Research suggests a link between dark triad traits and victim signaling

Dark triad traits appear to be advantageous in some contexts.

In their recently published paper, Signaling Virtuous Victimhood as Indicators of Dark Triad Personalities, the authors suggest that Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy might be beneficial for obtaining resources.

In their introduction, they acknowledge that being viewed as a victim can lead to a loss of esteem and respect. But, they continue, in modern Western societies being a victim doesn’t always lead to undesirable outcomes. Sometimes, being a victim can increase one’s social status. And justify one’s claim to material resources.

Beyond measuring responses to questionnaires, they also had participants play a game. Basically, it was a coin flip game in which participants could win money if they won.

Researchers rigged the game so that participants could easily cheat. Participants could claim they won even if they didn’t, and thus obtain more money.

Victim signalers were more likely to cheat in this game. The researchers again found that these results held after controlling for ethnicity, gender, income, and other factors.

Regardless of personal characteristics, those who scored higher on dark triad traits were more likely to be victim signalers. And may be more likely to deceive others for material gain.

The researchers then ran a study testing whether people who score highly on victim signaling were more likely to exaggerate reports of mistreatment from a colleague to gain an advantage over them.

Still, alongside victims, there are social predators among us. In whatever milieu they find themselves in, they will enact the strategies that maximize the rewards of material resources, sex, or prestige.

People with dark triad traits will tailor their strategies to obtain these benefits, depending on their social environments.

Today, those with dark triad traits might find that the best way to extract rewards is by making a public spectacle of their victimhood and virtue.


Mate Value Discrepancies, the Dark Triad and Relationship Satisfaction

The higher on the Dark Triad, the more alternative partners there were that were closer to the participant’s ideal mate preferences than their current partner, which was associated with decreased relationship satisfaction. This study contributes to our understanding of how the Dark Triad relates to mating psychology. These findings also highlight the utility of employing a Euclidean algorithm to understand associations between individual differences and relationship outcomes.


An example of Dark Triad and deadly sins

The Dark Triad traits are positively related to the deadly sins.•

The Dark Triad and the seven deadly sins are located near Alpha-Minus.•

Results are similar between self- and other-report.

The Dark Triad of personality is most commonly studied model of dark personality traits. The current study attempts to empirically compare the Dark Triad to other catalog of dark personality traits, namely the seven deadly sins, and locate them within the broader model of personality – the Circumplex of Personality Metatraits model. We examined this problem from two perspectives: self- (N = 280) and other-report (N = 412) using the Short Dark Triad, Vices and Virtues Scales, and the Circumplex of Personality Metatraits Questionnaire. The Dark Triad and the seven deadly sins were substantially interrelated. Moreover, both analyzed models of dark personality traits were strongly associated with Alpha-Minus (both, in self- and other-report), providing evidence about their dark character. The expected locations within the Circumplex of Personality Metatraits were generally supported, nevertheless there were some discrepancies between self- and other report. Results of our study reveals that the Dark Triad of personality does not fully exhaust the possible catalog of the dark personality and future research is needed to fill this gap.


“Dark” personality traits might be impeding pandemic efforts, but the overall picture is far more complex

Psychologists love fancy names, and the Dark Triad is no exception. The triad refers to the personality traits of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism (a psychological trait centered on interpersonal manipulation and moral indifference) and it’s a fitting description. Although it’s not as simple These are indeed dark, malevolent personality traits, what normal people would tend to call “not a nice person”. People scoring high on these traits tend to be less compassionate and empathetic, and as it turns out, also tend to care less about pandemic prevention.

In one of the studies, led by Magdalena Zemojtel-Piotrowska, the authors note that Dark Triad traits are associated with less prevention and more hoarding (remember the toilet paper hoarding from a few months ago?).

The team surveyed 755 individuals in Poland during the first stages of the pandemic and lockdown. The higher people scored on Dark Triad traits, the less likely they were to support prevention measures — which was exactly what researchers suspected.


HEXACO model

We perform a meta-analysis of the HEXACO, Big Five, and Dark Triad.•

Honesty-humility has small to moderation relations with the (H)EXACO and Big Five.•

Honesty-humility has a very large relation with the Dark Triad.•

These relations differed based on the studied measure and facet.

Posted in Alienation, Dark Triad, PERSONALITY DISORDERS

The Function of Anger and Resentment | Psychology Today

To protect, they destroy.

In humans, the threat is almost always to the ego (how we want to think of ourselves and have others think of us). Anger neutralizes ego-threat by devaluing, demeaning, or undermining the confidence of the person perceived to be threatening.

Because anger is the most physical of emotions, angry and resentful people often get into trouble, especially in intimate relationships, without doing anything wrong, as their bodies and facial expressions devalue, demean, and express hostility outside their conscious awareness. Being around angry and resentful people makes us resentful, even when they say nothing offensive. This is something that politicians who exploit public anger don’t seem to realize. The short-term gain they get from stirring anger will eventually turn against them. Those who live by the angry vote die by it.

