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Agency, personality, and multiple Theresa May

identity types: understanding
Theresa May
Maurice Yolles
Business School, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK, and
Davide Di Fatta
University of Messina – SEAAM, Messina, Italy, and
Universita degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo, Italy

Purpose – This paper aims to use the cultural agency theory (CAT) formulated to represent a personality in
which multiple identities reside. Dynamic identity theory is used to explain the relationship between the
multiple identities, which impact on personality creating imperatives for behaviour. The mindset agency
theory (MAT), a development of CAT, is used to evaluate the personal and public identities of Theresa May,
the UK Prime Minister in 2017, to determine whether there is a psychological reason for the political
inconsistency she demonstrated prior to and during the UK general election campaign.
Design/methodology/approach – CAT connects identity and personality theories and is elaborated on
conceptually to include the dynamic identity theory, which explains how identities develop. Developing
identities result in personality adjustments through trait movements. The theory is applied to Theresa May,
the UK Prime Minister in 2017. A selection of her election narratives is taken, and summative content analysis
is applied. Her public and personal identities are examined in this way. Data results are tested for reliability,
and her public and personal identities are compared using MAT.
Findings – Theresa May’s personal and public identities, while related, have some differences, suggesting a
clinical explanation for her political inconsistencies.
Originality/value – There is no other current theory that explains the relationship between personality
and identity and can evaluate personality using a qualitative–quantitative approach, undertaking a
comparative evaluation of multiple identities to explain clinical psychological conditions.
Keywords Personalities, Content analysis, Mindset agency theory, Identities,
Cultural agency theory, Theresa May
Paper type Research paper

1. Introduction
On 23 June 2016, the British Government, led by David Cameron, held a referendum on
whether the UK should remain in the European Union (EU) or exit (British exit or Brexit).
His purpose was party political rather than for national interest (Parker, 2016). The
controversial outcome was that 52 per cent of voters expressed their preference to leave
the EU. David Cameron resigned, and the then Home Secretary, Theresa May, was given the
role of the prime minister.
May ideologically identifies herself as a one-nation conservative, though her one-nation
proposition appears to relate only to her views about the nation (Wadsworth et al., 2016). Her
political position has also been historically inconsistent. While serving as Home Secretary, Kybernetes
she claimed that a cohesive society required control of migration, but she was unable to © Emerald Publishing Limited
deliver this blaming the EU. She publicly stated her support for the UK remaining in the EU DOI 10.1108/K-08-2017-0313
K during the 2016 referendum campaign, though did not campaign as a “remainer”. Following
the referendum and her successful appointment as party leader and prime minister, May
underwent a paradigm shift: from critical support for EU membership to support for an
extreme “hard” model of Brexit. It signalled her intention to seek full withdrawal from the
EU and all its attributes, whatever that might mean. Her arbitrary dramatic position on
Brexit was that if she was unable to achieve an agreement with the EU for an exit strategy,
she would adopt what some would later call a “cliff edge” strategy that many feared would
result in economic damage to the country (Parker and Binham, 2017a, 2017b). As it was, the
outcome of the referendum and the uncertainty generated by her position resulted in a
serious drop in the value of the UK currency. This led to elevated anxieties by many,
including the business community who were concerned with May’s reckless approach and
the degrees of uncertainty and economic volatility that this was already delivering.
Wishing to shore up her power position as she moved into Brexit talks, May called a
general election on 8 June 2017. The outcome was believed to be a sure thing, with May
taking a strong majority during the election process. In the end, however, she lost her
parliamentary majority altogether. This was caused by the type of election campaign that
she ran (Parker and Khalaf, 2017a, 2017b). It centred on her identity as a leader of strength
who could be trusted to deliver stable leadership. Like her approach to Brexit, the campaign
had a flawed management process (Campbell, 2017) and suffered from her insistence on
taking personal control beyond that of party advisors, with a reluctance to delegate, and
running with a faulty manifesto (McTague et al., 2017). We can reflect on the fact that May
did not appear to recognise her failing performance until it was too late. As a result, a
delayed but significant surge for support for the opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn occurred
(Hunt and Wheeler, 2017). While this surge was insufficient to elect him as the prime
minister, it was sufficient to result in a hung parliament for Theresa May. After the election,
she managed to retain power by creating a pact with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist
Party in exchange for extra social funding, at a time when elsewhere she still supported
austerity in her government economic policies, resulting in policy inconsistency indicating
Our interest here lies in understanding a personality that creates inconsistency and
delivers unnecessary uncertainties. To do this, we will apply personality theory linked to
identity theory. There is only one theory that connects the two, and this is the cybernetic
cultural agency theory (CAT) (Guo et al., 2016), and its off-spring the mindset agency theory
(MAT) (Yolles and Fink, 2014a, 2014b, 2014c). Personality is usually expressed in terms of
traits as explained in CAT, and trait types coalesce into mindset types (as explained in
MAT) that classify individuals and from which psychological analysis is possible.
The methodological approach involves content analysis of May’s election narratives. It
was previously applied to Donald Trump (Yolles and di Fatta, 2017c, 2017a; Di Fatta and
Yolles, 2017), adopting the conceptual framework of CAT and its extension into the
personality and identity theory. It will permit an exploration of multiple identities and seek
similarities/differences between them. A primary proposition here is that personality can
create a potential for certain context-related patterns of behaviour, and that a healthy
personality hinges to a significant extent on multiple identity similarity. The obverse of this
proposition is that lack of consistency in behaviour is indicative of clinical personality issues
that can arise through multiple identity distinctions. The methodological approach is
qualitative–quantitative, using content analysis of selected election narratives of May. The
specific hypothesis that will be tested is that a marked lack of consistency in May’s
behaviour is because of an analytic/modelling pathology that can be assigned to a clinical
explanation of her inconsistency. The selection of data to be analysed will be identified and
the process of content analysis explained. Results will then be presented and tested for Understanding
reliability. Indicative outcomes will then be discussed. Theresa May
2. Theoretical framework
The dynamic identity theory (DIT) explains how identities develop and change. This will be
set within a broader framework than that provided by its originator Hijmans (2003) and
explained. It will be followed by an introduction to CAT and its developments into the
personality and identity theory, explaining how personality and multiple identities are
connected. This theory will be enriched by DIT. The new framework will explain how
multiple identities can be assessed and how personalities can be evaluated.

2.1 Psychological and contextual identities

DIT presented in the study by Hijmans (2003) and Hijmans and Wester (2009) explains that
multiple identities (psychological and social identities) are not static, and that psychological
and social classes of identity interact, facilitating identity development. This occurs, they
said, through some undetermined mechanism, though it can be explained cybernetically.
Yolles and di Fatta (2017c) elaborated on Hijmans’ classification by distinguishing
between two generic classes of identity, psychological and contextual:
(1) Psychological personality (Hijmans and Wester, 2009; Gobe, 2001; Margalit and
Halbertal, 2004) not only includes private, personal and public identities but also
operates as a direct strategic (Baba, 1989; Reger et al., 2008) influence that creates
imperatives for patterns of behaviour.
(2) Sociocultural context facilitates the acquisition of social and cultural identities
(De Anca, 2012; Brown et al., 2005; Huffer, 2006; Duncan and Stewart, 2007) that
condition behaviour.

Once acquired, sociocultural context identities and psychological identities mutually

influence each other. To explain how, we shall adapt a model from the study by Hijmans and
Wester (2009), presented in Table I.
While both psychological and contextual classes of identity are intimately connected,
they can be examined separately and in relation to each other. The contextual class concerns
the sociocultural (including political) nature of psychological identity, and the psychological
aspects of sociocultural identity. The link between the psychological and the contextual
identities can provide explanations for the affective attributes of abstractions, like national
or ethnic identity. The interconnections that determine the identity interaction processes can
also explain the complexity of cognitive-affective phenomena. The connection between the

Generic class
Basic dimension Personality/psychological identity Contextual sociocultural identity

Sameness Continuity, biography Conformity, tradition

Emphasises as preservation of unity
Difference Uniqueness, authenticity Distinction, inclusion/exclusion
Table I.
Emphasis on process Related personality
and contextual
Source: Adapted from Hijmans and Wester (2009) identities
K psychological and the contextual identities occurs as two poles in the process of identity
construction. One is an inward-looking reflexive process and the other as an outward-
looking interactive process. The psychology–contextual relationship is thus
complementary. The historical–continuous approach emphasises structure as the
preservation of unity and sameness, and the relational–interactional approach that
emphasises process and the notion of difference. The central idea that expresses the
complexity of identity is the dual presence of continuity/similarity and differentiation from
others. In each of these, related processes are at work. In personality, psychological
processes are typified as “continuity” and “uniqueness”, and in context, sociocultural
processes are typified as “conformity” and “distinction”. These processes are concretised as
manifestations of identity, such as biography and tradition. There are possibilities for
continuous change and exchange between classes and their memberships, where we are
concerned with continuums rather than discrete units. This model constitutes, according to
Hijmans and Wester, the core of identity construction. One consequence of this model is that
identity is a symbolic structure based on a capacity for reflection, the influence of language
and culture and where the construction of meaning in interaction with others is of
importance. Another is that identity is the product and an expression of relationships with
others, with psychological and contextual identities being interconnected. So, identity
development is a dynamic process and involves situational flexibility and psychological and
contextual comparison of sameness and difference. While DIT explains the dynamic nature
of multiple identities, Table I does not presents the dynamics. We shall now present some
theories that cybernetically show the dynamic relationship between multiple identities.

