What Is Charisma?

Charisma is the ability to attract, charm, and influence the people around you. Charisma is often said to be a mysterious ineffable quality—you either have or don't have—but it's actually easy to break down many of the key factors that make someone charismatic. Such factors include, but are not limited to: confidence, exuberance, optimism, a ready smile, expressive body language, and a friendly, passionate voice.

Recent posts on Charisma

The Strange and Enduring Appeal of Charles Manson

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on July 11, 2016 in Wicked Deeds
Charles Manson was convicted of seven counts of first-degree murder for a killing spree in 1969, but he did not actually murder the victims himself.

Cultivating Charisma Redux

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 30, 2016 in How To Do Life
Lessons from our most charismatic leaders
Ventral surface of brain from Sobotta's Human Anatomy 1908/wikimedia

Do Men and Women Lead Differently?

Can you tell a male brain and a female brain apart just by looking? How about a male leader's brain from a female leader's brain?

The 3 Essential Elements of Attraction

Different traits and features are attractive for different types of relationships. Find out how you are attractive—and to whom.

The Book of Rubenstein

By Eliezer Sobel on June 13, 2016 in The 99th Monkey
The “Church of Rubenstein,” often ridiculed in the media as a superstitious and dangerous cult, has at long last revealed the true story behind its creation myth.

On Hyper-Sanity

By Neel Burton M.D. on June 11, 2016 in Hide and Seek
Standing out is the price we pay for being outstanding.

What Mr. Trump’s Success Teaches Us About Authentic Branding

An authentic brand is a powerful differentiator and persuades target customers. But it is difficult to pull off.

Charisma and Vision

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on May 20, 2016 in Hot Thought
Charisma and vision are important characteristics of leaders such as Justin Trudeau and Steve Jobs. Both are intensely emotional.

Rocking the Vote: Is Trump Psychology Flash Over Substance?

Does Donald Trump have star power or staying power? Is Trump psychology a case of flash over substance?

Trump Psychology: Why the Donald Might Just Get Your Vote

Regardless of political leanings, for many citizens, a combination of energy, passion, and transparency might persuade voters to have a second look at the Donald.

Celebrating the Ordinary - The Advantages of Being Dull

Are you predictable, reliable, safe or just plain dull? Maybe there’s benefit in being boring?

Trump Feels Your Anger and Anxiety

Emotional intelligence helps explain Trump's appeal!

Slick William

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 21, 2016 in How To Do Life
Manipulative characters lurk in our lives. Beware.

Why “Macho” Leadership Still Thrives

By Ray Williams on April 13, 2016 in Wired for Success
Global economic uncertainty and the spike in terrorism has created a resurgence of populist attraction to authoritarianism and “macho” leaders.

Ethical Rage

Is rage a feeling that should be removed from our ethical choices? Or is it an intrinsic part of our decisions without which our intentions would remain buried in our conscience?

How to Be More Likable

By Ryan Anderson on April 05, 2016 in The Mating Game
With a few of these tricks, you can become the person everyone wants to be friends with.

Why Do Funnier Comedians Die Sooner?

Those identified as funnier were more than three times more likely to die prematurely when compared to more serious comedy personalities.

The President Apologizes

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 23, 2016 in How To Do Life
What it takes to win...and whether it's worth it.

The Psychology Of Getting Anyone to Like You

How can you use knowledge to better connect with your kids, your colleagues, or in a job interview?

The Real Reason Donald Trump Is Running for President

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on March 01, 2016 in The Squeaky Wheel
There have been many articles written about why Donald Trump is running for president and most of them are wrong.

How Your Lie–Detector Chin Gives Away the Naked Truth

By Richard E. Cytowic M.D. on February 20, 2016 in The Fallible Mind
We surmise what lies behind facial expressions, decipher body language, and interpret tone apart from literal words. We read between the lines and hear what isn't said.

How to Fantasize: Sex, Religion, Politics

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 17, 2016 in Ambigamy
Blaming politicians for lying is like watching a few hours of porn and, while cleaning up after yourself, cursing the porn stars for pretending they’re in love.

The Colourful, Melodramatic Manager: Histrionic Disorder

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on February 12, 2016 in A Sideways View
Have you ever worked with or for a "drama queen"? Why is there doubt about the concept of Histrionic Personality Disorder?

A Woman President?

Are you caught up in the Hillary vs. Bernie debate? How much of it is a women's issue and how many isolated women's issues are there today?

Cam, Class, and Color

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on February 01, 2016 in Minority Report
Have you wondered why Cam Newton is getting so much vitriol and attention as he will soon make his first Superbowl appearance? Well some believe it's because he's Black....

The Rise of Toxic Leadership and Toxic Workplaces

By Ray Williams on January 27, 2016 in Wired for Success
The truth of the matter is that we are hypocrites, and we are witnessing the rise of toxic leaders and workplaces. We tend to choose or follow a very different kind of leader.

Trump Is History

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on January 23, 2016 in A Swim in Denial
Do you feel conflicted about politics? Does political talk stress you out? The psychology of play can help.

6 Surefire Ways to Increase Your Charisma

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on January 18, 2016 in Feeling It
While research on charisma is still in development, one of the most extensive studies on charisma has found that charisma is not so much a gift as a learnable skill you can master.

Narcissism at Work: The Arrogant Executive

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on January 17, 2016 in A Sideways View
We place emphasis on the benefits of high self-esteem. But when does high self-esteem turn into subclinical narcissism?

The Significance and Psychological Appeal of David Bowie

David Bowie was a charismatic and talented star. What lessons can be learned from his life and work?