The final season of Succession kicked off on Sunday, with fans getting their first glimpse of how the future of the Roy family and their media empire might play out.
Since 2018, viewers have watched the ultra-wealthy but utterly miserable family battling it out to determine who will take the reins of Waystar Royco.
To celebrate the start of the new series, MailOnline asked psychologists to assess the dark personality traits of Logan and his children Shiv, Kendall, Roman and Connor.
These traits, often known as the ‘Dark Triad’, are psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism.
The findings suggest that Logan and Kendall are the worst of the bunch, both displaying all three in the form of greed, egotism and disregard for the feelings of others.
Since 2018, viewers have watched the ultra-wealthy but utterly miserable Roy family battling it out to determine who will take the reins of Waystar Royco
Dr Stephen Joseph, a psychotherapy professor from the University of Nottingham and author of ‘Think Like a Therapist’ says that the siblings’ issues all stem from Logan’s treatment of them as children.
WHAT ARE THE ‘DARK TRIAD’ PERSONALITY TRAITS?
The Dark Triad is a name given to three personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism.
When all three traits are found in a single person, it implies a malevolent personality.
All three dark triad traits are conceptually distinct, but have been shown to have an overlap.
Narcissism is characterised by grandiosity, pride, egotism, and a lack of empathy.
Machiavellianism is characterised by manipulation and exploitation of others. It is also often linked to a cynical disregard for morality, and a focus on self-interest and deception.
Psychopathy is characterised by continuing antisocial behaviour, impulsivity, selfishness, callousness, and remorselessness.
They were given ‘conditional regard’, where they were given the message that they will only be valued if they behave in a certain manner.
‘The more conditional regard we get, the more distorted we become in our personal growth,’ he told MailOnline.
‘The father Logan is a powerful force in the family and you can see how each of the children look to him to be valued, and for each they seem to have a different message.
‘There is Connor, who seems disconnected from reality and living in a bubble of his own illusions, wanting to be important.
‘Shiv, who is disconnected from herself and wanting power. Roman, wanting freedom. Kendall, lost and paranoid, wanting to be liked.’
Logan Roy, played by Brian Cox, is head of both the Waystar Royco media conglomerate and the Roy family.
The tycoon built his empire through cutthroat business tactics, and continues to impose these on his four children while they vie for his attention.
Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a psychology professor at UCL and the author of ‘I, Human’, says that he exhibits all three of the dark personality traits.
He told MailOnline: ‘He is a master of manipulation, to the point that he can even surprise his viewers with his malicious master plans, engaging in sophisticated deception tactics and astute subliminal influence tactics.
‘This means he is highly Machiavellian, constantly scheming and plotting to accumulate power and control over everybody, including his own family.
‘Logan is also highly narcissistic, which is the main driver behind his ambition and greed.’
Logan consistently demonstrates narcissism, loudly demanding that his family and friends cater to his requests, and mocking any sign of emotional vulnerability.
‘Like so many real world tycoons, he cannot stop because he is motivated by a megalomaniac ego and a strong need to convince others – and himself – that he is the greatest,’ Dr Chamorro-Premuzic told MailOnline.
‘And just like other self-made billionaire narcissists he is driven by an insatiable hunger to be recognised by others and receive unconditional loyalty and respect from others – anyone else is the enemy.
‘Logan also exhibits clear psychopathic tendencies, in the sense of being devoid of empathy or concern for the feelings or suffering of others, including his own children.
Dr Ramani Durvasula, clinical psychologist and professor at California State University, says that Logan Roy’s (pictured) upbringing plays a part in his behaviour
‘And like psychopaths he is fearless to the point of engaging in reckless overconfident behaviours, putting his own reputation at risk.’
A study in 2016 found that roughly one-fifth of top corporate professionals have ‘extremely high’ levels of psychopathic traits.
Dr Ramani Durvasula, clinical psychologist and professor at California State University, says that Logan’s upbringing plays a part in his behaviour.
She told MailOnline: ‘Logan has had a chip on his shoulder since his hardscrabble childhood in Dundee, and is trying to put that behind him, which he does by immense success.
‘But as we saw in prior seasons, just visiting that place made him uncomfortable and almost angry.
‘He regulates himself through grandiosity, power, control, and domination – and as long he is succeeding, winning, surpassing his competitors, and controlling everyone in his orbit, he is fine.
‘He feels entitled to his children and he almost reinforces the trauma bond they have with him by offering up something that looks like love or validation and then pulling it away so they are forever on their back foot.’
Kendall Roy, played by Jeremy Strong, is constantly struggling for his father’s approval while also trying to break free from his shadow.
