What is the personality type of Bruce Wayne/Batman aka The Dark Knight? Using the Big Five Personality Traits, Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and other psychology theories, including the Shadow and Persona archetypes based on the psychology of Carl Jung.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Bruce Wayne suffered a serious dramatic event when he was just a child, seeing his parents killed right in front of him. Witnessing this type of event can cause post traumatic stress disorder, perhaps changing him for the rest of this life. He is cursed by visions and nightmares of what happened that night. This constant reminder of what happened might be in-part what motivates him to fight crime. The activity of bringing criminals to justice may actually be a type of therapy, which alleviates the symptoms of his post traumatic stress disorder.
Persona & Shadow Archetypes
Bruce Wayne is the persona, his social mask, how he (in-part) fits in and becomes somewhat normal. Batman: The Dark Knight, is the shadow, he carries much of the relegated aspects of himself, this includes his aggression, violent tendencies and perhaps his desire for revenge. While he does allow his aggressive and violent traits to be set free, they are controlled by a certain moral code. He only targets those who cause harm to others. Again this could be a type of therapy, resulting from his traumatic past event, plus he may have a naturally high sense of morality.
After the murder of his parents, his aggressive traits (shadow) likely grew in strength as Bruce Wayne got older, suppressing certain feelings for a long time. His alter ego (Batman) was created in-order to full-fill those desires, if it wasn’t for the creation of Batman, his shadow may of grown out of control, perhaps leading to uncontrollable violent out-bursts, outbursts that even his strong sense of morality couldn’t control.
Bruce Wayne/Batman Personality Traits
Bruce Wayne seems mostly introverted, he lives a relatively solitary and private life. This could in-part be explained by his traumatic past experience, however it’s likely a combination of both.
He is high in trait conscientiousness, he works hard, could even be described as obsessive. This applies to his business life as Bruce Wayne, and as the crime fighter, Batman. The fact that he essentially has a day and night job, suggests a very active even obsessive drive to do things, to work hard and to be productive.
Low in trait neuroticism, this is need for both his occupations, being a high pressured business man, making decisions under pressure with a great deal of responsibility requires a strong nerve. This strong nerve would be needed even more when he becomes the Dark Knight, and when his life is in danger. Being flustered by nerves and anxiety would greatly hinder his crime fighting activities.
There is also a possibility that his traumatic child experience caused his emotions to become repressed by his unconscious, this would be a defence mechanism he was not consciously aware of. This may result in certain sociopathic or psychopathic traits, meaning he doesn’t have the same fear that the majority has.
Most successful and wealthy people are competitively minded, they also tend to be higher in aggression, more assertive and less likely to avoid confrontation, perhaps to even seek it out. These traits are more associated with being low in agreeableness.
He is high in trait openness, this trait is connected to intelligence, openness of mind, interest in art/aesthetics and ideas. Batman often has to compensate for his lack of super powers by outsmarting his adversaries, and of course using his high tech weapons and gadgets.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
After a little research others seem to place him as an intuitive (N) type, however they don’t go into much depth about why this is. I mostly disagree with this, at most I would place him somewhere in the middle of the sensation/intuitive type preference. Bruce Wayne/Batman needs to be very observant to reality; he needs to live in the moment, which is something that an intuitive type doesn’t naturally do. For this reason I’m going with a Sensation (S) type.
He seems naturally analytical and tactically minded, making him a Thinking (T) type. I’m also going with a Perceiver (P) type, this is because he doesn’t seem like a conventionally minded person, or a conformist. He seems like more of a free thinker, less restricted by traditions and conventions. Introversion has already been covered, so we end up with the final type, an introverted sensing thinker perceiver (ISTP).