How Does Personality Aid Success?

Benedict Cumberbatch starred in an outstanding impression of Alan Turing in the Imitation Game, which played at the Campus Theater back in March. What interested me the most during the movie was not the actual plot, but rather the character of Alan Turing. As an incredibly smart and academically decorated scholar (the guy was a Cryptanalyst and Mathematical Biologist among other things for God’s sake) , Turing lacked any sort of social cues or awareness. He is straightforward, humorless, and always right. However, it was almost as though because Turning knew he was so smart, he was aware of his personality and how offputting he was but simply didn’t care. Look at this scene, in an interview with Commander Denniston:

Clearly, Turing acts like an egotistical know it all. But in a way, he almost uses this self confidence behind his intelligence to also be able to function socially. To me, it seems like the only reason Turing is able to interact (somewhat) effectively with his colleagues and coworkers is because he is so sure of himself. It’s like normal social skills have been replaced entirely with maniacal self absoprtion. Because Turing knows he’s right, he must break through social barriers and use his intelligence and self confidence.This also got me wondering if Turing’s personality shaped his unbelievable intelligence, or if his intelligence changed his personality. Whatever the case may be, I think his success was not only because he was so smart, but because he was determined to prove himself right and show everyone that he actual was the know it all he always acted like.


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