Posted in Adultification, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, Empath, Enabler, Machiavellianism, Oedipus Complex, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Projection, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS, Sociopath

Boundaries and Dysfunctional Family Systems

A boundary is a barrier; something that separates two things. Walls, fences and cell membranes are examples of physical boundaries. Psychological boundaries can be said to exist too, even though such boundaries have no physical reality. Psychological boundaries are constructed of ideas, perceptions, beliefs and understandings that enable people to define not only their social group memberships, but also their own self-concepts and identities. Such boundaries are the basis by which people distinguish between “We” or “I” (group members; insiders; part of “Us”) and “Other” (outsiders and examples of what is “not-self”). Each person can be said to have a psychological identity boundary around themselves by which they distinguish themselves from other people. Like other boundaries, this identity boundary both separates people and also defines how they are linked together. This is to say that the act of drawing the boundary itself provides the basis for saying that one person is separate from another psychologically, but does so only by drawing a distinction between those two people, which implies a relationship, never the less. Self cannot exist without also “Not-self” existing, just as figure cannot exist without ground against which to contrast. Identity necessarily includes social relationships which are built into the self to varying degrees.

Posted in Adultification, Alienation, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, Machiavellianism, Malignant Narcissism, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), Oedipus Complex, Pathological Lying, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Projection, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS, Sociopath

Anger: An emotional driver of revenge

Aggression often occurs in response to some frustration (Berkowitz, 1989). However, aggressive revenge, more specifically, is thought to be driven by negative affects such as anger in response to some transgression (Harmon‐Jones & Sigelman, 2001). Anger is experienced as an unpleasant emotional state often associated with the approach motivational system (Harmon‐Jones, 2004; Harmon‐Jones, Schmeichel, Mennitt, & Harmon‐Jones, 2011; Threadgill & Gable, 2019a). Approach motivation, or the impetus to move toward some goal or object, is a fundamental dimension of affective states (Gable, Neal, & Threadgill, 2018; Gable, Threadgill, & Adams, 2016; Harmon‐Jones, Harmon‐Jones, & Price, 2013; Pizzagalli, Sherwood, Henriques, & Davidson, 2005; Ridderinkhof, 2017; Threadgill & Gable, 2018a2019b). Much research has associated anger with approach motivation (for review, see Carver & Harmon‐Jones, 2009). For example, anger is associated with approach‐motivated urges (Dollard, Miller, Doob, Mowrer, & Sears, 1939; Harmon‐Jones, Price, Peterson, Gable, & Harmon‐Jones, 2013), approach‐oriented patterns of physiological responses (Jameison, Koslov, Nock, & Mendes, 2012) and relates to more approach‐motivated traits such as self‐assurance, strength, and bravery (Izard, 1991; Lerner & Keltner, 2001). Moreover, neural regions associated with approach motivation are activated during situational anger (see Gable & Poole, 2014; Gable, Poole, & Harmon‐Jones, 2015; Harmon‐Jones & Gable, 2018, for a review).

Past work has suggested that retaliatory aggression can be approach‐motivated. Harmon‐Jones and Sigelman (2001) found that, after an insult, participants who had greater left frontal alpha asymmetry, a neural correlate of approach motivation, engaged in more aggressive behavior. In contrast, participants who were led to believe that they could not act on their anger by taking actions to resolve an anger‐inducing event showed less left frontal alpha asymmetry than those who did expect to be able to resolve an anger‐inducing event (Harmon‐Jones, Sigelman, Bohlig, & Harmon‐Jones, 2003), suggesting that the ability to rectify an angering‐situation is approach‐motivating.

Other work has shown that participants rate aggressive responses after being provoked as more pleasurable than unjustified aggression (Ramirez, Bonniot‐Cabanac, & Cabanac, 2005). Chester et al. (2016) found that greater sensation‐seeking mediated the relationship between dopamine receptor gene polymorphisms (which is associated with reward seeking behaviors) and previous history of aggression. Additionally, retaliatory behaviors are associated with activity in the ventral striatum, a key component of the reward system in the brain (Chester & DeWall, 2018). Together, this work suggests that approach‐motivated anger is related to both aggressive behaviors and the experience of positive emotions, such as pleasure after aggression.