2.2 Multiple identities as an agency living system

By agency, we refer to CAT (Guo et al., 2016) – a learning cybernetic living system able to
respond to its environments. The concept of the living system sits on the foundational work
by Miller (1978) and conforms to the work of Maturana and Varela (1980) who were
interested in the biological basis of living. The concept was elaborated through the work of
Schwarz (1994), who explained that sufficient autonomy will enable any autonomous
system to survive by adapting to changing environments. This goes significantly beyond
the work of people like Luhmann (1995) as explained by Seidl (2004). Elaborating on
Schwarz’ conceptualisations, collateral attributes of adaptation in living systems include
functions like awareness, self-organisation, self-reflection, self-reference and learning, as the
system acts and reacts to others in its environments. Any system that is perceived to
be autonomous in an interactive environment and can survive and adapt, can, therefore, be
taken to be a living system. This includes social systems, business systems, personality
systems and identity systems.
The CAT model of the agency living system is provided in Figure 1. The normative
personality is a recursion (Yolles and Fink, 2014b) of the agency model, permissible because
personality may be taken as a living system that survives through adaptation.
The personality may also be perceived as an agency figurative system, simplifying the
model considerably. Agency is composed of three ontologically distinct systems, each with
its own properties. These systems interact through process intelligences that work to
manifest information from one system to another. These replace other terms like autopoiesis
(Maturana and Varela, 1980) and autogenesis (Schwarz, 1994) that are normally used to
explain the living systems and derived from the inherent cybernetician and child
psychologist Piaget (1950). The agency model is recursive so that it may contain subsidiary
living systems within it with epistemologies that are contextually defined. As an
illustration, cultural agency consists of interactive cultural, figurative and operative
Agency Operative
Intelligence is
Cultural Environment Cultural Figurative influenced by Intelligence is Theresa May
Cultural beliefs & values. personality influenced by the Social
Collective unconscious, Identity, mindset social orientation Environment
cultural self-reference. trait
Cultural orientation trait

c Normative
Agency N rm
No r ative Personality
P rsonality
,1 I11,1
Figurative Intelligence Agency
Operative System
Operative Intelligence Structures that create
Coognititive sy
ysttem Figurative
i urativ
t e System
Sy operational
f ation kn
Identification kknowledge,
owledge, info
f rmation as
Figurative information Operative
Op erati
t ve System
Sy performance as
Attitudes and conceptual
conceptu t al schemas (e.g. goals) that include Operative infof rmation &
information efficient and effective
f rmation
information aappreciative
app reciative info
f rmation,
information, stru
r ctu
t res facilitating
structures f ilitating decision an
fac aand
d directed action under
Cognitive unconscious, ethics & decision impm eratives.
imperatives. policy making behaviour. structural facilitation/
f refe
f rence.
self-reference. Cognitive subconscious, Cognitive conscious, constraint.
Cognitive orientation trait self-
f regulation.
self-regulation. self-
f organisation.
self-organisation. Agency self-
Figurative orientation trait Operative orientation trait organisation
Social orientation
O perative Intelligence
Figurative Intelligence adj
d ustment imp
adjustment m eratives
d ustment imp
adjustment m eratives
imperatives I4,2 Figure 1.
Cultural agency
Imperative for model with
Operative Intelligence
adjustment, with impact embedded
Impulses for cultural adjustment on personality mindset personality and
“process intelligence”
bars indicating
Notes: Intelligences Ii; j; order i = 1,4 have feedforward or feeddback j = 1 or n2 possible pathologies/
Source: Adapted from Yolles and Fink (2014d)

systems. The cultural system is self-referencing, the figurative system is self-regulating and
the operative system that interacts with agency environments is self-organising (Yolles and
Fink, 2013). Each agency system also operates through formative traits.
The cognitive system presented in Figure 1 not only has identity knowledge but is also
the residence of identity. Now, if we take the proposition, as implied by Hijmans and Wester,
that multiple identities constitute an adaptable system of learning as indicated in Table I,
then they can collectively form a living system contained within the cognitive system
of the personality. So, applying a recursion of the agency living system model (with its
sociocultural components) to the cognitive system, we generate Figure 2 (Yolles and di
Fatta, 2017a), where agency can be viewed in terms of a psychological/strategic personality
system (Yolles and Fink, 2014a, 2014b, 2014c). This can explain the mechanism of identity
development as described in DIT through the feedback and feedforward intelligences, these
being constituted as networks of processes. This approach also offers a direct connection
between the personality theory and the identity theory, which would be a novel
achievement. In Figure 2, adapted from Yolles and Fink (2014d), there are five traits
presented that define an agency, three belonging to psychological personality and two
(sociocultural) as contexts for that personality. One aspect of this model is that the operative
and figurative process intelligences that connect the various systems can filter or even block
processes required to make the agency work healthily, causing analytic pathologies. These
are theoretical pathologies that are represented in the modelling process, likely associated
with clinical conditions (relating to the observation and treatment of actual patients)
associated with a personality issues. Pathologies can impact on the development of the traits
and, therefore, on the personality. The model can also explain what happens when system

Psychological Identity Sub-Agency

Figurative intelligence Operative

Strategic Identity
Strategic Operative Strategic
Cognition system
Identity Figurative system couple Identity Operative system
Self-Reference, schemas of self-
Self-regulation, strategic self- Self-organisation,
identity, self-concept, self-
schemas (e.g. ethics, self- schemas of competences,
awareness, attitudes, beliefs,
cognitions, tastes). structural attributes.
emotional attributes.
Personal identity Public identity
Private identity
Operative intelligence
Figurative intelligence feedback
Figure 2. feedback operative
A view of DIT intelligence
formulated as a living Identity
Agency Operative
Cultural Analytical pathology
system, with cultural
system Agency system
figurative Self-organisation,
psychological intelligence
Agency self- Agency cultural operative
reference, beliefs, figurative intelligence intelligence
identities (as strategic feedback feedback belonging.
norms. Knowledge
imperatives for derived
Social identity
behaviour) and information.
identities Cognitive “Self-Identity” System

instabilities arise and how those can be represented through analytic pathologies. While
system instability might well result in pathologies, it is not necessarily the case that
pathology will result in system instability.
Figure 1 represents the cognition/thinking dimension of the personality. However, there
is also an affect/emotion dimension (Fink and Yolles, 2015, 2017a). Cognition and affect
interact operatively in the personality, and it is through processes of internalisation that
mutual affect–cognition trait influences occur. This connection embraces Hijmans’ (2003)
affect proposition of DIT as shown in Table I.
DIT provides reflection on the distinct psychological and contextual groups of identity.
The psychological identity subsystem involves systems that provide behavioural potential
through traits, and as such they are strategic. The operative couple consists of interaction
between the strategic identity figurative system with the strategic identity operative system,
linked together by the autopoietic operative intelligence. This intelligence may be subject to
an analytic pathology when intelligence processes between personal and public identity are
in some way filtered or inhibited. The analytical pathology creates a potential, given the
right contextual and situational conditions for clinical behaviour. Other analytic pathologies
also arise, as indicated by the grey bars in Figure 2.
Yolles and di Fatta (2017a) noted that personalities can create a public identity facade.
Such situations can occur where political candidates (through their collective teams)
stand for election and wish to appeal to and persuade the audiences. It can also occur in
other situations, for instance in multiracial contexts where individuals have their own
political need to show that they “fit-in”. In either case, multiple identities may be
contradictory, perhaps suggesting psychological issues that coincide with clinical
behaviour (Alcoff, 2006).
Each of the five traits in Figure 2 can take bipolar type values as shown in Table II. Trait Understanding
types come together in a combination to form mindset types (Yolles and di Fatta, 2017a) and Theresa May
are defined in Table III (Yolles and Di Fatta, 2017c; Di Fatta and Yolles, 2017).
Figure 3 is a three-dimensional personality mindset space where personality traits are
represented, including type polar extremes. The mindsets shown in this space are given
in Table III in terms of Table II. For any personality, trait types may be balanced where
they take some of each extreme polar value. This does not mean that they maintain two
extreme values at the same time, but rather adopt values that are not either of the extreme
positions. These can be manifested as hybrid mindset types, when two or more mindset
types combine to represent a broader personality. This indicates that an identity does not
have a single extreme psychological orientation and rather adopts attributes of two (or
more) mindsets. An illustration of a hybrid mindset is shown in Figure 3, by the
intersection between HS and EI represented by HS \ EI. This is the result of the trait
types becoming balanced. Other combinations may also be possible – though not
represented – to avoid visual complexity.

