Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

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anjali
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Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by anjali » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:17 pm

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 110841.htm

An extended excerpt:
Egoism, Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, spitefulness, and others are among the traits that stand for the malevolent dark sides of human personality. As results from a recently published German-Danish research project show, these traits share a common 'dark core'. So, if you have one of these tendencies, you are also likely to have one or more of the others.

Both world history and everyday life are full of examples of people acting ruthlessly, maliciously, or selfishly. In psychology as well as in everyday language, we have diverse names for the various dark tendencies human may have, most prominently psychopathy (lack of empathy), narcissism (excessive self-absorption), and Machiavellianism (the belief that the ends justify the means), the so-called 'dark triad', along with many others such as egoism, sadism, or spitefulness.

Although at first glance there appear to be noteworthy differences between these traits -- and it may seem more 'acceptable' to be an egoist than a psychopath -- new research shows that all dark aspects of human personality are very closely linked and are based on the same tendency. That is, most dark traits can be understood as flavoured manifestations of a single common underlying disposition: The dark core of personality. In practice, this implies that if you have a tendency to show one of these dark personality traits, you are also more likely to have a strong tendency to display one or more of the others.

As the new research reveals, the common denominator of all dark traits, the D-factor, can be defined as the general tendency to maximize one's individual utility -- disregarding, accepting, or malevolently provoking disutility for others -- , accompanied by beliefs that serve as justifications.

In other words, all dark traits can be traced back to the general tendency of placing one's own goals and interests over those of others even to the extent of taking pleasure in hurting other's -- along with a host of beliefs that serve as justifications and thus prevent feelings of guilt, shame, or the like. The research shows that dark traits in general can be understood as instances of this common core -- although they may differ in which aspects are predominant (e.g., the justifications-aspect is very strong in narcissism whereas the aspect of malevolently provoking disutility is the main feature of sadism) .

...

The researchers' mapping of the common D-factor, which has just been published in the academic journal Psychological Review, can be compared to how Charles Spearman showed about 100 years ago that people who score highly in one type of intelligence test typically also score highly in other types of intelligence tests, because there is something like a general factor of intelligence.

"In the same way, the dark aspects of human personality also have a common denominator, which means that -- similar to intelligence -- one can say that they are all an expression of the same dispositional tendency," Ingo Zettler explains.
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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:23 am

Heavy.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by anjali » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:08 am

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:23 am
Heavy.
Yeah, I thought so too. I've never heard of the dark triad before, but looking it up, there's a lot of stuff out there on it.

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The takeaway for me was this quote,
As the new research reveals, the common denominator of all dark traits, the D-factor, can be defined as the general tendency to maximize one's individual utility -- disregarding, accepting, or malevolently provoking disutility for others -- , accompanied by beliefs that serve as justifications.
It's interesting that it can be demonstrated that all dark traits stem from this one seed/trait. Basically, it comes down to benefiting one's self at others' expense, and rationalizing it. I think we all know what this is to some degree, both on the giving and receiving end. :evil: :( The dark heart, indeed.

It reminds me of a quote from Shantideva: "All the joy in the world comes from the desire for others' happiness, and all the suffering in the world comes from the desire for one's own happiness."
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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Virgo » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:20 am

anjali wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:08 am


It's interesting that it can be demonstrated that all dark traits stem from this one seed/trait. Basically, it comes down to benefiting one's self at others' expense, and rationalizing it. I think we all know what this is to some degree, both on the giving and receiving end. :evil: :( The dark heart, indeed.
Really it comes down to a lack of empathy, or an inability to feel it, apparently.

There are many people on the spectrum for these disorders, but only some are full blown.

Kevin...

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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by anjali » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:23 am

Virgo wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:20 am
Really it comes down to a lack of empathy, or an inability to feel it, apparently.
I think there may be something different going on here. Just found another recent article on the subject: https://www.livescience.com/63731-perso ... actor.html.
Narcissists, psychopaths and sadists all have something in common: An underlying "dark core" of personality.

Recent research suggests that so-called dark personality traits are all a manifestation of an underlying tendency to put oneself first at the expense of others. This underlying tendency, which researchers are calling the "D-factor," can be measured with a new test...
The test can be taken here: https://qst.darkfactor.org/
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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Meggo » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:19 am

sh*t man whats wrong with people, my rank is 16%
i won't go outside anymore, this world is too dangerous for me....

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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:43 pm

I can't accept that the dark core is hard wired, not completely anyway. I suppose there are those cases where they've found psychopaths and sociopaths have defective portions in their brains. Those cases aside, we all have the dark core, and part of becoming a realized being is to contend with it. The way I understand it, that's what Gautama's battle with Mara conveys.

