type*, not of a disorder. It is my opinion that the ideal type which is described above is best characterized as dramatic, and that the Dramatic personality type represents the pervasive and enduring pattern of the personalities of the people listed below better than any other type.

Famous persons on this list may serve as ego ideals, idealized images, and idols for individuals of the Dramatic type.

Noteworthy examples of the Dramatic personality type are: Index of noteworthy examples

Karen Armstrong | Tallulah Bankhead | Drew Barrymore | John Barrymore | Ernest Becker | William J. Bennett | Blanche Dubois | Carol Burnett | Albert Camus | G.K. Chesterton | Frederic Chopin | Robert De Niro | | Catherine Earnshaw | Judy Garland | Allen Ginsberg | Jackie Gleason | Stepen Jay Gould | Martha Graham | Katie Holmes | Jeremy Irons | Michael Jackson | Phil Jackson | Angelina Jolie | Michael Jordan | Rudyard Kipling | Monica Lewinsky | Rush Limbaugh { Gustav Mahler | Stevie Nicks | Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis | Eugene O'Neill | Gabriel Syme |

  "Gradually it has become clear to me what every great philosophy so far has been: namely, the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir" - Friedrich Nietzsche.

I hypothesize that the personality theories of personality theorists best describe themselves and those of their own type.

Theodore Millon

  • The Official Website of Theodore Millon

    • Biography of Dr. Theodore Millon

      Sandwiched between hyperbolic concerns about our society and mankind�s future, I have sought to depict the personal exploits of a not untypical psychologist through the mostly joyous times of America in the mid and late 20th century. I subscribe to the view that you, my reader, has shared a discipline that is and may become even more the noblest of all sciences. Having achieved the honored status of Professor Emeritus, I have no plans to curtail my efforts to advance our science and its worthy purposes. In almost 50 years of wandering in clinical academia, I have found only a small measure of ill will, mostly warmth, deep friendships, intellectual challenges, and a life of fulfillment, one in which I have had the satisfaction of seeing several of my scholarly missions achieve a measure of professional recognition before I become just a memory.
    • An Evolutionary Theory of Personality

  • Test Developer Profiles

    Presumption and vanity, so often the spur to writing books, had little to do with the origins of his first text, Modern Psychopathology (MP). It began as an exercise in self-education, an attempt to gather and to render the disparate facts and theories of psychopathology into a coherent and orderly framework. Such a venture, it was hoped, would enable him to pursue his future research, teaching, and clinical responsibilities more effectively. Little did he know that the tasks of authorship would force him to think more presumptuously than he cared�"even worse, to feel a measure of pride and vanity in these presumptions. Faced repeatedly with the obscurities, contradictions, and confusions that beset the field, he found himself formulating novel "clarifications" and "solutions" to old and perplexing problems. In short, an act of modest self-education became an act of intellectual audacity; the future will tell whether the venturesome spirit that overtook him will be judged to have been impertinent and foolhardy, or original and persuasive.
  • Theodore Millon � Grandfather of Personality Theory

    Theodore Millon: Well it�s the composite elements that make the person the unique individual the individual is. It�s not a facet or a component, or a domain, or one aspect of the whole person but each of us is a unique composite composed of biological tendencies, life experiences and the like. It�s the uniqueness of the individual, �uniqueness�, �the individual�, that are the key terms. Each of us is distinctive and unique. Each of us is an individual, we are encapsulated in our body form, we are separate from everyone else. We may be related to other people, we interact with others, but we�re still separate, unique individuals.
  • Books: Theodore Millon
  • buying info: Toward a New Personology : An Evolutionary Model

    A few more words should be said about the role of theoretical constructs in generating nosologies. As noted earlier, distinguished philosophers such as Hempel (1965) and Quine (1977) consider that mature sciences progress from an observationally based stage to one that is characterized by abstract concepts and theoretical systemizations. It is their judgment that classification alone does not make a scientific taxonomy, and that similarity among attributes does not necessarily comprise a scientific category. The card catalog of the library or an accountant's ledger sheet, for example, are well-organized classifications, but hardly to be viewed as a system of science. The characteristic which distinguishes a scientific classification, or what we term a latent as contrasted to a manifest taxonomy, is its success in grouping its elements according to theoretically consonant explanatory propositions. The propositions are formed when certain attributes which have been isolated and categorized have been shown or have been hypothesized to be logically or causally related to other attributes or categories. The latent diagnostic classes comprising a nosology are not, therefore, mere collections of overtly similar attributes or categories, but a linked or unified pattern of known or presumed relationships among them. This theoretically grounded pattern of relationships is the foundation of a scientific taxonomy (174-75).



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