Biography Danielle Staub is best known for her part in making Bravo’s reality television show “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” a hit reality show full of drama. But most people don’t know the off camera side of her. She was a born Beverly Ann Merrill on July 29, 1962. She was adopted at a very young age and has only recently made contact with her birth mother. She was a former model who was married for a year to a man named Kevin Maher, which was annulled, but was a feature story in a book which told about her and Maher’s rocky past as well as her allegedly being a paid escort. She later married Thomas M. Staub with whom she had two daughters, but divorced in 2007. She is no longer on the television show, but she is pursuing a singing career, is in the process of writing a book, and is involved with her daughters’ up and coming modeling careers.Modern Trait ApproachWhen using the modern trait approach personality psychologists look at many different traits to determine an individual’s personality. They gather data using questionnaires and other observable information to determine a person’s behavior. This data based approach helps look for a deeper consistency in underlying behaviors as well as helps with comparison between other individuals. One example would be using the Big Five approach. This approach score people high or low into broad categories: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness, based on their personality.Danielle Staub Singing
Danielle Staub is someone who likes to go out in public, be around people, and opened her life up to a reality televisions show. Therefore she would rank high in extroversion on the big five scale. In a video clip from the television show “Watch What Happens Live!” Danielle performs a song that she and another artist wrote to help promote the song and album. This shows that she asserts herself in promoting and getting what she wants as well she’s not afraid to put herself out there (Fricchi, 2010). This exhibits high extrovert behavior because she putting herself out there and it is stimulating for her rather than making her anxious.
However, Staub would rank low in agreeableness. She isn’t the type to let things go or doesn’t like when things don’t go her way. She doesn’t put up with things when they don’t go her way. For example in Epsiode 5 season 2, she arrives at a charity event, completely overdressed with an entourage expecting a table for all of them to sit at. When the people putting on the event didn’t comply right away and took a while to set up a table she was very insulted ("Into the lions," 2010). During the show she was often called a backstabber, and was not trusted by many of the other women on the show.
For conscientiousness, most might find it hard to believe that Staub would rank high in conscientiousness based on most of the drama that goes on in her reality show. However, according to one of her biographies she is an active member in her church. She is also present at many charity events and is constantly supporting her daughters in whatever they do (Buddy TV, 2011). She might rank a little lower in conscientiousness compared to others because she can be a little dramatic, but she is a present whenever those who depend on her need her and will be until the end (regardless of what it entails).
In the category of neuroticism, Staub would rank very high. Since the show started she has progressively become a major source for starting and drawing out drama on the show. For example, the first season she brought a book, which contained scandalous storied of her being an escort and other facts about her life, to a dinner party where she wanted to confront everyone about it. This action lead to a huge argument between her and the other women at the dinner, a table getting flipped over, and her eventually being excluded from the group ("The last supper," 2009). Since then she has become very anxious and travels with an entourage of Hell’s Angels Bikers, most of which are ex convicts; she fears for her life when she is around the other women from the show; she is quick to take things the wrong way and start an argument; and there is rarely an episode where she doesn’t cry. Because of her emotional instability she has been fired from the show, but continues to show up in the news for mainly scandalous behavior.
Lastly in the Big Five is openness, which Staub also ranks high in. She is constantly trying new things, including boxing classes and starting a career as a singer. She has a very big imagination and tends to constantly wonder about what is going on around her (Buddy TV, 2011). Unfortunately she often uses it in a negative sense and it creates more drama around her. She was also an escort, which is a field that takes some openness to new experiences, as well as a model which need a creative open mind to really embrace the photographer’s view of the shoot.

Using a humanistic way of looking at Staub’s personality, it might be easier to understand why she acts the way she does. Considering the belief that people act the way they do based on the people around them, it is almost expected that Staub is over dramatic, anxious, and seems to be very materialistic, because everyone around her shows similar traits, but just not as overt as hers. Her surrounding of materialistic, narcissistic, and very self centered people make it hard for her to realize her own potential as a human, take responsibility for her actions, and really establish a happy, meaningful, self actualized existence.
First, according to the human potential movement, people need to realize their inner potential so they can grow and strive to meet that goal. To do this they must use the people surrounding them to realize what they could be as well as using their own beliefs within. Unfortunately with Staub she has surrounded herself with people who are in the same unstable frame of mind. Instead of hiring a life coach to help her move on from all the drama in her life, she hangs around a former Hell’s Angel biker that is just as anxious and unstable as she is("Into the lions," 2010). If she were to improve her life and her destructive personality, she would have to surround herself with those who believe in her.
Staub also seems to be one that struggles to find what her existence in life should be. She is constantly changing careers from a model, to a singer, to a writer; she hasn’t gotten any stable form of meaning in her work. It seems to be all for show and trying to prove her in the celebrity world where there isn’t much stability. According to Rollo May’s theories, she is looking for meaning in life because of her lack of feeling that she has a definite existence in her world. This causes her to be search for meaning in the wrong places because there is no one that pushes her out of the spotlight and into a real meaningful world. Victor Frankel would also agree that she shows so much drama because she cannot find true meaning in her world. She is not placing emphasis on her own personal choice but rather goes along with what other people say, like when she takes boxing classes because her body guard tells her she needs it. It doesn’t make her feel safe but rather more anxious that people are trying to hurt her ("Staub wounds," 2010). In order for her to start making personal choices, she needs to stop being so affected by others actions, and focus on improving her own so she can feel in control and find meaning in what she does.real-houswives-of-new-jersey-episode-204-20.jpg
Finding meaning, surrounding herself with positive influences, and striving to be the person that she wants to be can lead Staub to be a happier person. Her life is full of drama because she surrounds herself with people who bring drama into her life. Because of this she is not able to even approach self actualization. She doesn’t seem to have anything past her safety needs met. She has money so her food and shelter are taken care of, but her emotions are not. She doesn’t feel love or belongingness from other people in her life because she is constantly -pushing them away from all the fights that she gets in with her friends. Her self-esteem needs aren’t met because she is constantly searching for attention from others. Whether its men and making sex tapes with them or women by fighting and stirring up trouble with them, or even the public eye with her crazy scandals and constant ways she finds to get media attention (TMZ, 2010). She is always searching for attention and therefore cannot be fulfilled, comfortable, or loving with herself. Her innate potential is hindered by all the outward attention she seeks to find happiness, but won’t find until she is happy with herself DiscussionFinally, Danielle Staub is the epitome of what is wrong with celebrity life. She is a person that contains so much potential but doesn’t realize it, because her materialistic and superficial self has completely taken over her, silencing her inner potential. According to the Big Five she is high in extroversion, conscientiousness, and openness, all of which could lead her into a life where she could be a strong leader and valued person in the community. However, her inability to be more flexible and ranking low on the agreeableness trait makes it hard when things don’t go her way. But her biggest setback is her high ranking neurotic behavior that gives her a negative, irrational, hostile, image that really hurts any reputation that she might want to have.
The negative aspects in her life might be able to be changed if she can surround herself with more innately positive, meaningful, and supportive people in her life. She exhibits most of the negative behavior on the show that surrounds her and the other women; the only difference is that the other women have people in their lives that are supportive, while Staub is constantly surrounded by negative people. She cannot realize her potential because the people around her do not recognize it either, and cannot tell her about the great happy person she could be. She has been able to take care of the most basic parts of her life, but when it comes to her emotional needs she lacks self-esteem as well as belongingness and love. If Staub was able to change the people that surround her and that advise her to more positive and meaningful people, she could change her world drastically and for the better.

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