2.3 True and false identities

The many-selves model presented by Yolles and Di Fatta (2017a, 2017c) distinguishes
between psychological and contextual identities (Figure 2) and derives from psychology and
social psychology literature. Concerned with this literature, Hijmans and Wester (2009)
noted that personal identity is associated with psychological aspects like self-image, the true
or false self and the emotions and opinions one has of oneself. The notion of the false self is a
theme of the psychoanalytic literature. It refers to situations where individuals present
themselves, not through some “true” personal identity but through a “false” one that is the
result of some internal personal identity pathology (Schlauch, 2016; Winnicott, 1954). This
occurs at a deeper focus of inquiry than is depicted in Figure 2, when one would have to
conceptually “drill down” to explore the nature of the personal identity. Modelling this is
beyond the scope of this paper.
Those who maintain a false self may fall under the classification of abnormal psychology
(Girodo, Deck, and Morrison, 2002), noting that the false personal identity may be associated
with dissociative identity disorder. Here, however, the focus of interest in Figure 2 is the part
of normal psychology, which is related to the extrinsic relationship between the
interconnected multiple identities, each of which is assumed to be “true”. In a normal healthy
personality, both personal and public identities should maintain the same characteristics, but
when different psychological selves showed distinct characteristics, a pathology arose.
Normal psychology allows for instabilities that may occur, say, in the private identity, but
examining the nature of these is perhaps a relegation to abnormal psychology. Such
instabilities have consequences for the relationship between the personal and public
identities as well as the interconnection with the contextual identities. It may also be the case
that pathologies that have nothing to do with the false self occur as filters or blockages in the
connecting channels between the multiple identities that limit the intelligence processes.
Typically, filters or blockages between personal and public identities will result in clinical
(laboratory assessed psychologically based distress or dysfunction) behavioural anomalies of
varying severity that are context and circumstance dependent (Yolles and di Fatta, 2017b).

2.4 Distinguishing types of mindset models

The MAT can be used to create qualitative evaluations for identities. In the study by Yolles
and di Fatta (2017c), two forms of MAT were identified. These were MAT3T and MAT5T,
the former being a mindset model involving three personality traits and the latter involving

Table II.


context classes
personality and
distinguished as
Trait types and their
DIT system Trait type Nature Keywords/values

Personality traits
Strategic identity cognitive Intellectual People seen as autonomous, bounded entities who should find meaning in Autonomy, creativity, expressivity, curiosity,
autonomy their own uniqueness and who are encouraged to express their internal broadmindedness and freedom
attributes (preferences, traits, feelings and motives). Intellectual autonomy
encourages individuals to pursue their own ideas and intellectual directions
Embeddedness People are viewed as entities embedded in the plural agency. Meaning in Polite, obedient, forgiving, respect tradition, self-
life comes through social relationships, identifying with the group, discipline, moderate, social order, family security,
participating in its shared way of life and striving towards its shared goals. protect my public image, national security, honour
Such values as social order, respect for tradition, security and wisdom are elders and reciprocation of favours
especially important. Embedded cultures emphasise maintaining the status
quo and restraining actions or inclinations that might disrupt in-group
solidarity or the traditional order. Embrace responsibility and duty and
commit to shared goals. Connected with transactional scripting that
constitutes simple repetition and sameness
Strategic identity figurative Mastery Encourages active self-assertion to attain group or personal goals and to Ambition, success, daring, competence, independent,
and master, direct and change the natural and social environment. It is basically influential, social recognition, choosing own goals,
monistic in nature capable
Motive Motive refers to the seeking of egocentric or altruistic ends that respond to Exciting life, enjoyment, varied life, pleasure and self-
the meaningfulness in life, and involves purposes that are either dependent indulgence
or independent of self, generating egoistic or altruistic fulfilment
Harmony Trying to understand and appreciate rather than to direct or exploit. This Acceptance of position in life, world at peace, protect
orientation emphasizes the goals “unity with nature”, “protecting the environment, unity with nature and world of beauty
environment”, and “world at peace”. It is basically pluralistic in nature.
Strategic identity operative Hierarchy People are socialized to take the hierarchical distribution of roles for Social power, authority, humility and wealth
granted and to comply with the obligations and rules attached to their roles.
In hierarchical cultures, organizations are more likely to construct a chain
of authority in which all are assigned well-defined roles. There is an
expectation that individuals operate for the benefit of the social
organization. Sees the unequal distribution of power, roles and resources as
legitimate. This has an implicit connection with power and power processes
DIT system Trait type Nature Keywords/values

Egalitarianism Seeks to induce people to recognize one another as moral equals who share Quality, social justice, responsibility, honesty, loyal,
basic interests as human beings. People are socialized to internalize a equality, honesty, helpful and cooperation
commitment to co-operate and to feel concern for everyone’s welfare. They
are expected to act for others’ benefit as a matter of choice. Organisations
are built on co-operative negotiation among employees and management.
This has an implicit connection with service to the agency
Agency contextual traits
Identity social Dramatism Individual relationships to others are important, constituted as sequences of Sequenciality, communication, individualism,
interpersonal events. Communication is important, as are individuals and contractual and ideocentric
their proprietary belief systems, and individual social contracts. Goal
formation should be for individual benefit. Ideocentric agencies are
important, operating through social contracts between the rational wills of
its individual members
Patternism Configurations are important in social and other forms of relationships. Configurations, relationships, symmetry, pattern,
There is persistent curiosity. The social is influenced by relationships with balance, dynamics, collectivism and allocentric
individuals. Some importance is attached to symmetry, pattern, balance,
and the dynamics of relationships. Gaol seeking should be for collective
benefit, and collective gaol formation takes precedence over personal gaol
formation. Allocentric collectives are important, where the members operate
Identity cultural Sensate Reality is sensory and material, pragmatism is normal, there is an interest The senses, utilitarianism, materialism, becoming,
in becoming rather than being and happiness is paramount. People are process, change, flux, evolution, progress,
externally oriented and tend to be instrumental and empiricism is transformation, pragmatism and temporal
Ideational Reality is super-sensory, morality is unconditional, tradition is important, Super-sensory, spirituality, humanitarianism, self-
there is a tendency towards creation and examination of self deprivation, creativity of ideas and eternal

Table II.
Theresa May
K Illustration of
contextual trait
Personality trait types types
Mindset type MAT3T type MAT5T type

HI: Hierarchical Intellectual autonomy Intellectual autonomy Dramatism

individualism Mastery and motive Mastery and motive Sensatism
Hierarchy Hierarchy
EI: Egalitarian Intellectual autonomy Intellectual autonomy Dramatism
individualism Mastery and motive Mastery and motive Sensatism
Egalitarianism Egalitarianism
HS: Hierarchical Intellectual autonomy Intellectual autonomy Patternism
synergism Harmony Harmony Sensatism
Hierarchy Hierarchy
ES: Egalitarian Intellectual autonomy Intellectual autonomy Patternism
synergism Harmony Harmony Sensatism
Egalitarianism Egalitarianism
HP: Hierarchical Embeddedness Embeddedness Patternism
populism Mastery and motive Mastery and motive Ideationality
Hierarchy Hierarchy
EP: Egalitarian Embeddedness Embeddedness Patternism
populism Mastery and motive Mastery and motive Ideationality
Table III. Egalitarianism Egalitarianism
HC: Hierarchical Embeddedness Embeddedness Dramatism
Comparison of eight
collectivism Harmony Harmony Ideationality
possible MAT3T Hierarchy Hierarchy
types with 8 of the 32 EC: Egalitarian Embeddedness Embeddedness Patternism
possible MAT5T collectivism Harmony Harmony Ideationality
types Egalitarianism Egalitarianism

five traits, three from personality and two contextual traits relating to sociocultural
contexts. MAT3T is a psychological mindset type within the agency with an ontology
represented through its potential for guiding behaviour though elaborative information and
strategic schemas. MAT5T has an ontology that reflects a system with an operative
orientation, reflected by the involvement of execution information and operative structures.
Hence, ontological consistency permits MAT5T to be applied to public identity. In Table III,
the main differences between MAT3T and MAT5T are summarised. According to Yolles
and Fink (2014a, 2014b, 2014c), the mindset types that involve intellectual autonomy are
variants on individualism, whereas those that involve embeddedness are variants of
collectivism (Oyserman et al., 2002; Yolles and Fink, 2014a, 2014b, 2014c, 2014d).

