Hubris syndrome: An acquired personality disorder? A study of US Presidents and UK Prime Ministers over the last 100 years
Download Full Paper here: includes tables/footnotes/references.
Brain Advance Access published February 12, 2009
David Owen (House of Lords, London, UK) and Jonathan Davidson (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, USA)
‘The history of madness is the history of power. Because it imagines power, madness is both impotence and omnipotence. It requires power to control it. Threatening the normal structures of authority, insanity is engaged in an endless dialogue—a monomaniacal monologue sometimes— about power’.
Roy Porter: A Social History of Madness: Stories of the Insane, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987 p. 39
Charisma, charm, the ability to inspire, persuasiveness, breadth of vision, willingness to take risks, grandiose aspirations and bold self-confidence—these qualities are often associated with successful leadership. Yet there is another side to this profile, for these very same qualities can be marked by impetuosity, a refusal to listen to or take advice and a particular form of incompetence when impulsivity, recklessness and frequent inattention to detail predominate. This can result in disastrous leadership and cause damage on a large scale. The attendant loss of capacity to make rational decisions is perceived by the general public to be more than ‘just making a mistake’. While they may use discarded medical or colloquial terms, such as ‘madness’ or ‘he’s lost it’, to describe such behaviour, they instinctively sense a change of behaviour although their words do not adequately capture its essence. read more…..