The vulnerability anger protects can be physical:

  • Diminished resources (tired, hungry, dehydrated, low blood sugar)
  • Pain
  • Discomfort
  • Illness
  • Incapacity.

Or emotional:

  • Guilt (violating deeper values)
  • Shame (sense of failure or inadequacy)
  • Fear (danger)
  • Sadness, sorrow (loss)
  • Grief (loss of loved ones).

A form of low-grade anger, resentment is more defensive than its aggressive parent. It’s triggered by a perception of unfairness, of not getting the praise, reward, consideration or affection to which one feels entitled. It shares the physiological characteristics of anger but is less intense and of longer duration; it reaches lower levels of arousal than anger but lasts much, much longer. Where anger (when directed at others) is an aggressive exertion of power to get someone to back off or submit to what you want (either in reality or in your imagination), resentment is a defensive way of mentally devaluing and retaliating against those whom you perceive to be acting unfairly.

Posted in Alienation, Dark Triad

 Vulnerable Dark Triad  

Similarities in Environmental Etiological Factors

Developmentally, all three forms of personality pathology re either  theoretically or empirically associated with negative child hood events such as poorer parenting (less warmth and supervision;greater psychological intrusiveness) and childhood sexual, physical,or emotional abuse or neglect (e.g., Battle et al., 2004; Horton,Bleau, & Drwecki, 2006; Poythress, Skeem, & Lilienfeld, 2006).These etiological factors fit with Linehan’s (1993) definition of in invalidating environment, which is thought to be central to the development of BPD. Linehan argued that invalidating environments are those in which there is a ‘‘communication of private  experiences’’ that are ‘‘met by erratic, inappropriate, and extreme 1534  Miller, Dir, Gentile, et al. responses,’’ and she includes childhood abuse, particularly sexual abuse, as the ‘‘prototypical’’ invalidating environment (p. 49). Linehan suggests that these environments fail to teach children how to label and regulate their emotions and tolerate distress and frustration, while at the same time encouraging ‘‘extreme emotional displays’’ to provoke and elicit the expected response from the environment (p. 51).

Similarities in Current Functioning

All three members of the putative VDT manifest significant relations with a host of internalizing symptoms and disorders, such as anxiety and depression, as well as behavioral indicators of distress, such as suicidality (Pincus et al., 2009; Verona et al., 2005; Wink, 1991).For example, Wink found that vulnerable narcissism was substantially negatively correlated with self-reports of psychological well-being (r 5 .67) and psychological adjustment (  .33). Where as at least some members of the DT are negatively associated with negative affect and emotions and positively associated with self-esteem (i.e., grandiose narcissism; Miller & Campbell, 2008; Sedikides, Rudich, Gregg, Kumashiro, & Rusbult, 2004), the reverse appears to be the case for the VDT. The VDT members are  associated with higher negative affect and lower self-esteem (Pincuset al., 2009; Wink, 1991; Witt & Donnellan, 2008; Zeigler-Hill &Abraham, 2006).Both vulnerable narcissism and BPD are related to pathological adult attachment styles, such as an anxious or fearful attachment(Dickinson& Pincus, 2003;Otway &Vignoles, 2006; BPD:Mauricio,Tein, & Lopez, 2007; Meyer, Pilkonis, & Beevers, 2004). Less research exists that has examined the relations between psychopahy and specific attachment styles. Kosson, Cyterski, Steuerwald,Neumann, and Walker-Matthews (2002) found that psychopathy scores were significantly negatively related to ratings of closeness to family in a sample of adolescent males. Similarly, Frodi, Dernevik,Sepa, Philipson, and Bragesjo (2001) found that psychopathic offenders were most commonly classified as having a dismissive attachment style. Unfortunately, these relations have not been examined separately by the psychopathy factors. In a review of the extant literature, Salteris (2002) noted that individuals with antisocial personality disorder and those who commit violent crimes (vs. property 
crimes) tend to manifest insecure and extremely disturbed attachments. In terms of adult attachment styles, one might hypothesize that Factor 1 psychopathy would be significantly related to a dismissive attachment style (high avoidance, low anxiety), whereas Factor 2 psychopathy might be related to a fearful attachment style(high avoidance, high anxiety), which would be consistent with BPD and vulnerable narcissism.
Finally, both Factor 2 psychopathy and BPD have been associated with a number of externalizing behaviors such as substance use/abuse, aggression, and antisocial behavior (e.g., Feske, Tarter, Kirisci, & Pilkonis, 2006; Neumann & Hare, 2008; Stuart, Moore,Gordon, Ramsey, & Kahler, 2006). Because of the small literature on vulnerable narcissism, its relations with externalizing behaviors like aggression are less clear (e.g., Pincus et al., 2009; Wink, 1991),although we would expect smaller effect sizes, in part, due to the lack of substantial deficits in constraint/disinhibition.

