What Is at the Heart of Dark Traits Like Narcissism?

Convergence between “D” and socially offensive psychopathology is examined.

6/17/2021 12:18:00 AM

3 antagonistic tendencies that lie at the heart of Dark Triad personality traits, explains ArashEmamzadeh

Convergence between “D” and socially offensive psychopathology is examined.

Investigating the explanatory power of the dark core of personalityThe first measurement (T1) used a sample of 2,329 participants—53% female, average age of 40 years (18-77 years), and 30% with a college degree. For T2, which occurred about eight months later, participants from the first sample were invited back, and a final sample of 668 people was used.

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Measures includedHEXACO-60, Personality Assessment Inventory, the 18-item Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry Questionnaire, Narcissistic Personality Inventory, Self-Report Psychopathy Scale III, the Paranoia Scale, and the Borderline Personality Disorder Severity Index.

Items used to measure D are listed in Table 1, below. Some examples are “people who mess with me always regret it,” “I feel entitled to more of everything,” and “It’sto keep track of information that you can use against people later.”Personality Essential Reads headtopics.com

Personality and Health-Related Behavior in the PandemicThe results showed D was significantly related to the major forms of socially aversive psychopathology: antisocial/psychopathy, narcissistic, paranoid, and to a lesser extent, borderline personality disorder traits.

D was strongly associated with paranoia, which is one of the traits often ignored in research on dark traits.To intuitively make sense of the link between dark traits and paranoia, we need to remember paranoid individuals are distrustful, often fearing

othersare merciless and selfish utility maximizers (i.e., will take advantage of them); their beliefs serve as a powerful justification for paranoid individuals’ own attempt at utility maximization at great cost to others. In short, imagining the worst about human beings’ intentions (e.g., assuming they have an insatiable desire to manipulate, exploit, and harm) gives the paranoid person the permission or justification to do the same.

What about the (weak) link between D and borderline tendencies? This association also makes sense because onlysomerage, vengefulness, but not emotional instability) are socially aversive and potentially related to dark traits.The authors conclude, D “involves invoking disutility for others as a consequence of one’s own utility maximization (i.e., antisocial) or for the sake of headtopics.com

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(i.e., borderline).” It entails “justifying beliefs such as one’s own superiority and entitlement (i.e., narcissistic) or generalized distrust (i.e., paranoid).”Source: Arash Emamzadeh (adapted from Hilbig et al., 2021)TakeawayThe Dark Factor of Personality (D) seems to be at the heart of dark personalities and socially offensive psychopathology.

What these unpleasant traits and dark personalities appear to have in common include the following:Overvaluing oneselfDevaluing othersSubjective justifications for the above Read more: Psychology Today »

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ArashEmamzadeh See picture!

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