Research Article

A psychobiographical study of Temujin’s (Genghis Khan) personality

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 31, issue 2, 2021 , pages: 177–183
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2021.1903154
Author(s): Bao Xiaohong, China, Dong Jia, China, Zheng Jianhong, China


This psychobiography study of Temujin employed the Personality Adjective Evaluation Scale, the Personality Adjective Classification Survey, and the Delphi method to characterise Temujin’s personality traits and probable influences. One hundred and thirty-two participants rated Temujin’s personality on 248 evaluation words, while an expert panel (n = 4) utilised the Delphi consensus building method for convergence of the trait characterisation. Following factor analysis and multi-dimensional classification analysis, we found six personality trait categories to characterise Temujin: cruel and aggressive, forthright and chivalric, intelligent and capable, outstanding, self-reliant, and martial spirit. Findings may be explained by Temujin’s life experiences, role models, culture background, such as family upheavals, economic distress, the metaphor of the sun and the moon of wise persons, the education received from his mother Hö’elün, the achievements of the ancestors and father, and the manner of their achievements. Moreover, the harmony and separation culture, the worship of power and heroes, and the nomadic and hunting life would have been significant influences. From these findings, we concluded that personality traits are influenced by early experiences, role models, and cultural background.

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