All four chapters have now been published in peer-reviewed journals, public defense date is planned for May 29, 2018!
THE EVOLUTIONARY ORIGINS AND PSYCHOLOGY OF
In the years since I first began studying the psychology of charisma, I’ve discovered something about human nature so universal that it’s begun to resemble something like those natural laws that the “harder” sciences are supposed to hold such a monopoly on. What I’ve noticed is this – no matter the country I’m currently in, what time of day it happens to be, the surrounding circumstances, or the nature of my relationship with the questioner – within minutes of uttering the words “charisma” I can reliably expect to hear the following four words, almost verbatim: “so…what is it?” The motivations behind this question differ - ranging from good-natured curiosity to combative sarcasm - but from my perspective, it feels inescapable, something like the ticking countdown set in motion by an insect accidentally triggering the bait of a Venus Flytrap before the eventual snap!
To this law I would also add one additional observation (a corollary perhaps) which is the unusual degree to which most people are willing to endure even the most long-winded, carefully phrased, overly complicated, contextualized, and comprehensive answer that follows in order to share their own thoughts, feelings and experiences.
The reason, I think, has to do with the fundamentally mysterious nature of charisma. It’s contradictory: sometimes inspiring and emotional, occasionally dangerous and revolutionary. It’s slippery: some people certainly have it, and sometimes you can even describe why, others are certainly missing it, but it’s difficult to pin down a cause….
Maybe you can already see where I’m heading with this. Over the next hundred pages or so I will present the results of some of my best attempts at explaining what charisma is, why it’s important, and where it may have come from. Hopefully the clock is already ticking.