Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


Reader 1

Jennifer Ma

Reader 2

Carolyn Ratteray

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The proposed study explores the psychological effects of acting and performance on the actor with respect to their personality and sense of self. Surveying performers in a university theater department as they participate in productions, this study will document their reported personality and sense of self at one-month intervals over the course of the production process. Using measures to assess those variables along with demographic information and play casted in, the study will explore the hypothesis that becoming a character impacts an actor’s personality and sense of self. It is predicted that over the course of a production, an actor will experience personality changes that more resemble that of their character by the end of the acting process accompanied by a decrease in sense of self. This change, according to tangential research on the study of gender and environmental stimulus, is possibly moderated, or impacted, by the actor’s gender, the type of play that they are in, and by duration of the production. Results from this study could better educate actors, acting teachers, and the field of psychology on the effects of acting the importance of distancing oneself from one’s character.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.