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Histrionic Personality Disorder

  1. William I. Dorfman

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0413

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Dorfman, W. I. 2010. Histrionic Personality Disorder. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. Nova Southeastern University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Histrionic Personality Disorder is one of 10 personality disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000). DSM-IV-TR defines a personality disorder as an enduring pattern of inner experience and inflexible, pervasive, and ultimately self-defeating behavior, which is “stable and of long duration and its onset can be traced back at least to adolescence or early adulthood” (p. 689). Individuals diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder typically display exaggerated attention-seeking behavior, dramatic emotionality, and often sexually seductive or otherwise provocative behavior, all of which are intended to manipulate others to ensure that their childlike dependency needs might be met. One's initial impression of such individuals is that of a rather charming, outgoing, and entertaining person who is often flirtatious and places a great deal of emphasis on his or her physical attractiveness. However, as time passes it becomes evident that this interpersonal style is a superficial façade, calculated to exploit and manipulate others into providing them with excitement and a corresponding, albeit fleeting, sense of self-worth and identity.


  • histrionic personality disorder;
  • hysteria;
  • character disorders