Rivolia Chen Xiao-Yu (陳瀟玉) '23, Gettysburg College

Class Year


Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of Creation

Spring 2023

Department 1


Department 2

Interdisciplinary Studies


From the perspective of psychology, personality refers to the long-term, significant pattern in which a person perceives themselves while responding to others and the world. In the vast majority of situations, a person’s experiences at and before age twenty-five, in addition to their reactions to these situations, have a significant impact over their personality and psychology. In the vast majority of cases, the significant sources of these experiences are the substantial impacts of familial circumstances and early professional interactions, in addition to their broader social-historical worlds. Chen Zi-Ang the martyr was in the human realm for forty or forty-one years when counting his actual age. One of the reasonable chronological divisions thus divides according to these years: childhood — age zero to twelve; early adolescence — thirteen to seventeen; late adolescence — eighteen to twenty-one; early adulthood — twenty-two to thirty-four; early middle age — thirty-five until Chen Zi-Ang was “harmed to death” (Du Fu)[1] in prison because of the brutal and ferocious persecution imposed on him. Chen Zi-Ang’s personality and psychology was largely stable when he was twenty-five-year-old, when he was in early adulthood. I agree with the scholar and author Wang Zhi-Qing’s observation that Chen possessed the characteristics of “fierceness;”[2] he “sometimes further demonstrated a dumbfounding boldness and spicy defiance.”[3] I also agree with this observation of Wu Huai-Dong, another scholar and author: one of Chen’s characteristics was his possession of “firmness and ferocity.”[4] As for the personality and psychology of Chen Zi-Ang, I mainly consult these two American psychologists: Dr. Kathy Rae Berenson and Dr. Kathleen Cain, while I also take the advice from these two other American psychologists: Dr. Katherine Bradley and Dr. Daniel McCall. Then, from the perspective of psychology, I thus summarize Chen Zi-Ang’s personality and psychology, as well as their formation and development.

As this chapter has detailed, the personality and psychology of Chen Zi-Ang the martyr were highly extraordinary. There were seven important differences between Chen’s personality and psychology and those of most people in the past and the present. First, Chen possessed an extraordinary intelligence comprised of the five aforementioned criteria. Second, Chen was very concerned with the welfare of people outside of his private life. Third, outside of his salary-earning obligations and private life, Chen still pursued his exercise of a positive impact on countless people under the Heaven. Fourth, Chen was enthusiastic in various categories of arts. Fifth, Chen was very spiritually and religiously devout; on this aspect, Chen was at least somewhat similar to Joan of Arc (French: Jeanne d’Arc). Sixth, Chen possessed a “firmness and ferocity” (Wu Huai-Dong);[47] he “sometimes further demonstrated a dumbfounding boldness and spicy defiance” (Wang Zhi-Qing).[48] Seventh, these positive qualities of Chen Zi-Ang’s personality and psychology were profoundly rooted in cultural-spiritual China.

從心理學角度看,人格指人看待自身、回應他人與世界之長期重大模式。在絕大多數情況下,案主在二十五歲時及此前,有何經歷,又如何回應這些經歷,對案主人格與心理,有重大影響。在絕大多數情況下,這些經歷之重大來源,是家庭環境對案主實際影響、案主早期職業互動、案主所在社會與歷史世界。陳子昂烈士實際在人世間度過四十年,或四十一年。合理分期法之一,如此劃分這些年:童年——零歲至十二歲;青春前期——十三歲至十七歲;青春後期——十八歲至二十一歲;成年前期——二十二歲至三十四歲;中年前期——三十五歲,至陳子昂因受慘烈迫害,「遇害」(杜甫語)[1]獄中。陳子昂在人格與心理方面表現,在其二十五歲時,幾乎全然穩定下來。筆者認同學者文人王志清這些觀察:陳子昂特點之一,是「烈」;[2]陳子昂「有時還表現出讓人瞠目結舌的大膽與潑辣」。[3]筆者亦認同學者文人吳懷東這一觀察:陳子昂有「剛烈」[4]特質。筆者探究陳子昂之人格與心理時,主要請教兩位美國心理學家:凱曦·蕾安·柏瑞森進士(美國英文:Dr. Kathy Rae Berenson;主流華文稱其為博士)、凱思婷·柯琳進士(美國英文:Dr. Kathleen Cain),兼採這兩位美國心理學家所教:凱瑟琳·白德莉進士(美國英文:Dr. Katherine Bradley)、丹禮·梅柯進士(美國英文:Dr. Daniel McCall),再從心理學角度,這般總結陳子昂之人格與心理,及其成因與發展。