Based on this past work, an important next step in understanding revenge is to examine how anger impacts the experience of winning the opportunity for revenge. It seems likely that simply winning the opportunity for revenge may elicit emotional responses similar to the pleasant feelings elicited by partaking in revengeful behaviors. No past work has examined how anger impacts the rapid neural reactions to winning the opportunity to partake in revenge‐seeking behaviors. Therefore, we conducted two studies in which participants were made angry by an ostensible aggressor. Participants then engaged in a novel aggression paradigm where, on some trials, they were able to seek revenge against the offending individual, while, on other trials, participants simply beat their opponent in a reaction time game. The present studies sought to shed light on transitory reactions to winning the opportunity to seek revenge against a transgressor. To examine these momentary reactions to winning the ability to get revenge toward an angering situation, we examined the reward positivity (RewP), an ERP component that evaluates outcomes as either positive or negative.


Cyber bullying

Cyberbullying  Cyber bullying was measured using Griezel, Finger, Bodkin-Andrews, Craven, and Yeung’s (2012) Revised Adolescent Peer Relations Instrument (RAPRI). The RAPRI is 26 items and measures cyber bullying from both the bully’s and target’s perspectives. Only the 13 items (2 subscales) that measure the bully’s perspective were included. These subscales included visual-based cyber bullying (5 items, e.g., ‘‘In the past year at this school, I used a mobile phone to send other students a video of a student I knew would embarrass them’’) and text-based cyber bullying (8 items, e.g., ‘‘In the past year at this school, I wrote nasty things about a student on a profile page’’). Participants responded using a 6-point format ranging from 1 (never) to 6 (every day). Griezel et al. (2012) report evidence for the structural validity of the scale. In this study, the visual (a = .84, M = 8.93, SD = 4.29) and text (a = .87, M = 11.34,SD = 5.13) cyber bullying subscales performed reliably.


The personality profile of a cyberbully: Examining the Dark Triad

Unequivocally, various forms of bullying (e.g., physical, verbal,relational, damage to property,etc.) pose a serious problem for students and society in general (Gladden, Vivolo-Kantor, Hamburger,& Lumpkin, 2014; Smith & Brain, 2000). Thankfully, bullying is becoming less accepted as a ‘‘normal part of childhood’’ and instead, is now being addressed by schools as a considerable threat(Limber & Small, 2003). Because of the harmful consequences of bullying, personality researchers frequently examine and explain the bullying problem, in part, as a manifestation of individual differences (e.g., Mynard & Joseph, 1997; Sutton & Keogh, 2000; Tani,Greenman, Schneider, & Fregoso, 2003). One form of bullying,cyber bullying, is particularly problematic because as schools, parents, and communities attempt to combat it, perpetrators find new and creative ways to victimize others through the use of evolving technologies (e.g., new cell phone apps, social networking websites, messaging programs). As Menesini and Spiel (2012)pointed out, ‘‘although some consistent findings have been reached so far, there is still a lack of knowledge about developmental processes of cyber bullying and on possible predictors and correlates,such as personality’’ (p. 164). Therefore, the current study examined cyber bullying behavior as an expression of undesirable personality traits (i.e., the Dark Triad)


Dark Triad, misconduct, and high-stakes deception

The Dark Triad(Paulhus & Williams2002) is a cluster of three related yet distinct personality traits: sub-clinical psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism. Psychopathyis defined by behaviors such as impulsivity, callous indifference, and low empathy (Hare, 1985). Narcissism is characterized by feelings of grandiosity, vanity and a sense of entitlement (Raskin & Hall 1979). Lastly, Machiavellianism is epitomized by emotional coldness and manipulativeness (Christie & Geis,1970). Given the socially malevolent tendencies that characterize the Dark Triad traits,there is,understandably,an interest in their behavioral implications. Specifically, it seems salient to determine whether these dark variables are associated with equally dark actions, and particularly whether they are predictive of enacted misconduct and a tendency to engage in high-stakes deception.


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.