Last Updated 06 Jul 2020

Personality Analysis of Kurt Cobain

Category Personality 
Essay type Personal
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P ERSONALITY P SYCHOLOGY PROJECT By Syed Khalid Mohammad (EE09B032) Sathu Sharath (ME09B028) Bindu Madhava Rao Pydi (EE09B008) Siddartha Kamepalli (EE09B031) Kothapothula Sai Dinesh (ME09B015) K URT COBAIN ?Kurt Cobain - February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994. ?American musician, painter, and best known as lead singer, guitarist and lyricist of band Nirvana.

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. ? Divorce of his parents at the age of 7. ? Remarriage of both his parents. ? Initial liking and later resenting his stepmother. Witness of domestic violence at his mother. “I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not. ” C HILD HOOD ? Kurt Cobain – a bully, insolent towards adults. ? Shifting of stays between his father, friends and family. ? Asked to leave home by his mother. “A friend is nothing but a known enemy. ” M USIC ? Misinterpretation by journalists and fans. ? Lyrics unimportant – Music most important. ? Termed his lyrics as “A big pile of contradictions“. “My lyrics are a big pile of contradictions.

They're split between very sincere opinions and feelings that I have, and sarcastic opinions and feelings that I have, and sarcastic and hopeful, humorous rebuttals towards cliche, bohemian ideals that have been exhausted for years. I mean, I like to be passionate and sincere, but I also like to have fun and act like a dork . ” F AMILY ? Wife – Courtney Love. ? Both were drug addicts. ? Unfit parents. ? Only daughter was sent to Love’s sister. ? Later returned to their custody on certain conditions. H EALTH ? Chronic bronchitis. ? Chronic stomach ache – undiagnosed. ? Family had a history of suicide, mental illnesses and lcoholism. ? Attention deficit hyper activity disorder ( ADHD ) as a child. H EALTH.. ?Bipolar disorder as an adult. ?Experimented with drugs at the age of 13, marijuana. ?Prone to alcoholism and solvent abuse. ?Claimed that Heroin reduced stomach pain. D EATH ? Overdose of champagne and rohypnol – hospitalized. ? Nobody could see any indication that Cobain was suicidal. ? Second time – Love called police claiming that Cobain has locked himself in a room with a gun. ? Excessive drug usage intervened by his friends – agreed to attend a detox program. D EATH.. ? Escaped from detox program. Finally shot himself, leaving behind a suicide note to his imaginary childhood friend ‘Bodoh’. ? In the note, he stated that there was not excitement left in his life. ? Traces of Valium and a high concentration of Heroin were found in his body. PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH INFLUENCE OF CHILDHOOD: ? Did not receive much attention as a child due to his parents divorce and his constant shuffle between family members and friends – led to ADHD. ? The lack of attention received by him, his feeling of being misinterpreted by his fans, and the constant fluctuation of the love received from his parents led him to develop an unstable personality.