3. Methodology
Having elaborated on the theoretical framework used in this study, we are now interested in
seeking data that can be analysed. Morgan and Harmon (2001) provided a review of data-
generating approaches, but only one provided is suitable here, principally because of its
ability to evaluate remotely, namely, narrative content analysis.
Content analysis of narratives can be defined as a qualitative–quantitative technique
capable of studying and capturing meaningful information from distinct kinds of documents
(Krippendorff 1980, 2012). It is qualitative because it uses sensation and feelings, but at the
same time it is also a quantitative technique because it uses inference to test the reliability
1 Understanding
Theresa May
(7) HC (3) HS

Operave trait
(5) HP (1) HI

Figure 3.

Personality mindset
Egalitarianism (8) EC (4) ES space showing eight
Cognive trait 1
0 Embeddedness Intellectual Autonomy extreme mindset
types, and when two
become conjoint, a
Figurave trait (2) EI hybrid mindset type
(6) EP emerges indicated
by \
Mastery + Move

analysis (Tipaldo 2014). For Stepchenkova et al. (2009), content analysis examines textual
data for patterns and structures, identifies key features of interest, adopts/identifies
categories that can be used as constructs to create textual meaning, uses qualitative data to
capture a richer sense of concepts and can be subjected to quantitative data analysis
techniques. The qualitative analysis it adopts provides exploratory inquiry methods
involving inductive reasoning. The quantitative analysis is deductive and refers to methods
that provide statistical inferences from populations of narrative words, where selected
narrative words are classified into fewer content coding categories. The methodology
involves assigning or extracting narrative content categories, counting their occurrences in
sampled narrative blocks and analysing associations between categories using a frequency
Broadly, there are three content analysis approaches: conventional, directed and
summative (Hsieh and Shannon, 2005). In conventional content analysis, coding categories
are inferred directly from the textual data. In directed content analysis, one starts with a
theory or relevant research findings that guide the initial coding. In summative content
analysis, counting and comparisons occur, usually of keywords or content, followed by the
interpretation of the underlying context. It is qualitative as it includes latent content
analysis, which refers to the process of content interpretation.
Hsieh and Shannon (2005) noted that conventional content analysis is generally used
with a study design, the aim of which is to describe a phenomenon. This approach is
normally appropriate when existing theory or research literature on a phenomenon is
limited. Here, preconceived coding categories are avoided, allowing categories and
names for categories to arise from the data. This essentially results in an empirically
driven model, where insights and categories emerge from the data. An issue for this
approach is the possible failure in developing a complete understanding of the context,
thus failing to identify key coding categories. This may derive results not accurately
representing the data, which can have an impact on credibility, trustworthiness and
internal validity (Lincoln and Guba, 1985). In directed content analysis, there is existing
theory about a phenomenon that requires pragmatic investigation, resulting in a
description that can explain events. This constitutes a deductive use of theory, in due
K course delivering research questions. It can provide predictions about the variables or
their relationships, thereby determining the initial coding scheme or relationships
between the codes. In this case, content analysis is guided by a more structured process
than in a conventional approach. This is because of the theory pointing to key concepts
or variables as initial coding categories. Following this, operational definitions for each
category are determined. In summative content analysis, one identifies and quantifies
certain words or content in text to understanding the contextual use being made to
explore usage. In addition to creating word counts, latent content analysis is involved,
which refers to the process of interpretation of content (Holsti, 1969), and where a focus
occurs on discovering the underlying meanings of the words or the content (Morse and
Field, 1995). This can provide basic insights into the way in which words are used and
hence, contributes to sematic attributes. However, results may be constrained by the
lack of attention to be given to the broader meanings present in the data. Again, this
approach centres on trustworthiness and credibility.
Qualitative researches can be devoid of objectivity because, by definition, they are
characterized by the subjective perspective of an inquirer in the content analysis, where
critical to it are the evaluations of the coders during the coding process. For Ratner (2002),
objectivity can be enhanced in the face of subjectivity by moderating objectivity limitations
using appropriate inference techniques, such as Krippendorff’s Alpha (K.Alpha) to measure
ere, we adopt a summative inquiry to content analysis centring on the political
rhetoric of Theresa May. Direction is provided by agency theory using keywords from
Table II. Once a word count and latent analysis are determined, percentage frequencies
found for each variable being explored can be taken as a measure of influence for that
variable in the identity being explored. Data reliability (Lombard et al., 2002;
Krippendorff, 2004) then occurs, especially because of the latent analysis.

3.1 Narrative data sampling

Following the study by Hodder (1994), content analysis refers to a family of techniques for
studying the “mute evidence” form not only texts but also artefacts. Specifically, Hodder
indicated typical texts for use in content analysis, which include:
 written text, such as books and papers;
 oral text, such as speech and theatrical performance;
 iconic text, such as drawings, paintings and icons;
 audiovisual text, such as TV programs, movies and videos; and
 hypertexts, which are texts found on the internet.

Following this argument, to perform the content analysis we adopt:

 leaked secret audio of Goldman Sachs talk in the month of May showing Theresa
May feared businesses would leave and wanted the UK to take a lead in Europe
(The Guardian, 2017)[1];
 video of Theresa May’s early general election speech (The Telegraph)[2]; and
 video of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn Face off (Time)[3].

These narrative sources together constitute two sub-contextual election populations:

business and general. However, it is posited as unlikely that substantial narrative
adjustments occurred between them in the heat of the election, especially because the Understanding
business community is also part of the general public. Theresa May
3.2 The coding process
Following the study by Di Fatta and Yolles (2017c), the approach in undertaking the content
analysis is based on the following steps:
 A coding team is created, and narrative data are identified and allocated to its
 Pre-processing occurs when all members undertake their direct content analyses
individually, and then inquirers come together in the team to pool the outcomes of
the individual analyses.
 The “type analysis” occurs through which the types have statistically assigned
 After coding, a reliability analysis is performed to determine which results,
indicative of variable values, are acceptable (Krippendorff, 2004, 2011b).
 Consequently, trait types (with frequencies) are determined, which are able to form
mindset type classifications.

For the UK analysis of Theresa May, seven coders were selected. These include a UK
journalist and six PhD students: two in economics, two in political sciences and two in
communication. They were asked to analyse the selected research units and to classify the
corresponding trait types, as shown in Table IV.
For each of these trait types, keyword identification was made in accordance with Table
II, and narrative texts were examined to determine whether they were either present or
absent. The term present refers to the semantic themes identifiable explicitly by the
meanings of the data (in this way, the inquirer simply identifies what is expressed as part of
a narrative). Here, summative analysis involves a word count and an interpretation of key
word equivalences that together deliver frequency values. The term absent meant those
semantic thematic interests not found to be present in the research units.
As part of the analysis, two sets of frequency results are generated, as shown in Table IV.
One is indicative of public identity and uses MAT5T mindset types that involve both
psychological and contextual attributes. The other is a subset of the data that allows
personal identity to emerge and uses MAT3T involving only psychological attributes. If it
happens that MAT3T and MAT5T types are the same, then the personality is free of
analytic pathologies and one would not expect to see any clinical issues arising. However,
where they have differences, analytic pathologies exist. The nature of the analytical
pathology should indicate the clinical issues that are possible for the personality given the
right contexts and circumstances.

Systemic class Bipolar trait types Table IV.

