(ORDO NEWS) — Experts in the field of psychology identify three “dark personality traits” (the scientific name is the “dark triad”): narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.
These people do not know how to sympathize, so communication with them is often dangerous. However, as recent studies have shown, everything is not so simple…
Psychology is a complex field, because it is almost impossible to understand what is happening in a person’s head!
Traditionally, people with one of the Dark Triad traits are thought to suffer from empathy deficits, potentially making them more dangerous and aggressive. However, a new study shows that there are “dark empaths”, that is, those who still know how to sympathize.
What is the “dark triad”
This term refers to three personality traits:
- Psychopathy. It is characterized by a special callousness. People with a high level of psychopathy often exhibit erratic lifestyles and antisocial behavior.
- Machiavellianism. Associated with deceit, betrayal and crime. Has an exploitative, cynical and manipulative nature.
- Narcissism. It is characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-worth, superiority.
The Riddle of Empathy
However, empathy refers to a completely opposite type of personality. It is the ability to share feelings and empathize. Lack of empathy is a hallmark of clinical psychopathy.
But some experts believe that especially “dark people” are able to experience empathy, but at their own, sophisticated level.
In order to manipulate others, as well as “enjoy” the suffering of others, you must have at least some ability to understand them. That is why scientists have wondered whether the “dark traits” and empathy are mutually exclusive phenomena, or not?
As part of the experiment, 1000 people filled out special questionnaires to identify the level of empathy and “dark traits”.
After analyzing the psychological profiles of the participants, the researchers found a “dark triad” group with low levels of empathy (about 13% of the sample).
They also found a group with below average scores on all three dark traits (around 34%) and a group with low levels of dark traits and high empathy (around 33%).
However, the fourth group of people were “dark empaths”. These volunteers had higher scores on both the Dark Triad scale and empathy.
With these participants, the scientists ran another series of tests, which showed that “dark empaths” are not as aggressive as the traditional “dark triad” group, suggesting that the latter are probably more dangerous.
The authors of the work believe that the presence of empathy, apparently, contributes to the pleasure of communicating with people. But potentially it could also be motivated by a desire to dominate them.
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