Psychological Profile of Elvis Presley
Analysis of Elvis Presley Deborah Cantin Colorado Technical University Partially Resubmitted From Phases 1, 2, 3, 4 IPs Abstract This paper covers a brief biographical and psychological profile that explores the subject’s childhood, work, personal life, lifetime accomplishments, and philosophy. In addition, I will discuss his inner perspectives using the Cognitive Perspective to describe the two aspects of Mr. Presley’s behavior. I will also discuss his MBTI® Type along with examples to explain my interpretation.
His Psychosocial developmental stages examined through his Infancy, Childhood, Adolescence, and Adult hood. We examine these stages using Erick Erickson’s work. His youth compared to Kohlberg’s work on Moral Reasoning through adulthood. My subject died so this analysis ends at age 50. Another area of analysis is his strong desire to achieve success and how he handled getting his needs met. What seemed to inspire Elvis towards achieving what he had in life? Analysis of Elvis Presley I decided to choose Elvis Aaron Presley, as my subject for this Individual Project.
I chose him as my subject, to help comprehend his dynamic personality. It is my intention to investigate Mr. Presley’s biological nature along with how the loss of his twin brother deeply affected his character development. Another key factor to consider is how the passing of his mother contributed enormously to whom and what Elvis Aaron Presley eventually became later in life. In my opinion, he was tremendously talented and more respected than any star today. Elvis Presley is a living legend who brought to life the Rock n Roll era. Part I – Case Study Mr.
Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. His parents Vernon and Gladys Presley were a poor family. He had a twin brother named Jesse Garon, who was stillborn, (Elvis Presley, 2012). Gladys doted on her only living boy, and he loved her too. The emotional bond between them ran deep. Elvis loved and adored her. She was everything to him, and he became emotionally attached to his mother. His parents raised him in a warm nurturing environment. Since they were extremely poor, his father moved the family to wherever there was work.
Gladys Presley raised Elvis in a God fearing close-knit family; they attended church and sang in the choir. When he was 10 years old, his father bought him a guitar. He learned how to play guitar then entered and won a talent contest. After graduating from Humes High School, he worked several odd jobs. Later on, he cut his first demo disc at Sun Studio. Mr. Sam Phillips took an interest in him and gave Elvis his first real break in the music business. Elvis’ first hit single was “That’s All Right”. He sang this song in tribute to his mother Gladys, who he dearly loved and cherished.
Elvis’ personal life, filled with sorrow, began at his birth. The loss of his twin brother, Jesse appears to have added to this sorrow. Mr. Presley had a natural talent for music, and an independent spirit. All of his life, he searched for love and compassion. His solace seemed to be in music. He embraced his talent, as a way of reaching out to people. When Elvis picked-up his guitar and performed his songs, his whole personality changed. Teenagers followed Elvis in crowds. This was due to his southern charm and handsome appearance. When Elvis began to sing his hips would follow suit.
He later explained that his hips were something that he could not control. The adults considered these movements sexually suggestive to young women. The television cameras only showed Elvis’ figure singing from the waist up on the Ed Sullivan Show. His lifetime accomplishments included some gold and platinum records. During Elvis’ lifetime, he starred in 31 movies. Some of his more popular songs are Jail House Rock, Love Me Tender and Suspicion Minds. According to (Elvis Presley, 2012), “Elvis had no less than 149 songs appear on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Chart”.
His music is popular today, and demonstrated through generations of teenagers, speaks to his popularity. Elvis loved his Graceland home. His gravesite located in the Meditation Garden on Graceland’s grounds. The Meditation Garden is fitting for the King’s final resting place. It is here that Elvis loved to meditate and contemplate his spiritual side. Graceland draws millions of tourists each year from all over the World. Elvis’ beliefs demonstrated that he loved people. He gave expensive gifts to his staff and loved ones, such as cars and homes. His spiritual beliefs stayed with him throughout his life.
