Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

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TharpaChodron
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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by TharpaChodron » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:27 am

Queequeg wrote:
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.
Agreed. And throw in some attachment theory 101, to boot. When the basic need for security isn't found in primary caregivers, children have to meet their own needs and the desire for safety may be satisfied in an egotistic way. Doesn't explain all the spoiled, exploitative behavior of some, but I think it does have a correlation.

Crazywisdom
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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Crazywisdom » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:39 pm

anjali wrote:
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.

Image

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."
So it’s individualism, i.e. the American ethos. Very strong condemnation of New World culture.
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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Crazywisdom » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:46 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
The test is BS. Questions reveal a bias and someone can easily answer with what is obviously seen by examiners as the “good guy” answer. If one feels particularly guilty one could easily steer oneself into an extreme reading. They would have revamp the MMPI to detect for these factors clandestinely.
Last edited by Crazywisdom on Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Crazywisdom » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:49 pm

anjali wrote:
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. :)
Is it possible to maximize one’s individual utility but not at the expense of others?
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anjali
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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by anjali » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:08 pm

Crazywisdom wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:49 pm
Is it possible to maximize one’s individual utility but not at the expense of others?
Good question. In doing a little background research when looking into this D stuff, I came across the notion of Ethical egoism, defined as, "the normative ethical position that moral agents ought to do what is in their own self-interest."

Here is a quote from that page relevant to your question,
Ethical egoism does not, however, require moral agents to harm the interests and well-being of others when making moral deliberation; e.g. what is in an agent's self-interest may be incidentally detrimental, beneficial, or neutral in its effect on others. Individualism allows for others' interest and well-being to be disregarded or not, as long as what is chosen is efficacious in satisfying the self-interest of the agent. Nor does ethical egoism necessarily entail that, in pursuing self-interest, one ought always to do what one wants to do; e.g. in the long term, the fulfillment of short-term desires may prove detrimental to the self.
Also, from here, I found this quote which seems reasonable, if one subscribes the view of ethical egoism,
Ethical egoism is often equated with selfishness, the disregard of others’ interests in favor of one’s own interests. However, ethical egoism cannot be coherently equated with selfishness because it is often in one’s self-interest to help others or to refrain from harming them.
So, it seems that maximizing one's utility very much depends on what one believes to be in one's self-interest.

Interestingly, the wikipedia quote alo gets at your post of individualism. Personally, I've always thought of (American) individualism as the view that one should make one's own way and be as self-sufficient as possible. That view seems to come close to the wikipedia entry on individualism.
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance and advocate that interests of the individual should achieve precedence over the state or a social group, while opposing external interference upon one's own interests by society or institutions such as the government. Individualism is often defined in contrast to totalitarianism, collectivism, and more corporate social forms.
Just as self-interest doesn't necessarily imply selfishness, individualism doesn't necessarily imply selfishness either--especially the kind of toxic selfishness the authors of D discuss.

I'm not well read in ethics or psychology. This is all just how it seems to me based on some preliminary readings.
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Crazywisdom
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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by Crazywisdom » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:17 pm

anjali wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:08 pm
Crazywisdom wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:49 pm
Is it possible to maximize one’s individual utility but not at the expense of others?
Good question. In doing a little background research when looking into this D stuff, I came across the notion of Ethical egoism, defined as, "the normative ethical position that moral agents ought to do what is in their own self-interest."

Here is a quote from that page relevant to your question,
Ethical egoism does not, however, require moral agents to harm the interests and well-being of others when making moral deliberation; e.g. what is in an agent's self-interest may be incidentally detrimental, beneficial, or neutral in its effect on others. Individualism allows for others' interest and well-being to be disregarded or not, as long as what is chosen is efficacious in satisfying the self-interest of the agent. Nor does ethical egoism necessarily entail that, in pursuing self-interest, one ought always to do what one wants to do; e.g. in the long term, the fulfillment of short-term desires may prove detrimental to the self.
Also, from here, I found this quote which seems reasonable, if one subscribes the view of ethical egoism,
Ethical egoism is often equated with selfishness, the disregard of others’ interests in favor of one’s own interests. However, ethical egoism cannot be coherently equated with selfishness because it is often in one’s self-interest to help others or to refrain from harming them.
So, it seems that maximizing one's utility very much depends on what one believes to be in one's self-interest.

Interestingly, the wikipedia quote alo gets at your post of individualism. Personally, I've always thought of (American) individualism as the view that one should make one's own way and be as self-sufficient as possible. That view seems to come close to the wikipedia entry on individualism.
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance and advocate that interests of the individual should achieve precedence over the state or a social group, while opposing external interference upon one's own interests by society or institutions such as the government. Individualism is often defined in contrast to totalitarianism, collectivism, and more corporate social forms.
Just as self-interest doesn't necessarily imply selfishness, individualism doesn't necessarily imply selfishness either--especially the kind of toxic selfishness the authors of D discuss.

I'm not well read in ethics or psychology. This is all just how it seems to me based on some preliminary readings.
This is good. Thank you.
I got my Chili Chilaya.

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Re: Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'

Post by anjali » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:22 pm

Crazywisdom wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:17 pm
This is good. Thank you.
:cheers:
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