This confirms the wisdom in practices directed at ameliorating the excesses of ego and cultivating compassion and loving kindness.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Bristollad » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:23 pm

The test seems just as bogus as the various personality profile questionaires. Fun but not to be taken seriously (and if the researchers are then I question the utility of their results).

HInt: if you want a "good" score, never answer with anything other than 0 or 5

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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:18 pm

Bristollad wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:23 pm
The test seems just as bogus as the various personality profile questionaires. Fun but not to be taken seriously (and if the researchers are then I question the utility of their results).

HInt: if you want a "good" score, never answer with anything other than 0 or 5
I found my scores tended to the mid range except moral disengagement, narcissism, entitlement, self centeredness, and spitefulness tended lower mid range. As a percentile, my psychopathy, sadism and humility tended to the high mid range.

Dunno what to make of all that.

:shrug:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Virgo » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:35 pm

anjali wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:23 am
Virgo wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:20 am
Really it comes down to a lack of empathy, or an inability to feel it, apparently.
I think there may be something different going on here. Just found another recent article on the subject: https://www.livescience.com/63731-perso ... actor.html.
Traditionally it is said that people with any of those personality disorders have an inability to feel empathy the way normal people do. More research is being down now into this "d-factor."

Kevin...

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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by boda » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:35 pm

My D factor is 1.8 :twisted:

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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:05 pm

You're an angel.

SPOILER ALERT - IF YOU'RE PLANNING TO TAKE THE TEST AND DON'T WANT TO BE INFLUENCED, DON'T READ BELOW.

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Some of those questions I wasn't sure how to respond. I didn't agree, but at the same time, I don't disagree because it would not occur to me as a question. So I entered "neutral". I guess not disavowing certain sentiments might count as approbation. Also, what is really the difference between "disagree" and "strongly disagree"? You either agree with a statement or you don't. Or are indifferent to the question.

Also, "can" and "may". I can do horrible things. That's just the nature of having agency. "May" I do things? That implies a moral component.

I'm not convinced that the authors of the test were all that savvy in designing the questions.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by anjali » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:38 pm

The thing I've been focusing on in the study is how the researchers have defined the d-factor, at least as presented in the articles, and on the online test page.

An informal, succinct version from one of the articles that seems to capture the essence is, "an underlying tendency to put oneself first at the expense of others." Pretty simple. The researchers define it in terms of maximizing personal benefit (utility) to others' detriment (disutility). Basically, it"s selfishness with a malefic (in the sense of causing harm) bite to it.

If one imagines a Venn diagram of all the dark behaviors, what they have in common, according to the researchers, is a tendency to harm others in the pursuit of personal benefit. That's not actually very surprising. The more self-centered one is, the less one cares for others, and the less one cares for others, the more likely one is to do them harm for selfish reasons. It's a vicious circle.

What's needed is a virtuous circle. Less self-centeredness leads to more caring, more caring leads to more altruism. :)
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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:53 pm

Narcissism-Psychopathy-Machiavellianism...

Metta, Bodhicitta, Upaya?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by anjali » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:58 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:53 pm
Narcissism-Psychopathy-Machiavellianism...

Metta, Bodhicitta, Upaya?
I like that! :twothumbsup:
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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Wayfarer » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:50 pm

It’s actually a sign of the fact that psychology is maturing, that it is starting to cover broader topics of ethical philosophy. One of the traditional formulations of Buddhist training is that the three poisons of hatred, greed and delusion are transformed into their opposites - compassion, renunciation and wisdom. Of course, the subject has to want to pursue that - which I think is the role played by Nibbidā - disgust or weariness of saṃsāra. So really Buddhism provides a roadmap which encompasses these ideas and orientates them in the broader context of the bhavachakra.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:10 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:50 pm
Nibbidā
That's the best part of the Buddha renunciation story... When he has the existential freak out - "EVERYONE'S GOING TO DIE! AND YOU'RE JUST WALKING AROUND LIKE IT'S FINE!"... its the point of adolescence where one realizes everything sucks and the entire wardrobe becomes black.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by The Cicada » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:29 pm

anjali wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:58 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:53 pm
Narcissism-Psychopathy-Machiavellianism...

Metta, Bodhicitta, Upaya?
I like that! :twothumbsup:
I think you devils are onto something. And here we have a duality of what are essentially the same 3 characteristics, but with opposite social values. The unconventional behavior of some masters may simply be them treading upon the territory outside of those dualities for the purpose of inciting awakening in others.

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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by DharmaN00b » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:35 pm

Is it mimicry, the mimicry of apes? That must be the dark core to which we all allude!!? :spy:

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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by anjali » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:03 am

For those interested, here is the link to the authors' webpage on D: http://www.darkfactor.org/
And here is the link to where you can request a preprint of the paper: https://www.cognition.uni-landau.de/hilbig/get.php?p=86
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