Crimson Publishers Publish With Us Reprints e-Books Video articles


Psychology and Psychotherapy: Research Study

A Psychological Accounting of a Modern Luddite: Ted Kaczynski AKA the Unabomber

  • Open or Close Anoop Gupta*

    Faculty of Education, Department of Psychology, Canada

    *Corresponding author: Anoop Gupta, Faculty of Education, Department of Psychology, Canada

Submission: July 07, 2018;Published: November 13, 2018

Volume2 Issue1
November 2018


Ted Kaczynski’s, the so-called Unabomber’s, writings are being achieved at his alma mater, The University of Michigan. His well-known works have been looked at for merit as works of social philosophy or social criticism, though he is more notoriously known for sending mail bombs that killed three and injured twenty-three.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to understand the psychological motivations of Kaczynski. More broadly, in these days after 9/11 where there is vast concern about terrorism, this look into the case of Kaczynski offers a glimpse of how an abnormal psychology can be blended with social concerns to awful effect. I endeavour to construct a psychological profile based on research that has already been known about him. I shall claim he has a personality disorder, that is, an enduring pattern of thinking and behaviour that begins in adolescence, is deviant, stable, and led to distress and impairment (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 [1]. From a practitioner’s point of view, I shall consider how educational institutions or other practitioners may better attend to clients’ needs to assist them avoid personality disorders and the attendant social problems that they can bring with them.

Method: Using a case study method, I shall study the writings of Kaczynski, along with other supplemental materials and commentaries. Since I have never interviewed him, nor have I tried, I could not attempt a psychological diagnosis about his mental health, which is not my purpose. Although, according to the DSM (2000), a diagnosis must consider long-term patterns and be supplemented by other material than interviews, both of which I can claim for my purposes. By looking to his major writings, which are replete with psychological language and clues, detailing his thinking, and well documented major events in his life, laying bare his behaviour, I seek to offer an explanation along the lines of attachment theorists that is broadly theoretical. I wish to show how his behaviour and patterns of thinking are consistent with what we know about personality disorders.

Keywords: Ted kaczynski; Unabomber; Domestic terrorism; Narcissistic personality disorder; Personality disorders

Get access to the full text of this article