He fluctuates between being highly ambitious and showing vulnerability, and his internal struggles lead him towards problems with addiction.
‘Kendall is basically a moderate version of his father, which makes it far more unpleasant for him and generally less effective,’ Dr Chamorro-Premuzic told MailOnline.
‘Like his dad, he is Machiavellian and manipulative, but less assertive, charming, or charismatic, which means he has to work harder to influence and control others.
‘He is also highly narcissistic, but much more of an insecure or neurotic narcissist than his father.
‘This means he has an inflated and distorted self-concept, but needs constant validation from others to maintain it.’
He compares Kendall to Ricky Gervais’ character of David Brent in The Office, in that he is not fully convinced of his own self-importance.
An example of this is when he throws a huge birthday party for himself in the first season, but becomes increasingly anxious about his guests showing up.
When the party has started, he gets extremely drunk and performs a rap onstage to gain the attention of his peers – a demonstration of his deep-seated insecurity.
An example of Kendall’s narcissism is how he does not recognise the damage he did to his reputation when he drunkenly performed a rap onstage at a party (pictured)
Afterwards he cannot see the damage the charade has done to his reputation, showing his overinflated ego.
Dr Durvasula said that Kendall fluctuates so much between moments of egotism and vulnerability because he has been more broken by his father than his siblings.
She told MailOnline: ‘He alternates with grandiose narcissistic moments when he feels well regulated, has investors, a new idea, an inside track on a deal, or believes his father believes in him.
‘But life is a chronic disappointment for him and he presents more as a victim than as a vanquisher.
‘We see some of his last Hail Mary passes to win his father over, and when Kendall recognises there is no hope there is decompensates into a severe existential crisis.
Kendall Roy, played by Jeremy Strong (pictured), is constantly struggling for his father’s approval while also trying to break free from his shadow
‘Kendall has long used drugs to regulate – and because there is no chance of having a healthy relationship or attachment for his father he is forever on a quest. ‘
But Dr Chamorro-Premuzic said that his willingness to expose himself ultimately makes him more ‘human and humane’.
‘He is more fragile and vulnerable than his dad, which perhaps makes him more likeable,’ he told MailOnline.
‘Still, his narcissism shows clearly in his entitlement and self-centred nature.
‘And like his dad there are elements of psychopathy in that he engages in reckless and self-destructive behaviours, has impulse control issues, and is fundamentally unable to care about other people, including his family and associates.’
Shiv Roy is the youngest of the siblings and only daughter, but refuses to let herself be outshone within the family by choosing a political career outside of Waystar Royco.
The character, played by Sarah Snook, is defined by her ambition and intelligence, but this drive is also behind the mistreatment of her husband Tom Wambsgans.
An example of this is how during a conversation with the Pierces, a rival media family, she dismisses his comments as ‘cute’ and makes humiliating jokes about their sex life.
Dr Chamorro-Premuzic told MailOnline: ‘Shiv is perhaps the most advanced Machiavellian in the family, because of her high levels of intelligence and astute emotional and social skills.
‘She can manage herself better than anyone else, except perhaps his dad, and is easily underestimated by others, which suits her well.
Shiv Roy (pictured) is the youngest of the siblings, and only daughter, but refuses to let herself be outshone within the family by choosing a political career outside of Waystar Royco
‘She also seems more self-aware than others, which enables her to understand how people see her, giving her an edge when it comes to manipulating and influencing others.
‘While she can be charming and personable, she ultimately sees others as pawns in her own game of power, but there are far fewer signs of narcissism and psychopathy in her than in Logan and Kendall.’
Dr Durvasula adds that Shiv’s dark personality traits could be overlooked due to the fact that she is a woman.
‘It’s a trick of the eye around gender that we don’t see it – she is beautiful and feminine and her father has a diminutive nickname for her of ‘Pinky’, but she is particularly exploitative,’ she told MailOnline.
‘Pretending to be a friend to women and then throwing them under the bus, her contemptuous treatment of her husband, and there is also a restlessness about her because she wants all of the power.
‘Yet, in her manipulative way, tries to sell her ideas as though they are good for her brothers or any collaborators.
‘Shiv views life as a chronic quest for power and her father’s recognition, belief and admiration.’
Shiv, played by Sarah Snook (right), is defined by her ambition and intelligence, but this drive is also behind the mistreatment of her husband Tom Wambsgans (left)
HOW THE ROY FAMILY EXHIBIT DARK PERSONALITY TRAITS
Logan Roy: Psychopath, narcissist and Machiavellian – Immediately withdraws attention from his children after giving it, mocks any sign of emotional vulnerability.