Continue reading ” Vulnerable Dark Triad  “

Posted in Alienation, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Psychological manipulation

Types of Child Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse of a child is often divided into nine categories:

1.  Rejection: to reject a child, to push him away, to make him feel that he is useless or worthless, to undermine the value of his ideas or feelings, to refuse to help him.

2.  Scorn: to demean the child, to ridicule him, to humiliate him, to cause him to be ashamed, to criticize the child, to insult him.

3.  Terrorism: to threaten a child or someone who is dear to him with physical violence, abandonment or death, to threaten to destroy the child’s possessions, to place him in chaotic or dangerous situations, to define strict and unreasonable expectations and to threaten him with punishment if he does not comply.

4.  Isolation: to physically or socially isolate a child, to limit his opportunities to socialize with others.

5.  Corruption or exploitation: to tolerate or encourage inappropriate or deviant behavior, to expose the child to antisocial role-models, to consider the child as a servant, to encourage him or coerce him to participate in sexual activities.

6.  The absence of emotional response: to show oneself as inattentive or indifferent towards the child, to ignore his emotional needs, to avoid visual contact, kisses or verbal communication with him, to never congratulate him.

Neglect: to ignore the health or educational needs of the child, to refuse or to neglect to apply the required treatment. (See: What is Child Neglect?) Continue reading “Types of Child Psychological Abuse”

Posted in Alienation, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS

Keyboard warrior

Say hello to the Keyboard Warrior, often referred to as a troll or hater. Your mind wonders why they would type such poison, especially when they don’t know you and have never met you. Your evening is ruined. You toss and turn in bed, then awaken to a new day, put the kettle on and suddenly your mind tracks back to yesterday’s post’s reaction. Your mood darkens and you have a miserable start to the day.

Such ‘trolling’ has become commonplace in recent years. Social media has become a safe haven for haters. Being anonymous, or hiding safely behind the screen in their bedrooms offers protection for people to say whatever they want, be it constructive or abusive.

So what constitutes a troll? Who are they, how are they wired, what is their psychology, what drives their behaviour?

They do not all fit into one particular box. However, they all demonstrate similar tactics. Often, they can be people who have been abused or are suffering abuse themselves. Feeling helpless, they project their inner misery onto others in the form of written abuse. They may suffer from an identity issue, an insecurity about their own identity.

Their way of coping with this crisis or inner turmoil is to belittle others, which gives them a self-satisfied feeling of justification, that their lives mean something more than their own poor image of themselves. They feel they have no control over their own lives and seek to control others via their belittling behaviour. These types feel no remorse and rarely stop. This may be a pattern for their entire lives.

In a study conducted by Canadian researchers (1) involving 1215 people, they came to the conclusion that trolling can be clearly linked with the ‘Dark Tetrad’ (2) of personality traits, which are narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadism. In fact, the results were so significant, they stated: “… the associations between sadism and GAIT (Global Assessment of Internet Trolling) scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists.”

With such traits, trolls will likely exhibit such tactics away from their safe chair behind the screen. They may bully their own families and friends, exhibit aggressive or passive aggressive behaviour and be unpleasant to people in general. They may be the type to drive aggressively. They are unlikely to feel they have personality flaws and will look to blame negative feedback from others on those who object to their behaviour. Research indicates that bullies actually have excellent self-esteem, which ties in with the Dark Tetrad. “Bullies usually have a sense of entitlement and superiority over others, and lack compassion, impulse control and social skills”. (3)

code projected over woman
Photo by ThisIsEngineering on

Continue reading “Keyboard warrior”

The “No, you!” defense

The “No, you!” defense

If you call them out on their crap or if they suspect you can see through their smoke and mirrors, they will say that it’s you—or others—who are all these things. Or that all of it is false and nonsense. They may even say that they are honest, caring, and authentic, and that you don’t understand these things, you are projecting, you are pretending, you are triggered, you are gaslighting, you are narcissistic—you are whatever buzzword they have learned!

Because people with narcissistic tendencies can be interested in human psychology, too. A lot of them actually work in the helping, teaching, and medical fields or pretend to be experts and intellectuals on social media. Some of them are really smart, eloquent, and popular, which makes their statements more believable to an unaware audience.

They can learn all these fancy terms and phrases, yet they often don’t understand or even care about how to apply them correctly. Here, it’s another tool for manipulation. For them, learning means finding ways to justify all of their disturbing thoughts and behaviors, or use the knowledge as a tool against others for personal gain.

They will do anything but accept reality and become a decent person—yet they can play one quite well.

Source: 5 Ways Narcissists Project and Attack You