Thus resulting in bipolar disorder. PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH.. ? He was a bully as a child, using it as an outlet for the anger he felt towards his parents in the situation he presented him with. ? His parents divorced and consequent remarriage and the abuse of his mother by his stepfather caused him to hate adults in general. This was let out in his rebellious nature. ? Fluctuation between Christianity and atheism could have been caused due to the lack of parental guidance in his childhood. P ERSONALITY ?Unstable ‘Super Ego’ – no morals or values instilled by his parents. ?Insolence, bullying and bad behavior as a hild – he conscience not adequately developed. D EFENSE MECHANISMS DISPLACEMENT: ? To deal with anger within him and feeling of helplessness at home. ? Resorted to bullying and insolent behavior. SUBLIMATION: ? Use of music to express his helplessness. - used the term ‘shame’ which refers to he was ‘ashamed’ of his parents. - talks about the stress he is under. D EFENSE M ECHANISMS.. PROJECTION: ? Usage of drugs, Marijuana, Heroin, Percodan. ? To help with the stress, helplessness, relieve the stomach pain. UNDOING: ? Agreeing to undergo a detox program. “Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect nd everything that goes along with your self-esteem. ” P SYCHOSEXUAL STAGES: ? According to Freud there are 5 stages: - Oral Stage - Anal Stage - Phallic Stage - Latent Period - Genital Stage ? In Cobain’s case – fixation at Oral Stage. B EHAVIORAL APPROACH - The concept of behaviourism focuses on the fact that behaviour is not something a person is born with, but something one learns. CLASSICAL CONDITIONING: ? Condition to react to a stimulus in a certain way. - Insolent behavior towards adults because of parents behavior and numerous changes. - His stepfather’s abuse of his mother. usage of Heroin to alleviate the stomach pain. O PERANT CONDITIONING ? It deals with the concept that rewards and punishment given at appropriate intervals could help mould/change a person’s behaviour. ? Lack of rewards probably led to his insolent towards adults. ? Lack of punishment – bad behavior. ? Lack of attention and parent’s abandonment might have influenced different aspects of his personality. ? Constant intake of drugs – lack of parental guidance. ? History of mental illnesses , suicide and alcoholism in his family. S OCIAL LEARNING THEORY ? A person can learn behavior by observing another person’s, nd the consequences faced by that person due to their behavior. ? Cobain’s bipolar nature – constant fluctuations of emotions at home. ? Constant display of anger at his mother’s home – caused him to act same way with others. B IG FIVE THEORY The big five theory consists of five factors which are the broad dimensions used to describe the human personality. 1. openness (inventive/ curious vs consistent/cautious) - high on openness. creative behavior in his musical endeavors. Imaginative and artistic as created majority of Nirvana’s music and lyrics. 2. conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs easygoing/careless) - low on conscientiousness.

Had an impulsive behavior and a lack of concern for his own life exemplified by his drug abuse and cancelling of concerts in the last minute. B IG FIVE T HEORY.. 3. extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs solitary/reserved) - moderate level of extroversion. He was very energetic in his performances with Nirvana. Also displayed withdrawn behavior from his parents and was less sociable with his peers. 4. agreeableness (friendly/ compassionate vs cold/unkind) - moderate for agreeableness. Cobain tends to be friendly to his fans and friends, but he appears mistrusting and standoffish to his parents. . neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs secure/confident) – Kurt is high on neuroticism. He was mentally and emotionally unstable, as he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as an adult. 1 6 PERSONALITY FACTORS ? Warmth – Low – He was not very friendly with others due to his experiences as a child. ? Reasoning – Moderate – His thinking was neither too concrete nor abstract. ? Emotional Stability – Low – He had bi-polar disorder. ? Dominance – High – Was dominant in his band and aggressive to other persons. ? Liveliness – Low – He was not cheerful or lively, liked spending his alone. 6 PERSONALITY FACTORS .. ? Rule-Consciousness – Low – He did not have proper parental guidance over morality. ? Social Boldness – High – He was bold in front of the public, the media about his music. ? Sensitivity – Moderate – He was not objective but was tender minded. Later went tough minded and rough. ? Vigilance – High – He did not trust people a lot and was vigilant. ? Abstractedness – Moderate – Was practical about his band growth and was imaginative in his song lyrics. 1 6 PERSONALITY FACTORS .. ? Privateness – Low – Was disclosing about his lyrics and his ideas. Apprehension – High – He was insecure and selfdoubting. ? Openness to Change – Moderate – Was free thinking and experimental only in his music but not in general. ? Self-Reliance – High – He was solitary and individualistic. ? Perfectionism – Low – He was impulsive, undisciplined, self conflicting and careless of social r ules. ? Tension – High – He was tensed, impatient and frustrated. C ONCLUSION ? It seems that only those who are willing to take dangerous behaviours to heart are the only ones who can gain popularity, at least in the rock industry. ? Cobain, in this respect, may have had more of an advantage. His possible bipolar disorder allowed him to make erratic decisions, create angst which permeated throughout teenage society, and generate a new sound that would forever rearrange the face of music. ? This in turn has allowed Cobain to become an idol in the eyes of many troubled young souls, then and now. R EFERENCES ? http://www. thebiographychannel. co. uk/biographies/kurt-cobain. html ? http://www. customessaymeister. com/customessays/Psychology/988. htm ? http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Kurt_Cobain#Relationships_and_family ? http://psychology. about. com/od/theoriesofpersonality/ss/psychosex ualdev_3

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