List of bipolar trait
Social system context Dramatism Patternism
Cultural system context Sensate Ideational types, with indication
Psychological/personality system Intellectual autonomy Embeddedness of cultural trait
Mastery Harmony influence on
Hierarchy Egalitarianism personality
K Results for personal and public identities arise through the identification of trait types from
which classification of mindset types is possible. Using content analysis, the frequencies of
keywords by direct count and latent analysis, relating to given variables, are determined.
The results are then examined for reliability[4] using a K.Alpha as an index (Hayes and
Krippendorff, 2007; Krippendorff, 2011a, 2011b). Reliability criteria (Krippendorff, 2004) for
variables with known narrative frequencies are bounded as follows:

1  K:Alpha  0:8 ¼ strongly reliable; 0:8 > K:Alpha  0:7 ¼ acceptable (1)

We shall here adopt the proposition that under reliability, a variable is significant with
respect to its influence in a mindscape when it is either strongly reliable or acceptable. K.
Alpha is a statistical measure of agreement that works on the value of variables and is
usually applied in psychological testing where alternative tests of the same material
need to be compared. It generalises various statistics to create “inter-rater” or “between-
coder” reliability. It is also applicable to small samples. Under conditions of such
reliability, determined from an SPSS macro available from Hayes and Krippendorff
(2007), we can use frequencies as an indicator of variable influence in mindset types.
This is particularly significant when dealing with a conjoint set, when scaling becomes
essential to deliver relative meaning.

3.3 Dealing with unreliability

The case of K.Alpha < 0.7 is problematic because of the inter-rater dissidence, so the
frequency results for indicated variables are not reliable and hence, cannot be accepted. It is
not appropriate to reject the variables having unreliable results because this biases the
results. The need then is to determine how to respond to situations involving unreliable
results. One way is to formulate an iterative inquiry approach that resolves inter-coder
dissidences, allowing dissidences to be incrementally reduced and eliminated.
The iterative method adopted centres on the Delphi method (Linstone and Turoff, 1975).
Within the context here, this is a structured communication technique in which a group of
coders determines the latent scores for variables. A first pass is made to determine variable
frequencies. The K.Alpha is then calculated and unreliable results are identified. A second
pass centring only on unreliable variables is then undertaken through a facilitator who
provides an anonymised summary of the coder’s latent frequency evaluations from the
previous evaluation pass. The coders are encouraged to revise their earlier answers in light
of the replies of other members of their group. It is supposed that during this process, the
range of the evaluations reduces the degree of inter-rater dissidence diminishes and the
group converges towards K.Alpha reliable results. The iterations are halted when all
variable frequencies have reliable (K.Alpha ≥ 0.7) outcomes.

3.4 Variable and mindset selection

Given a situation where all variables have frequency values that are considered stable, there
is a need to select which collections of variables are significant to enable the mindsets to be
indicated. Several propositions are needed for this. The first proposition relates to the
selection of variable that are to be considered relevant to represent the personality. Variables
with higher frequencies have a greater impact on the individual and are thus considered
better represented in mindsets. A second proposition may be that, in the same way that we
have been looking towards convergence to stable K.Alpha > 0.7 values in the Delphi iterative
procedure, we might also seek convergence to variables that move towards convergence to
stable frequencies.
With respect to mindsets, we can adopt the proposition that a personality should be Understanding
considered healthy, and only considered otherwise if evidence is provided. This means Theresa May
that if there are options within which personal and public mindsets can be identified as
being the same (given the above propositions about variable selection), then where they
are the same, the personality does not entail inherent pathologies. This is consistent
with the principle of Occam’s razor, which states that if you have two equally likely
solutions to a problem, choose the simplest (Mabkhout, 2012). We shall adopt twin
Occam’s razor principles, where the simplest outcome assumes that:
 pathologies are minimum, allowing one to argue that public and private identities
should be as close as possible; and
 where options exist for multiple intersections between mindset types, the least
number of intersections will be adopted for a given identity classification.

3.5 The scaling of variables

Scaling involves a systematic method for recasting a set of interrelated variables so
that they become dimensionless and comparative. Proper scaling ensures that
inherently connected variables take values that together sum to the order one. This
enables the magnitude of the dimensionless set of variables to be assessed, simplifying
assumptions that can be invoked in explaining given situations.
When connecting ontologically related variables within a system, scaling allows the
variables to be compared in a single frame of reference. Scaling here occurs across
conjoint variables by using an appropriate norm relating to frequency scores. There are
a family of possible norms that can be used, each of which relates to different interests.
This family is represented by Lp, for some p > 0 (Chapra, 2012). Given the existence of
bipolar trait values x1 and x2 that each contributes to a mindset type, the Lp norm kxkp
is given by:
 X 1=p
kxkp ¼ n jx jp
i¼1 i

The most used Lp is the averaging Euclidean norm for p = 2, used (for instance) in calculating
means and standard deviations during statistical analysis. However, the most appropriate for a
linear conjoint influence on intersection mindset types is the L1 norm[5] because in this case,
more of one bipolar trait type means less of the other:
kxk1 ¼n i¼1
jxi j (3)

where |xi| is the value of the bipolar trait type xi, and i = 1, 2. We now define the conjoint
trait type cxi as the scaled representation of xi, where:
xi 5jxi j=kxk1 5jxi j=n i¼1 jxi j (4)

Now, the frequencies of the variables concerned are all positive, so this reduces to:
xi ¼ xi =n i¼1 xi (5)

and where:
K n i¼1
xi ¼ n x=
i¼1 i n
i¼1 i
¼1 (6)

Recalling that we are dealing with two bipolar conjoint types for i = 1, 2, and that more of
one bipolar trait type means less influence of the other on intersecting mindset types, scaling
by the L1 norm equation (6) gives:
x1 þ c x2 ¼ 1 (7)

Once K.Alpha shows which variables are acceptable, one can examine their scaled narrative
frequencies to estimate the level of importance/significance.

4. The results: personal and public identity measures

The outcomes of the content analysis narrative word frequency for trait types for the public
identity of Theresa May and K.Alpha indices for reliability are shown in Figure 4, and
personal identity in Table V. It should be clear that in the identification of variables relating
to public identity, there three iterations (D0, D1, D2) required to ensure stability in K.Alpha.
A “ground zero” set of K.Alpha values was followed by two iterations resulting in stable

Percentage Frequencies
Sensate Ideational Intellectual Autonomy Embeddedness Mastery + Motive

Present 76.2 28.6 76.2 28.6 66.7

Absent 23.8 71.4 23.8 71.4 33.3 D0
K.Alpha 0.85 0.73 0.85 0.73 0.64

Harmony Hierarchy Egalitarianism Dramatism Patternism

Zero Delphi
Present 19.1 76.2 33.3 71.4 23.8
Absent 80.9 23.8 66.7 28.6 76.2
K.Alpha 0.88 0.85 0.64 0.73 0.85

Sensate Ideational Intellectual Autonomy Embeddedness Mastery + Motive

Present 76.2 28.6 76.2 28.6 66.7 D1
Absent 23.8 71.4 23.8 71.4 33.3
K.Alpha 0.85 0.73 0.85 0.85 0.64 First Delphi
Harmony Hierarchy Egalitarianism Dramatism Patternism Iteraon
Present 19.1 80.9 23.8 71.4 19.1
Absent 80.9 19.1 76.2 28.6 80.9
K.Alpha 0.88 0.85 0.73 0.73 0.88
Figure 4.
Iteratively Further Improved Percentage Frequencies
Class evaluation for
public identity of Sensate Ideational Intellectual Autonomy Embeddedness Mastery + Motive
Theresa May across Present 80.9 28.6 76.2 28.6 76.2 D2
ten mindset types for Absent 19.1
71.4 23.8 71.4 23.8
MAT5T, where Second
K.Alpha 0.88 0.73 0.85 0.85 0.73
circles indicate Delphi
changes in % Harmony Hierarchy Egalitarianism Dramatism Patternism
frequency value Present 19.1 80.9 23.8 71.4 19.1
during Delphi Absent 80.9 19.1 76.2 28.6 80.9
iterations K.Alpha 0.88 0.85 0.73 0.73 0.88
Figure 4 also shows the frequency results after two Delphi iterations as K.Alpha values Understanding
converge, enabling us to create a decision schema by which we can select relevant Theresa May
frequencies independent of the K.Alpha values – the purpose of which is to indicate whether
the frequency values provided are valid. As expected, the results tend to converge to more
reliable values through the Delphi recursive rationale, which permits the analysis to be
pushed towards convergent results (Linstone and Turoff, 1975). In particular through this
process, sensate, embeddedness, mastery and motive, egalitarianism and patternism, all
show increase in K.Alpha scores allowing us to accept the frequencies.
The decision criterion we shall define included three intervals into which per cent
frequencies may fall: 0-33, 34-66 and 67-100. We shall consider that frequencies falling into
the higher interval are sufficient to significantly influence identity. Thus, we have a cut-off
for influential frequency values below 66 per cent, thereby rejecting these variables as
contributing significantly to the mindsets. As a result, we can compare MAT5T and
MAT3T outcomes as shown in Table VI. Because only three traits can be assigned to a
particular mindset, it is clear from the results that in public identity, there is only one
mindset indicated, whereas in personal identity, two are indicated in intersection. To adhere
to the Occam’s razor pathology principle indicated above that public and personal identities
should be as similar as possible, we establish two intersecting triple combinations of
variables for personal identity with one variable being distinct Table VII) and one for public