Elvis constantly searched, for the meaning of life and truth. This quest for knowledge inspired him to read several books, and earnestly seek out spiritual mentors. Gospel music played a large role in developing Elvis’ passion for music and spirituality. Every rehearsal session began and ended with a Gospel song or two. “Cognitive Psychology revolves around the notion that if we need to know what makes people tick; then figure out which processes are going on in their minds. Psychologist theorized, from this study, that cognition is a mental act or process by which information exists, (McLeod, 2012)”.
Erik Erickson believed that people develop in the context of their environments, with the forces of society exerting strong influences on the social world of people in all places of the development, (Board, 2012, pp. 95, 96). The psychobiography of Elvis directly relates to the different stages of Erickson’s cognitive theory, which includes distinct stages like infancy, pre childhood, post childhood, schooling, teenage, initial adulthood, adulthood and old age. In Elvis’ case, his mother raised him in an Assembly of God religious family. He and his parents attended church and sang in the choir.
When he was 10 years old (play time according to Erikson’s model), his father bought him a guitar. He learned how to play guitar then entered and won a talent contest. This behavior directly relates to the Initiative vs. Guilt theory, described by Erikson’s model. Later, he cut his first demo at Sun Studio. Mr. Sam Phillips took an interest in Elvis and gave him his first break in the music business. Elvis’ first hit single was “That’s All Right. ” He sang this song in tribute to his mother Gladys, who he dearly loved and cherished. This stage described as the Industry vs.
Inferiority in Erikson’s theory. During the adolescent age, Elvis appeared to be a person with an independent spirit. He started searching for love and compassion from people, and he became involved with people of all ages through his music. On stage, Elvis performed with stored up passion, and found that he had charm with which he attracted millions of teenagers and other fans. Elvis knew that he had good looks, and that was the focal point of his connectivity with his fans. Kohlberg describes this stage as moral reasoning. In this phase, the social rules govern an individual’s perspective on morality.
The In the moral acts stage, the adolescent performs to please others and this was the case with Elvis, who used to sing songs to please his fans. Kohlberg maintains that most adults pass through this stage of thinking. An individual’s morals and behaviors determined by peer acceptance. This type of behavior may be good or lead to bad behavior to gain acceptance, and continues through adulthood. Elvis was a person who was a master of all traits. He sold record-breaking copies of his albums. He was a recognized star on the silver screen.
He worked in major film projects, and he was the guest on several television shows. Elvis sung 149 songs and some of them remained for eighty weeks in the Top song lists, and topped the billboard. Elvis’s trophy room filled with awards in gold and platinum and “Norway, Yugoslavia, Japan, Australia, South Africa, England, Sweden, Germany, France, Canada, Belgium, and The Netherlands”, were some of the awards received from several countries to Elvis, (Enterprises, E. P, 2012)”. Maslow’s opinion also ties into Elvis’ need for love and trust. Elvis satisfied this requirement through his many fans.
I have satisfied this requirement by accepting the fact that it will never happen. Perfectionism demanded stricter and more intense perceived performance levels. Later in his adulthood, he probably realized this was unrealistic. All of these theories directly show that Elvis could not control his rise to fame. His fear caused him to seek peace and security in women and drugs. Elvis sought comfort and unconditional love. He married Priscilla with the hope of having a fairy-tale marriage. Later, he found an unconditional relationship with his daughter, Lisa Marie. In both cases, he ended up more alone than ever.
Elvis’s achievements described by the McClelland’s theory of achievements, states that human behavior is described by three needs- Need for Power, Achievement, and Affiliation. In Mr. Presley’s case, his need for power and acceptance played an important role. The need for integration demonstrated through the social interests of Elvis. The need for action arises in people who are above-average performers. In this instance, he was an above-average performer, so he had a powerful desire to win by better performances, (Elvis Presley, 2012). Elvis handled his needs by connecting with people through his music.
This provided the pleasure of his call for acceptance, need for achievement, and his motivational need. Elvis was addicted to sex and drugs. These addictions caused him to seek out more and more ways to satisfy his need for affection and confidence. As his fame grew, the need for privacy and trust became foremost in his make-believe world. Paranoia engulfed him, and he began to develop a need for security. He formed and hired his own Memphis Mafia to meet this need. The use of illegal and prescription drugs became a necessity due to his exhausting routine of late-night rehearsals and elaborate parties.
