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Ted Bundy: A Personality Comparison with the Theories Od Rollo May and Albert Bandura

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Ted Bundy: A Personality Comparison With The Theories Of

Rollo May and Albert Bandura

The objective of this case study is to examine the personality of one of the most notorious serial killers in modern history, Ted Bundy. Ted Bundy was alleged to have humiliated, tortured and murdered at least 50 women. Possibility more, but the true number will never be known. Because Ted Bundy kept the true number of his victims to himself and refused to inform authorities of the exact number of his horrific deeds, before he was executed on January 24, 1989 (Wikipedia, n.d.).

Ted Bundy was once a Boy Scout and those who knew him in the labor force said that he had a promising career in politics, because Ted Bundy appeared to be an example of a good, upstanding citizen (L. Corpus, 1989). Still others, who knew Ted Bundy, described him as handsome and his nature as confident, friendly, educated and charming. This was the personality that Ted Bundy chose to exhibit in public to his girlfriend, friends and peers, which was quite different type of personality then the lurking monster that he hid internally from them, but displayed to his victims.

Various articles and biographies about Ted Bundy's life were collected on numerous websites in order to conduct a personality theory comparison. This research will try to analyze as well as make an effort to come to some sort of understanding or explanation of what could have caused or effected Ted Bundy's personality in such a way that he felt the compulsion and need to kill without regards to human life (R. Bell, n.d., S. L. Scott, 2005,). This report will attempt to explore Ted Bundy life history. A comparison of personality theories from two well know psychologist, Rollo May who is

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best known existential psychologist and Albert Bandura a behaviorist who is often consider one of the fathers of the cognitive movement; will be used for better comprehension of the development of Ted Bundy's personality (C.G. Boeree, n.d., B. Engler, 1999).

Ted Bundy's Biography

Ted Bundy was born November 24, 1946 as Theodore Robert Cowell to an unwed mother. Ted would never know who his biological father was. For four years Ted was raised by his grandparents who treated him as their son. Due to societies prejudice, Ted Bundy was lead to believe that his birth mother was his older sister. It was a bit confusing, when four years later, Ted moved to Tacoma, Washington with his older sister leaving his parent's home and the violent behavior he witness from his grandfather. A year later, his mother fell in love and married Johnnie Culpepper Bundy. Ted assumed his stepfathers name which he would keep for the rest of his life (Scott, 2005).

Ted's mother had four more children by his stepfather and Ted baby-sat his siblings after school. Ted's stepfather tried bonding with him but, was unsuccessful and Ted remained socially as well as mentally unattached to his stepfather. Since Ted could not form an attachment to his stepfather or others in his family he started to withdraw socially from the family and spent more time alone, which later could have very well been one of the causes of his inability to interact with ease in society (Bell, 2005).

As an adolescence, Ted was very shy, had self-doubt and very uncomfortable in socially gatherings. Which left the door wide open for bullies, who teased him unmercifully and humiliated him by making him the butt of pranks as well as jokes.

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However, regardless of the all his degrading experiences he endured, he was able to always maintain a high grade-point average all through school and later in college

(Bell, 2005).

In high school, Ted started to become friendlier; as a result he became more popular with his peers. They described him to be well dress and well mannered. But there was a shadow that hung in the background of dishonesty and petty theft. Even though he was well-liked by the opposite sex he seldom dated and was more interested in extra curricular activities such as skiing and politics (Bell, 2005).

After high school, Ted worked his way through the University Of Puget Sound and the University of Washington. Some of his low-level employment positions that he obtain to support himself through College were as a bus boy and shoe sales clerk. His employers considered him unreliable due to the fact that he never stayed in one post very long. Even though he was inconsistent in his work outside of school, he always stayed very focus on his high grade-point average (Wikipedia, n.d.).

Ted Bundy's life changed forever in the spring of 1967, when he met and fell in love with the woman of his dreams. She was beautiful, sophisticated and from a wealthy family. She was Ted's first love and possibly his first sexual encounter. She liked him a lot, but did not have the same deep feelings towards him. This didn't discourage Ted Bundy since he would ask her to marry him on several occasions. She was very reluctant to make a serious commitment, because she felt that Ted had no future goals or real direction in his life. Ted began to try to impress her by lying and even winning a summer scholarship from Stanford to try to influence her feelings for him. But the mask of

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deception that he was trying to display for her admiration fell away leaving all his lies and immaturity exposed to her (Bell, 2005).

When Ted's girlfriend graduated in 1968, she broke off the relationship with him; she realized that Ted had some serious character flaws that did not meet her criteria for a husband. Unfortunately, Ted would never recover from the break up. He experienced major depression and nothing held his attention, not even school which had always been a strong attachment to him in the past, but did not interest him anymore, so he soon dropped out (Bell, 2005).

He did manage to keep in touch with his ex-girlfriend after she moved back to California, but she continued to exhibit an indifferent attitude towards getting back together. However, the woman of his dreams became Ted Bundy's obsession in life that would set off a sequence of events that would stun the world. It was also during this time, that Ted found out on his own that his older sister was truly his mother and that his parents were really his grandparents (Bell, 2005).

It was during this period that Ted Bundy's personality started to change. He became more dominate



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