rpersaud12_ BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIAFP via Getty Images_trump biden debate Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Psychology of Trump’s Debate Rudeness

The real psychological power of interrupting may lie in the way that it disrupts the other person’s thought patterns. So, when US President Donald Trump interrupted Joe Biden in the two debates, there was a lot more going on beneath the surface than simple rudeness.

LONDON – The US Commission on Presidential Debates muted the microphones of President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden during portions of their second and final televised encounter on October 22, in order to prevent the candidates from interrupting each other. The panel’s decision followed the widespread negative audience reaction to Trump’s extensive interruptions in the first debate on September 29.

But there is a powerful hidden psychology behind the tactic of interjecting and interrupting. Could these two experienced campaigners – and Trump especially – have used it to their advantage in an attempt to appear more dominant and assertive?

The fact that the debate organizers had to seek a technological solution suggests that interruption might be a more potent tactic than many realize. Political and psychological strategists in both campaigns may increasingly be advocating it as a rhetorical weapon. What do they know that we don’t?

To continue reading, register now.

Subscribe now for unlimited access to everything PS has to offer.


As a registered user, you can enjoy more PS content every month – for free.