Percentage frequencies
Intellectual autonomy Mastery and Motive Hierarchy Egalitarianism Harmony Embeddedness Table V.
Class-evaluation for
Present 80.9 71.4 80.9 71.4 23.8 23.8
Absent 19.1 28.6 19.1 28.6 76.2 76.2
personal identity of
K.apha 0.88 0.73 0.88 0.73 0.85 0.73 Theresa May across
eight mindset types
Note: Italic values indicate changes in % frequency value during Delphi iterations for MAT3T

Type variable Personal identity (% frequencies) Public identity (% frequencies)

Identity indicator MAT3T MAT5T

Culture Sensate (80.9)
Personality Intellectual autonomy (80.9) Intellectual autonomy (76.2)
Mastery and motive (71.4) Mastery and motive (76.2) Table VI.
Hierarchy (80.9) Hierarchy (80.9) Selected variables in
Egalitarianism (71.4) the higher interval
Social context Dramatism (71.4) for MAT5T

Type variable Personal identity (% frequencies)

Identity indicator MAT3T Table VII.

Personality Intellectual autonomy (80.9) Intellectual autonomy (80.9) Resulting
Mastery and motive (71.4) Mastery and motive (71.4) combinations of
Hierarchy (80.9) Egalitarianism (71.4) variables for MAT3T
K Results and reliability for personal identity are shown in Table V. In Table VIII, we formulate
the possibilities for mindset creation that occur, including the outcomes from Table VII. Here,
it is clear that hierarchical individualism (HI) and egalitarian individualism (EI) mindsets are
the major contributors to personal identity, which is expressed as the intersection HI \ EI.
The other mindsets have a more minor role to play in the personal identity composition, for
instance, because of embeddedness having a low value of 23.8 per cent influence. While it is
feasible to consider minority influences on personal and public identity according to the
percentage influences of the different variables using scaling, this is beyond our interest here
because we are seeking to determine whether personal and public identities are the same or
different. Difference indicates pathology, though where the distinctions are not sever, these
pathologies may be mild. As such, we shall look towards the major variable influences and
the way that they coalesce into mindset types. Where we have conjoint variables, and hence
hybrid mindsets, it is important to develop a way of coherently referring to the personality
that arises, this having significance where more than one intersection occurs.
We note that in Table VIII, the cognitive type cultural traits are attractors for the rest of
the agency. Now, intellectual autonomy (80.9 per cent) and hierarchy (80.9 per cent) are
connected because of their common frequencies (80.9 per cent). Similarly, mastery and
motive (71.4 per cent) and egalitarianism (71.4 per cent) are likely to be directly connected, as
are embeddedness (23.8 per cent) and harmony (23.8 per cent). The first clarity from this is
that intellectual autonomy is dominant as the leading trait type, whereas the non-dominant
embeddedness has a lesser influence. In this case, the MAT3T mindset type implied as
active for personal identity is HI because this has the highest average frequency – consistent
with intellectual autonomy being an attractor for personal identity. One explanation for the
lower frequency value for mastery and motive is that there might be an analytic pathology
in the operative intelligence of Figure 1 (I1,1 or I1,2) that filters or inhibits information flow
within the personality. Another explanation is that the strategic identity cognitive system is
unstable, leaving the instrumental couple (composed of the personal and public identity
systems) to operate dynamically without private identity influence, which results in
personal and public identities being driven purely by the contextual identities. There is
some additional support (through Occam’s razor) in identifying HI as the MAT3T mindset
type because it is consistent with that of MAT5T.
Once variables have been identified as significant, classification as mindset types can be
determined using Tables II and III. The distinction between personal and public identity is
that the former adopts the three-trait mindset schema MAT3T that measures personality,
whereas the latter adopts the five-trait mindset schema MAT5T that measures agency. This
is possible because of the ontological equivalence between the multiple identity and agency

Personality trait types

MAT3T type
Mindset type Cognitive Figurative Operative
Table VIII.
MAT3T trait types HI: Hierarchical individualism Intellectual autonomy (80.9) Mastery and motive (71.4) Hierarchy (80.9)
with their EI: Egalitarian individualism Intellectual autonomy (80.9) Mastery and motive (71.4) Egalitarianism (71.4)
HS: Hierarchical synergism Intellectual autonomy (80.9) Harmony (23.8) Hierarchy (80.9)
frequencies where
ES: Egalitarian synergism Intellectual autonomy (80.9) Harmony (23.8) Egalitarianism (71.4)
cognitive entities are HP: Hierarchical populism Embeddedness (23.8) Mastery and motive (71.4) Hierarchy (80.9)
private identity EP: Egalitarian populism Embeddedness (23.8) Mastery and motive (71.4) Egalitarianism (71.4)
(MAT3T) attractors HC: Hierarchical collectivism Embeddedness (23.8) Harmony (23.8) Hierarchy (80.9)
for the traits EC: Egalitarian collectivism Embeddedness (23.8) Harmony (23.8) Egalitarianism (71.4)
models (Figure 2), and the fact that public identity is manifested at agency level through the Understanding
intelligences. From their ontological equivalence, we also note that personal identity Theresa May
(MAT3T) is indirectly concerned with influences from contextual system attributes, whereas
public identity (MAT5T) is directly concerned with contextual system attributes. This
approach has some correspondence with the principles of dimensional analysis (Sonin, 2001)
in discussions concerning similarity, referring to some equivalence between two things that
are ontologically related, connected but different.
There is an issue with the names for MAT5T classifications. MAT3T has eight possible
mindset types already identified, whereas MAT5T has 32 possible MAT5T mindset types
not all named. The simplest way to name these recognises that identity has two components,
personality identities (public, personal and private) and contextual (sociocultural) identities.
One solution, therefore, is to adopt the eight MAT3T mindset type names and assign
contextual classes to these because it is these contexts that are the multipliers. We shall see
this in action shortly.
Occam’s razor proposition (ii) informs us that in deciding the composition of a hybrid
mindset, if more than one intersection is possible, there must be compelling evidence to
select more than one. This leaves open the question concerning which embeddedness
mindset type(s) will intersect with HI. Because embeddedness is an attractor for the personal
identity, we may be looking for trait type frequencies that are on par. This might suggest EI
because we see lower operative-type influences. According to Table VIII, EI has a larger
value for egalitarianism (71.4), which is the lowest value for operative types. This high value
might be because of some analytical pathology (e.g., an information filter) in the operative or
figurative intelligences or may be the consequence of instability in the cognitive system
private identity. Having said this, the discussion being expressed here is one of the
classifications, less important than the scaled trait types that determine the make-up of
personal identity as shown in Tables IV and V.

5. Interpreting the results through identifying mindset types

Before interpreting the results, we recall our claim that other approaches to profiling
individuals are inadequate to respond to our research question concerning Theresa May’s
psychology and her capacity for political inconsistency. Of three evaluations that can be
found on the web, one comes from an astrologist, one from a political correspondent and one
from a psychologist. While some might argue that an astrological view is not scientific
because it has no scientific conceptual base, it is in an identical position to many of the
empirical models that are academically supported based on only their observational basis.
Taking the three approaches as comparatively acceptable, it may be pointed out that none
explicitly expose clinical personality issues that might explain inconsistency. According to
CG (2017), an astrological view of May is that she is freedom-oriented, embraces travel,
adventure, variety, meeting new people, longs to experience all of life, multitasks, does not
like being restricted to one area of activity, embraces change and is adaptable and
courageous. She is a good communicator and highly disciplined but tends not to complete
tasks. In spite of this, she is perseverant and an individualist. She is also highly ambitious,
stubborn and clings to ideas and projects beyond their sell-by-date. From a political
analysis, DW (2017) indicated that she is often characterized as robotic and awkward and
has refused to take part in televised debates with other party leaders ahead of the election.
She is often seen to be humourless, severe and unflinching. She also relies on sound bites.
She is a traditionalist and socially conservative. She is also a sceptic of the EU and
immigration and has a provincial outlook. Goodfield (2016) looked at May from a
psychological perspective and noted that she is a systemic thinker and can be patient to
K achieve her goals. She is also trustworthy but distrusts her own power and is a reluctant
leader. She embraces humour with irony. She ruminates, is logical and open to difference.
She also has a high understanding of others with respect to high standards, which she also
embraces. She likes retribution when it is deemed appropriate and is responsible,
compassionate, introspective and open to difference. These profiles do not explicitly explain
inconsistency. We shall now see how CAT/MAT is able to do so.