No one could exist in this type of life without the aid of drugs. Elvis took pills to wake-up and go to sleep. Each day was a vicious cycle that led to his addiction to pills. Later in life, he developed obesity and constipation problems that were probably due to his food and drug addictions. I believe that Elvis Presley’s MBTI® type is Extraverted Sensing Feeling Perceptive (ESFP) (Myers, 2012) . This type of personality is very comfortable in front of audiences and loves to entertain. They are in touch with their feelings and value the needs of others.
Elvis Presley demonstrated this type by giving lavish gifts to his friends and staff members. In the songs that he sang to his beloved fans, obviously he needed the love and support from them. Elvis was fresh and well ahead of his years in other areas. He was not afraid to break the rules and even create new standards for generations to follow. Elvis loved life and his audience. He provided the inspiration and motivation that rocked a whole generation and generations to come. Elvis Presley was born with natural talents who provided a framework for today’s musicians today; however, fame, sex and drugs, eventually led to his downfall.
The death of his beloved mother may have contributed to his demand for approval and security. I often wonder, what would have happened had his mother lived a longer life? Would his life have been changed or remained the same? In essence, he was his own enemy. Fear and isolation probably contributed to his downfall too. Part II – Psychological Conjecture Elvis was an awesome personality. He appeared normal and displayed some abnormal tendencies. Music provided the outlet, for his wandering spirit and zest, for knowledge. When he was performing his music, this met his emotional and social needs.
Elvis showed needs of fulfillment, for which he depended on the fans. Elvis had a serious need for perfection. This probably stemmed from his very strict childhood. Elvis provided the motivational role model that showed me, what celebrity status could do to individuals, who could not possibly measure up to their preconceived ideas of success. I grew up with Elvis’ music and looked up to him. It seems that when his fame was burning out, he also gave up hope. His abnormal behavior characterized by his preoccupation with food, sex, and women. He used food for comfort and control.
His obsessive desire for love and companionship, ended up in unsuccessful attempts towards happiness. Fame and fortune provided the women and sexual outlets for his pleasure. These only provided fleeting moments of happiness in his life. As his fame grew, his desires eventually overcame his ability to maintain them. Even up to the days before his death, he continued to surround himself with younger women that he could control. Glaucoma and obesity were health obstacles that he could not overcome. “People must be able to realize human potential. This technique focuses on nity of mind, unaltered states of consciousness, as a means of realizing full human potential, (Hamilton, 2001). This approach focuses on the subject and emphasizes the concept of making choices. Not all behavior is pre-determined. All individuals are unique and have an innate drive to achieve their maximum potential, (McLeod, 2007). One of the disadvantages of this approach is lack of a specific treatment program. Treatment plans proved ineffective in treating severe mental illnesses. Humanism ignores the human unconscious mind. The concept of free will is in opposition to the deterministic laws of science, (McLeod, 2007).
Part III – Psychology I have learned that Psychology uses methods that are determined by the uniqueness of people. The environment plays a huge factor in the way a human thinks and learns. An individual’s intelligence level is often, determined by their environment or life experiences. Their family upbringing may provide the motivation to either motivate or demotivate an individual to seek further academic studies or opportunities for advancement. Psychology is very useful in the workplace in counseling situations where behaviors need improvement.
Learning the different methods helps the supervisor or co-worker to understand others better. Every workplace has a mixture of different personality types and intelligence levels. This mixture may include Introverts or Extroverts in the work place. There may be natural leaders and followers too. After taking this class, I have discovered that it would take me a lifetime to understand the human psyche. I have visions of endless written case studies and counseling sessions. Writing reports does not top my list of fun activities. I have no desire to pursue Psychology as a career choice.
