As Clinton pores over this voluminous research with her debate team, most recently for several hours Friday, and her aides continue searching for someone who can rattle her as a Trump stand-in during mock debates, Trump is taking the opposite tack.

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Hillary Clinton’s advisers are talking to Donald Trump’s ghostwriter of “The Art of the Deal,” seeking insights about Trump’s deepest insecurities as they devise strategies to needle and undermine him in four weeks at the first presidential debate, the most anticipated in recent political history.

Her team is also getting advice from psychology experts to help create a personality profile of Trump to gauge how he may respond to attacks and deal with a woman as his sole adversary on the debate stage.

As Clinton pores over this voluminous research with her debate team, most recently for several hours Friday, and her aides continue searching for someone who can rattle her as a Trump stand-in during mock debates, Trump is taking the opposite tack.

“I believe you can prep too much for those things,” Trump said in an interview last week. “It can be dangerous. You can sound scripted or phony — like you’re trying to be someone you’re not.”

Clinton’s and Trump’s strikingly different approaches to the Sept. 26 faceoff are more revealing about their egos and battlefield instincts than most other moments in the campaign.

Clinton, a deeply competitive debater, wants to crush Trump on live television, but not with an avalanche of policy details; she is searching for ways to bait him into making blunders. Trump, a supremely self-confident communicator, wants viewers to see him as a truth-telling political outsider and trusts that he can box in Clinton on her ethics and honesty.

He has been especially resistant to his advisers’ suggestions that he take part in mock debates with a Clinton stand-in. At their first session devoted to the debate, at Trump’s club in Bedminster, N.J., on Aug. 21, the conservative radio host Laura Ingraham was on hand to offer counsel and, if Trump was game, to play Clinton. He declined.

Instead, Trump asked a battery of questions about debate topics, Clinton’s skills and possible moderators, but people close to him said relatively little was accomplished.

At that gathering, and another in Bedminster on Sunday without Ingraham, Trump was joined by Roger Ailes, the former Fox News chairman ousted last month over accusations of sexual harassment.

Trump’s certitude — “I know how to handle Hillary,” he said — reflects his belief that the debates will be won or lost not on policy points and mastery of details, which are Clinton’s strengths, but on the authenticity, boldness and leadership that the nominees demonstrate onstage.

In compiling research to help Clinton prepare, her advisers have cast a wide net. They contacted Tony Schwartz, the “Art of the Deal” co-author, to give them advice about Trump this summer — even though Schwartz’s 18-month immersion in Trump’s life and homes ended in the mid-1980s. But Clinton advisers said Schwartz and other writers who had observed Trump up close, as well as unnamed psychology experts they had spoken to, were critical to understanding how to get under Trump’s skin.

The Clinton camp believes that Trump is most insecure about his intelligence, his net worth and his image as a successful businessman, and those are the areas they are working with Clinton to target.

Schwartz said Trump would be vulnerable

“Trump has severe attention problems and simply cannot take in complex information — he will be unable to practice for these debates,” said Schwartz, the subject of a New Yorker profile last month that portrayed Trump as a charlatan. “Trump will bring nothing but his bluster to the debates. He’ll use sixth-grade language, he will repeat himself many times, he won’t complete sentences and he won’t say anything of substance.

“Even so,” Schwartz said, “Clinton has to be careful — she could get everything right and still potentially lose the debates if she comes off as too condescending, too much of a know-it-all.”

Allies have insisted Clinton will not shy away from preparing for the most painful insults, including a possible focus on her husband’s infidelities.

“She knows that it’s coming,” said Jennifer Granholm, a former Michigan governor and a member of Clinton’s transition-planning team.

Around the Clinton campaign, the question of who to cast as Trump has become something of a running parlor game. Clinton’s allies have floated several options: Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York, who is from Queens, Trump’s home borough; James Carville, Bill Clinton’s chief strategist in 1992, who has a gift for lacerating banter; or Mark Cuban, another billionaire businessman. All three are viewed as unafraid to say some humiliating things to Clinton’s face, as Trump may.

Trump’s search so far seems to be less exhaustive: He said his daughter Ivanka could end up playing Clinton.

“Wouldn’t she be great at that?” Trump asked.