5.1 Public identity

Relating Table V to the trait types acceptable (because K.Alpha ≥ 7.0 as shown in Table II),
a single mindset type is indicated: hierarchical individualism. In Table IX, we list the traits
that are responsible with their frequencies, where the scaled frequencies of 1 show that it is
the only influence as cxi.
Noting that personality traits are of significance to personal identity, we extend this
by noting also that contextual identities are significant to public identity. The
contextual trait type values arise from key terms for each of dramatism, sensate and
ideational values as shown in Table II. Theresa May’s public personality is indicated by
the hybrid mindset type HI (CIR) where class CIR refers to creative instrumental
relationalist (Table IX). This facilitates a means of labelling public identity mindsets
for Theresa May, as shown in Table X, abstracted from Table XI.

5.2 Personal identity mindset types

Following on from the earlier discussion concerning which MAT3T types are engaged
to create hybrid mindsets, we formulate Table IX by scaling the values to indicate
influences, noting that we have applied the principle (ii) of Occam’s razor to identify a
dual hybrid mindset type. Here then, HI and EI are evenly influential within the
identity. Here, we see that hierarchy and egalitarianism have equal influence in this
personal identity Table XII.
According to this, Theresa May has the traits as shown in Table X. So, HI intersects with
EI as HI \ EI, and people are seen (for instance) as moral equals and who are socialised to
have collective interests who should also be seen to comply with the rules imposed upon
them. The implication of this is that governance should be a benevolent authority that
works on behalf of its social membership. This position can be problematic where
government policy initiatives work on behalf of only certain sections of society, thus
potentially resulting in internal personality conflicts.

5.3 Discussion: the analysis of Theresa May’s personality

A stable private identity orientates both personal and public identity through processes
of internalisation using operative and figurative intelligences. Private identity is the

Table IX. Core public hybrid mindset type HI

Inferential traits for
public identity of HS trait type (frequencies) Scaled frequencies for cxi
Theresa May, with Intellectual autonomy (80.9 76.2/76.2 = 1
the importance of Mastery and motive (71.4) 19.1/19.1 = 1
acceptable variables Hierarchy (80.9) 76.2/76.2 = 1
determined by % Contextual class
appearance in Dramatism (relational) (71.4) 71.4/71.4 = 1
narratives Sensate (instrumental) (80.9) 78.9/78.9 = 1
“deep” self-referential driver for the personal and public identities. The relationship Understanding
between the three psychological identities is considered by Yolles and di Fatta (2017a, Theresa May
p. 8) who noted that “personal identity is the cognitive dimension that regulates the
agency, and schemas reside there that are able to drive public identity”. These latter
two taken together also represent an important operative couple that works
strategically as a driver for behaviour. It is influenced by private identity, but if this
becomes “confused” or unstable, the operative couple becomes “instrumental”. In this
case, personal identity and public identity orientate each other through strategic
operative intelligence and its feedback, and both are influenced by arbitrary (and thus
sometimes popularist) social perspectives. However, both are directly influenced by
processes of internalisation that occurs through agency operative intelligence feedback

Hierarchical individualism (HI)

Intellectual People seen as autonomous, bounded entities who should find meaning in their own
autonomy uniqueness and who are encouraged to express their internal attributes (preferences,
traits, feelings and motives). Intellectual autonomy encourages individuals to pursue
their own ideas and intellectual directions independently
Mastery and Encourages active self-assertion to attain group or personal goals and to master, direct
motive and change the natural and social environment. It is basically monistic in nature. Motive
refers to the seeking of egocentric or altruistic ends that respond to the meaningfulness in
life, and involve purposes that are either dependent or independent of self, generating
egoistic or altruistic fulfilment. Fulfilment occurs through self-interest
Hierarchy People are socialized to take the hierarchical distribution of roles for granted and to
comply with the obligations and rules attached to their roles. In hierarchical cultures,
organizations are more likely to construct a chain of authority in which all are assigned
well-defined roles. There is an expectation that individuals operate for the benefit of the
social organization. Sees the unequal distribution of power, roles and resources as
legitimate. This has an implicit connection with power and power processes
Sensate Sensory, pragmatic and instrumental. reality is sensory and material, pragmatism is
normal, there is an interest in becoming rather than being and happiness is paramount.
People are externally oriented and tend to be instrumental and empiricism is important
Dramatist Relationalist, sequential, communication, contracts, individualist and ideocentric.
Individual relationships to others are important, constituted as sequences of
interpersonal events. Communication is important, as are individuals and their Table X.
proprietary belief systems, and individual social contracts. Goal formation should be for The Public identity
individual benefit. Ideocentric collectives are important, operating through social HI (CIR) for Theresa
contracts between the rational wills of its individual members May

Core personal hybrid mindset type HI \ EI Table XI.

HI trait type EI trait type Relative scaled frequencies Inferential traits for
(frequencies) (frequencies) Mindset influences for cxi personal identity of
Theresa May, with
Intellectual autonomy Intellectual autonomy Intellectual autonomy 80.9/80.9 = 1
the importance of
(80.9) (80.9)
Mastery and motive Mastery and motive Mastery and motive 71.4/71.4 = 1 acceptable variables
(71.4) (71.4) determined by %
Hierarchy (80.9) Egalitarianism (80.9) Egalitarianism and 80.9(80.9 þ 80.9) = 0.5 appearance in
hierarchy narratives
K Hierarchical individualism (HI)

Intellectual People seen as autonomous, bounded entities who should find meaning in their own
autonomy uniqueness and who are encouraged to express their internal attributes (preferences,
traits, feelings and motives). Intellectual autonomy encourages individuals to pursue their
own ideas and intellectual directions independently
Mastery and Encourages active self-assertion to attain group or personal goals and to master, direct
motive and change the natural and social environment. It is basically monistic in nature. Motive
refers to the seeking of egocentric or altruistic ends that respond to the meaningfulness in
life, and involve purposes that are either dependent or independent of self, generating
egoistic or altruistic fulfilment. Fulfilment through self-interest
Hierarchy People are socialized to take the hierarchical distribution of roles for granted and to
comply with the obligations and rules attached to their roles. In hierarchical cultures,
organizations are more likely to construct a chain of authority in which all are assigned
well-defined roles. There is an expectation that individuals operate for the benefit of the
social organization. Sees the unequal distribution of power, roles and resources as
legitimate. This has an implicit connection with power and power processes
Egalitarianism individualism (EI)
Intellectual People seen as autonomous, bounded entities who should find meaning in their own
autonomy uniqueness and who are encouraged to express their internal attributes (preferences,
traits, feelings and motives). Intellectual autonomy encourages individuals to pursue their
own ideas and intellectual directions independently
Mastery and Encourages active self-assertion to attain group or personal goals and to master, direct
motive and change the natural and social environment. It is basically monistic in nature. Motive
refers to the seeking of egocentric or altruistic ends that respond to the meaningfulness in
Table XII. life, and involves purposes that are either dependent or independent of self, generating
egoistic or altruistic fulfilment. Fulfilment through self-interest
Trait types indicated
Egalitarianism Seeks to induce people to recognize one another as moral equals who share basic interests
for Theresa May’s as human beings. People are socialized to internalize a commitment to co-operate and feel
balanced personal concerned for everyone’s welfare. They are expected to act for others’ benefit as a matter
identity (hybrid of choice. Organisations are built on co-operative negotiation among employees and
mindsets HI \ EI) management. This has an implicit connection with service to the agency