Kendall Roy: Psychopath, narcissist and Machiavellian – Fluctuates between grandiose actions and existential crisis, his struggles manifest as drug addiction.
Shiv Roy: Machiavellian – Undermines her husband to get what she wants.
Roman Roy: Narcissist – Ashamed of sexual problems so grabs at any change of impressing his father, constant cruel comments show his fragile ego.
Connor Roy: Narcissist – Runs for President of the US despite lack of political experience, satisfied with transactional relationship with younger wife.
Like Kendall, youngest son Roman Roy is often trying to assert himself as a serious contender to take over Waystar Royco.
However, he often comes across as immature and unpredictable – for example, when he insisted on being in charge of a satellite launch despite his lack of experience, and puts it in jeopardy as a result.
As a result, he is often disregarded and made the butt of the joke by his father and siblings, which Dr Chamorro-Premuzic said could contribute to his insecurity.
He told MailOnline: ‘Roman is fundamentally immature, and his main quality is low emotional intelligence.
‘But among dark side traits he exhibits narcissistic tendencies, highlighted in his constant self-promotion, egotistic and unempathetic behaviours, and near pathetic need for admiration from others.
‘He can be entertaining and funny and has low impulsive control, and a disrespect for rules and authority.
‘Ultimately he is also deeply insecure in the sense that he craves approval and recognition from others, which inhibits his ability to form meaningful relationships with people.’
Dr Durvasula said that Roman is ‘riddled with shame’ due to issues related to sexual regulation.
He demonstrates these by engaging in sexual activities with employees, making crude comments and watching porn at work.
As a result, he desperately wants to be viewed as ‘normal’ by others, but the constant belittlement and rejection from his father serves as a massive ego injury.
‘Roman also is the one with the cruel zingers and contemptuous insults – which are clearly a defensive structure around his very fragile ego,’ Dr Durvasula told MailOnline.
‘He has little capacity for sustained intimate relationships – and that is congruent with the framework for narcissistic personality styles.’
Roman Roy (pictured) often comes across as immature and unpredictable – for example, when he insisted on being in charge of a satellite launch despite his lack of experience, and puts it in jeopardy as a result
Connor Roy is the oldest of the four Roy children, but is somewhat disconnected from the others.
This is partially because he chose to step away from the family business, and is a child of Logan’s first marriage rather than second.
Dr Chamorro-Premuzic said that while he is a narcissist, he exhibits it in fundamentally different way to his brothers, and therefore is not a true player in the family’s toxic games.
‘Connor lacks the Machiavellian motivation and skills of Logan, Kendall, and Shiv, and is basically a superficial, happy narcissist,’ he told MailOnline.
‘He craves approval from others but is able to distort people’s views of him to the point of being mostly content with his image and reputation, which in a way makes him more deluded or self-deceived.
Similarly to Roman, Connor (right) is unable to maintain genuine, intimate relationships, as demonstrated by his obviously transactional relationship with his younger wife (left)
‘He is rather colourful and attention seeking but lacks any depth to impress others intellectually; nor does he have the interpersonal skills to control or manipulate others, making him less assertive and more passive in his relations with others.’
An example of his delusion is how he announces that he will run for President of the United States, despite having no political experience.
He uses his personal fortune – largely inherited from his mother – to fund his campaign, believing that his wealth alone makes him worthy of the position.
Dr Durvasula says that his narcissistic tendencies are what lead him to playing a ‘half baked eco warrior, gentleman farmer and political candidate’.
Similarly to Roman, he is unable to maintain genuine, intimate relationships, as demonstrated by his obviously transactional relationship with his wife.
She told MailOnline: ‘Connor is motivated by flash in the pan fantasy recognition – like being president, having a very young wife, and may be trying to individuate from this system by choosing a path different from the company, but a path that relies on the company and Logan’s largesse.’
British families are just as dysfunctional as the Roy clan in ‘Succession’ – with 44 per cent claiming they are ‘at war’ with another family member
It turns out that intrafamilial feuds are by no means limited to the Roy clan in Succession.
A new study has revealed that 44 per cent of British adults claim they are ‘at war’ with another family member.
Over one in three also said they haven’t spoken to a relative in over three years due to ongoing conflict.
For the study, commissioned by online casino ICE36, 2,000 adult Brits were asked about their relationship with their family.
It revealed that over 60s, like the character of media tycoon Logan Roy, are most likely to hold a grudge.
Just over half of those polled said they will never make up with a family member they have fallen out with.
Selfishness (28 per cent), life choices (26 per cent) and relationship issues (21 per cent) were the top three most common reasons for disputes.
Read the full article here
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