Chris Weiss: Loving The Dark Triad – Or, Why Jerks Will Always Be With Us

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The Dark Triad of personalities is a group of three personality traits: narcissism, machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Typically not the sort of person you’d want to hang out with – so why are these traits not only present, but even common among humankind?

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  • Sennicherib – 705 BC\nAtilla – 453\nHitler\nStalin\nFacial Hair\n
  • Dark Triad\n\nNarcissism is the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.\n\nSubclinical narcissists, sometimes called ‘normal narcissists’ (Sedikides, Rudich,\nGregg, Kumashiro, & Rusbult, 2004), tend to have a sense of entitlement and seek\nadmiration, attention, prestige and status\n
  • 40-item Narcissistic Personality Inventory, a validated and\nwidely used measure (Raskin & Terry, 1988).\n\nThe three traits are moderately intercorrelated and each contains a degree\nof self-aggrandisement, aggression and duplicity (Paulhus &Williams, 2002).We contend\nthat the three traits may be best viewed as one particular social orientation towards\nconspecifics.\nSpecifically, various lines of research suggest that the Dark Triad may facilitate a social\nstyle geared towards exploiting others in short-term social contexts. For instance,\nnarcissists tend to be more agentic, with a desire for power and dominance (Bradlee &\nEmmons, 1992; Foster, Shrira, & Campbell, 2006), are less communally oriented\n(Campbell, Rudich, & Sedikides, 2002), and have a lower tendency to feel guilt or shame\n(Gramzov & Tagney, 1992). Those with high levels of Machiavellianism are described as\ncharmers and as exploitative (Wilson, Near, & Miller, 1996), demonstrate less empathy\n(Barnett & Thompson, 1985), and are less willingness to help others in need (Wolfson,\n1981). Psychopaths have an exploitative nature (Mealey, 1995), with high levels of\negocentrism, impulsivity and irresponsibility, and have low levels of empathy, shame and\nguilt (Larson & Buss, 2006).\n
  • Machiavellian individuals tend to be manipulative, while demonstrating a\n‘cool’ or ‘cold’ approach to others\n
  • 20-item MACH-IV (Christie & Geis, 1970).\n
  • Subclinical psychopaths are characterised by high impulsivity\nand thrill-seeking and tend to have low empathy\n\n(Ted bundy pictured)\n
  • Yes, yes you are.\n31-itemSelf-Report Psychopathy Scale-III (Paulhus et al., in press)\n
  • Specifically, various lines of research suggest that the Dark Triad may facilitate a social\nstyle geared towards exploiting others in short-term social contexts. For instance,\nnarcissists tend to be more agentic, with a desire for power and dominance (Bradlee &\nEmmons, 1992; Foster, Shrira, & Campbell, 2006), are less communally oriented\n(Campbell, Rudich, & Sedikides, 2002), and have a lower tendency to feel guilt or shame\n(Gramzov & Tagney, 1992). Those with high levels of Machiavellianism are described as\ncharmers and as exploitative (Wilson, Near, & Miller, 1996), demonstrate less empathy\n(Barnett & Thompson, 1985), and are less willingness to help others in need (Wolfson,\n1981). Psychopaths have an exploitative nature (Mealey, 1995), with high levels of\negocentrism, impulsivity and irresponsibility, and have low levels of empathy, shame and\nguilt (Larson & Buss, 2006).\n
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  • “The personality traits that compose the Dark Triad have typically been considered abnormal, pathological and inherently maladaptive... Although individuals with these traits inflict costs to others and themselves, the Dark Triad traits are also associated with some qualities, including a drive for power, low neuroticism and extraversion that may be beneficial. Together with low amounts of empathy and\nagreeableness, such traits may facilitate—especially for men—the pursuit of an exploitative short-term mating strategy.\n\n To the extent that lifetime number of sexual partners is a modern-day marker of reproductive success (Kanazawa, 2003; Nettle, 2005), and given that the Dark Triad traits are heritable (Vernon, Villani, Vickers, & Harris, 2008) and exist in different cultures (e.g. Foster et al., 2003), we speculate that these traits may represent one end of a set of individual differences that reflects an evolutionarily stable solution to the adaptive problem of reproduction.\n
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  • Ends with : Guess what is another group of people who tend to score really high on dark triad traits?\n
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  • Chris Weiss: Loving The Dark Triad – Or, Why Jerks Will Always Be With Us

    1. 1. Loving the Dark TriadOr, Why Jerks Will Always Be With Us
    2. 2. Jerks Have Been Around a Long Time……But “Jerk” Isn’t a Clinical Term…
    3. 3. Narcissism
    4. 4. Am I A Narcissist?I have a natural talent for influencing people.The thought of ruling the world frightens the hell out of me.I like to be the center of attention.My body is nothing special.I find it easy to manipulate people.Everybody likes to hear my stories.Take it at http://psychcentral.com/quizzes/narcissistic.htm
    5. 5. Machiavellianism
    6. 6. Am I Machiavellian?Never tell anyone the real reason you did something unless it ituseful to do so.It it wise to flatter important people.Honesty is the best policy in all cases.The best way to handle people it to tell them what they want to hear.Anyone who completely trusts anyone is asking for trouble.Ono should take action only when sure it is morally right.The biggest difference between most criminals and other people isthat criminals are stupid enough to get caught.
    7. 7. Psychopathy
    8. 8. Am I a Psychopath?I find it easy to manipulate peopleI am always impressed by a clever fraudI like to hurt those close to meI try not to be rude to othersI’m a soft-hearted personI’m not afraid to step on other people to get what I wantOn average my friends would probably say I am a kind person
    9. 9. Studies say: you shouldn’t want to hang out with these people…A desire for power and dominance (Bradlee & Emmons, 1992; Foster, Shrira, &Campbell, 2006)Less communally oriented (Campbell, Rudich, & Sedikides, 2002)A lower tendency to feel guilt or shame (Gramzov & Tagney, 1992).Charmers and exploitative (Wilson, Near, & Miller, 1996),Demonstrate less empathy (Barnett & Thompson, 1985)Less willingness to help others in need (Wolfson,1981).An exploitative nature (Mealey, 1995),High levels of egocentrism, impulsivity and irresponsibility and low levels of empathy,shame and guilt (Larson & Buss, 2006).
    10. 10. …But we do
    11. 11. Is Being a Jerk Adaptive?
    12. 12. Growth of the “Game” Industry
    13. 13. Its not about the sex… (Ok, so its not ALL about the sex)
    14. 14. Does one have to be a jerk to succeed?
    15. 15. There is more than one strategy…
    16. 16. Prosocial vs Agentic
    17. 17. Decisive, or Poor Impulse Control?
    18. 18. In small amounts this is actually beneficial!
    19. 19. If you think there are just too many jerks in the world… Change the order of things!

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