This class has taught me to take a good look at my childhood and it was quite painful. I now understand why my mom treated me so badly. It directly relates to the fact that she was a foster child. My mother married at age 17. I was born two years later so she was not mature enough to be a mother. In my adulthood, I have come to realize that I am responsible for my life. My behavior determines what I want to achieve in life. Growing up in a horrible environment only made me more determined to succeed. This culminated in a Perfectionist attitude and overachiever persona.
My choice of career field as a Technical Recruiter is a perfect match for my skill sets, intelligence, and emotional abilities. I will apply these lessons in counseling my employees in the workplace. My friends also will benefit from learning these techniques. The best thing that I have learned is how to understand my mother’s behavior and attitude towards me. I now realize that I can never measure up to my mother’s unrealistic expectations. The thing that really matters is what I think of myself. Unconditional love only exists with God, because, human beings are fallible and incapable of fulfilling my needs for love and acceptance.
My future study plans involve completing my degree program and taking time to enjoy myself, free of unrealistic expectations and demands for my time. This class has taught me to relax and enjoy the unique individual that I have become. Gone is the lonely little child that needed mom’s love and acceptance. I have learned through this class that I have value and worth that can help others to succeed. My strongest desire is to help other people with bad childhoods become successful, despite the challenges ahead. It is true that time does heal all wounds.
Forgiveness is difficult, but it does nourish the body and the soul. The mantra is true, until you are able to understand your own psychological profile; it makes it very difficult to understand others. The first step in understanding this mantra is discovering who you are as a person. This is an easy step for me, since I know myself inside and out. My psychological make-up determines what and who I am. It is crucial and sometimes painful to analyze yourself. My MBTI® is a tool used to determine this for me. The second step is applying the mantra to other people’s personalities.
Through this class, I have already started to apply the theories and concepts that I have learned to work and in my personal life. My own behavior is made-up of personal choices and moral decisions. My intelligence level is in a sense, relying on my own internal motivational desires. These directly relate to Maslow’s theory in achieving a balanced life. A lens is something that you look through to examine something. My personality shows that I see a glass, as half full. There is always a solution to any problem. Sometimes, it takes a long time to find solutions, but they are out there.
I am an optimistic person that sees life, as a challenge. I have found that learning APA is very hard for me. I do not really understand the reasons why. Perhaps, I am just making it harder than it has to be. I have learned through my lenses that life happens. Sometimes, I see the world, as moving too fast. There are times that I do not always see what is in front of me. When these moments occur, I slow down and examine the situation. Nine times out of ten, the solution was right in front of me! Putting on my psychological lens using Maslow’s theory helps me to keep my life balanced.
It is vital to have a healthy balance between wants and needs. My needs are important to me. Happiness is determined upon how I look at life in general. My spouse is not responsible for making me happy. Joy and happiness are fleeting moments that depend upon circumstances. Love is a choice and I decision. I make this choice every day in my marriage. This thought process, keeps my marriage strong. Through the Humanistic lens, I am responsible for my own behavior. My parents are not responsible for my behavior or choice in life. I must take responsibility for my own actions.
Even though, my childhood was a nightmare, I have changed the ways I view my mother and father. This type of upbringing, only served to make me an independent person. Failure is not an option. Survival is my primary behavior. It is true, only the strong make it through a horrible childhood. This class had taught me to see other people in a new light. The different personality types help me to understand why people behave the way they do. I have used the theories that I have learned at work and in my personal life. Psychology is a very complex field, and I realize that it takes a lifetime o understand, all of the different spectrums. References Bacon, A. (n. d. ). Kohlberg’s model. Retrieved March 08, 2012, from Developmental Psychology/Cognitive Development Mind 2 Matters: http://www. ablongman. com/html/mindmatters2/html/m7/m717. html Board, B. (2010). Introduction to psychology. (1st ed. ). [Electronic Version]. Retrieved from http://campus. ctuonline. edu Elvis Presley. (2012). Elvis Presley. Retrieved March 08, 2012, from Biography. com: http://www. biography. com/people/elvis-presley-9446466 Enterprises, E. P. (2012). About the king.
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