from social identity. Confused identities indicate unstable states and are referred to as
state pathologies (Pavey, 2014). They can result in situations where, for instance, an
individual’s personal and public identities (Figure 3) operate together as an
instrumental system and “feed-off” each other in a way that is affected more by social
influences that by internal processes. One of the consequences of state pathologies is
explained by Gal (2002), through a broad semiotic analysis that initially explores the
boundaries of what it is that constitutes identity. She indicates that when instabilities
arise in (say) private identity, identity relationships become confused. The
consequences of this can, for instance, be found in issues that arise in multiracial or
gender contexts (Rockquemore, Brunsma and Delgado, 2009; Davis, 2006; McClain-
DaCosta, 2003).Thus, according to the theory, Theresa May has a lack of personality
stability because her personal and public identities are different (which might imply a
private identity instability). Thus, identity relationships become confused as are
contexts, this delivering the potential for inherent contradictions leading to the
possibility of inconsistency in behaviour. If such a situation arises for Theresa May,
then this would validate the original hypothesis which indicates that an analytic
pathology can clinically explain her behavioural inconsistency.
This research has shown that cognitively, Theresa May has an analytic pathology Understanding
between her public identity (HI) and her personal identity (HI\EI)(CIR)). Her political Theresa May
positioning occurs through her public identity, intended to demonstrate her
suitability as the prime minister during Brexit negotiations with the EU. The
dominating trait type that emerges is hierarchy, which depicts a connection with
power and process, where May wishes to show that she can sit at the top of a chain of
authority. Her public identity also involves dramatism, and this involves an
ideocentric orientation that denotes a self-centred interest related to doing things in
her own way, rather than placing reliance upon others or through their ways.
Publicly, May has submerged her personal identity egalitarian streak. As part of her
personal identity, she supports the status quo. Egalitarianism plus support for status
quo might be consistent with an inner self that does not adhere to Brexit because
differentiation between Europeans and British is not a prominent perspective, and if
this is the case, it could create inner conflict as she pursues an extreme form of it
publicly. However, such conjectures would need to be better assessed through more
extended analysis.
From the analysis conducted here, Theresa May has shown a balanced and
integrated individual personality: this is explained by her hybrid mindset – showing an
ability to straddle extreme cognitive positions. She also has an analytical pathology
that arises because her public self is partly at divergence with her personal self,
possibly through private identity instability. One might deduce that this is a part of the
explanation that lies at the basis of her failure to present herself suitably during the
election process. Referring to the study by Yolles and di Fatta (2017a), a system
instability can result in an analytical pathology or an analytic pathology can result in
an increase in system uncertainties that provides a basis for a move towards identity
instability. In a normal coherent individual, a stable private identity influences the
personal and public identities, and one might, therefore, find that each psychological
identity will have the same mindset type. When this does not happen, one might then be
interested in examining the stability of the private identity. However, this may not be
susceptible to remote analysis.
The difference that arises between May’s public and personal identity, while not
gross, might occur because the former indicates her ability to “command and control”.
If this is correct, then perhaps her underlying stand against Brexit that she
demonstrated while she was the Home Secretary in the UK Government was now being
compromised, and her underlying personal identity mastery trait allowed her to
dismiss the huge level of uncertainty and its immense potential for socioeconomic
harm. However, her personal identity, while centring on hierarchy, also embraces
attributes of collectivism. As such the command and control attribute is challenged,
leading to internal conflicts that must be reflected in some way through her behaviour.
There is a possibility that these contradictions might in the longer term stimulate each
other. To understand this, we refer to Sorokin’s (1964) idea of idealistic society that
constitutes an “ideal” balance between the sensate and ideational bipolar types
reflective of Zhang’s (2011) notion of balancing contradictions. In the same way, the
individualism–collectivism of May’s personality is the result of a hybrid intersection
between two mindset types that embrace both individualism (because of the lead
intellectual autonomy trait) and collectivism (because of the lead embeddedness trait).
A strong tendency towards one of these would enable her to exclude options that may
be essential for the constructive development of a society. Thus, hybrid mindset
positions are socially desirable.
K 6. Conclusion
CAT has been used to posit the relationship between personality and multiple
identities. We have advanced the modelling of multiple identity types through agency
to examine situations involving trait type balances and hence hybrid mindsets. By
comparing public and personal identities in the personality, pathologies can be
identified and related to clinical behaviours.
Interest lay in seeking to determine whether a hypothesis about Theresa May could
be validated, and it was found that she has in an indicative personality condition that
has a clinical explanation. Summative content analysis was used, and keywords
frequencies and latent analysis (under reliability tests) generated a set of results that
indicated her personality type.
To do the study, three narratives delivered by Theresa May were examined by a
group of coders using summative content analysis to identify variables relevant to
the model used. Because they were studied through a group of coders, it was also
necessary to test whether the group was coherent in its identification of variables,
and to do this K.Alpha was used to measure the reliability of the variables. Where
the Alpha values that resulted were less than 0.7, a Delphi iterative technique was
adopted so that the narratives were scanned again to look for the variables that were
unreliable. In this study, three iterations were required to achieve reliable
outcomes[6]. The theoretical approach applied to Theresa May used Occam’s razor
filtering, and indicative results show a dominant personal hybrid mindset straddling
the extreme types HI and EI (as HI\E). In other words, hierarchical individualism
(HI) and egalitarian individualism (EI) mindsets are the major contributors in
determining Theresa May’s identity. With respect to the other mindsets, it is also
important to note that they have a minor role to play in the personal identity
composition determining the secondary (but relevant) aspect of her identity. Her
public dominant identity is HI, but there is sufficient difference to indicate an
analytic pathology, suggesting a clinical condition that might explain to her the
inability to maintain consistency under given conditions. While we refer to these
personal and public identities as being dominant, it should be recalled that there are
also indications of subsidiary influences from the other mindsets created from a
combination of the set of variables. These vary from personal to public identity. The
way in which these contribute to her personality and what this may imply has not
been considered here. Models that are deemed to be a representation of reality are
usually constrained by their own propositions, thus creating some level of
“simplification”. However, the propositions of CAT are quite broad, evident by
enabling hybrid mindset types deriving from trait type balances. The complexity
introduced into the model has been necessary, as attempts to explain multifaceted
attributes of personality and identity occur.
Being able to distinguish between multiple identities and take qualitative–
quantitative measures is not the whole story. In this paper, we have considered only the
cognitive attributes of Theresa May’s personality. There will also be affect attributes
from which her emotions are manifested. This is consistent with the dynamic identity
theory in which affect has a recognised role. There is theory connecting the cognition
and affect mindsets (Fink and Yolles, 2017a, 2017b), which will underscore the
uncertainties that May has been passing through as she deals with the differences in
her personal and public identities. However, it must be left to another paper to evaluate
the impact of affect.
Notes Understanding
1. Theresa May
4. Reliability is defined as the degree to which some people concur on the readings, interpretations
and responses to converse, texts or data (Krippendorff, 2012).
5. Lecture notes by Mark Cowlishaw, Nathanael Fillmore on Linear Algebra, available at: http://
6. Reflecting on the results obtained after the Delphi method, one might suspect that anomalies
have occurred. For instance, the value for egalitarianism presented in Table V is 71.4 per cent
(exactly the same as for “mastery + motive”). This figure can also be found in Tables VI and
VII. Thus in Tables VI and VII, there is no distinction between MAT5T and MAT3T, while
there is a turnaround of 47.1 points from Table IV (MAT5T) to Table V (MAT3T). So, almost
50 per cent of the coders changed their mind, giving a higher score for egalitarianism.
Questions could now be posed such as what made the coders change their mind. Also, in
Table IX an even higher score of 80.9 arises for egalitarianism, a value that has not previously
appeared, and is exactly equivalent to the score for hierarchy (80.9) – consistent throughout the
paper. The response to such apparent anomalies is that there are no guarantee that re-
evaluation of frequencies will produce smooth changes in outcomes, noting that individual
coders may make errors or have subjective alignments that may change across the Delphi
method, especially where some time has passed before re-evalaution has occurred. Such a
situation can be resolved by more coders so that the issue from individual coders becomes less

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About the authors

Maurice Yolles is an emeritus Professor in Management Systems at Liverpool John Moores
University. He is also an Adjunct Professor at both Ramkhamhaeng University in Thailand and
University of Science and Technology Beijing. He received a Doctor Honoris Causa from University
of Economics at the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania. He is the lead for the
Centre for the Creation of Coherent Change and Knowledge, which has been involved in a number of
international research and development projects in Europe and Asia and runs cross-cultural
international training courses. He has published more than 200 papers and is also an editor for
Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change.
Davide Di Fatta, PhD in Economics and Management at the University of Messina (Italy),
now collaborates with the SEAS Department at the University of Palermo (Italy). His main
research field are Web marketing, focusing on e-commerce and conversion rate optimization,
system thinking and (cultural) agency theory. He is an associate editor for IJEMR and IJMABS.
He is also a member of the advisory board for many other international journals (Kybernetes
and IJMS) and academic organizations (BS Laboratory). Davide Di Fatta is the corresponding
author and can be contacted at: