Study Suggests ‘Dark Core’ Underlies Malign Character Traits

The quotdark corequot of humanity Studies show that psychopaths narcissists sadists and others share a common personality factor

’A new Danish-German study suggests that all malevolent aspects of the human personality, including narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, spitefulness and others, appear to share a common “dark core” and are essentially just flavored manifestations of a single common underlying disposition: extreme selfishness.

According to the theory, if you have a tendency to show one dark personality trait, you are more likely to display others.

The common denominator of these traits, known as the dark core factor or “D-factor,” can be defined as the general tendency to maximize one’s own benefit over the benefit of others. This often includes creating justifications for one’s own hurtful actions and thus avoiding any feelings of guilt, regret or shame; or disregarding, accepting, or even malevolently provoking disadvantage for others.

In the journal Psychological Review, researchers Dr. Ingo Zettler, Professor of Psychology at the University of Copenhagen, and two German colleagues, Drs. Morten Moshagen from Ulm University and Benjamin E. Hilbig from the University of Koblenz-Landau, demonstrate how the D-factor is present in nine of the most commonly studied dark personality traits:

  • Egoism: an excessive preoccupation with one’s own advantage at the expense of others and the community;
  • Machiavellianism: a manipulative, callous attitude and a belief that the ends justify the means;
  • Moral disengagement: cognitive processing style that allows behaving unethically without feeling distress;
  • Narcissism: excessive self-absorption, a sense of superiority, and an extreme need for attention from others;
  • Psychological entitlement: a recurring belief that one is better than others and deserves better treatment;
  • Psychopathy: lack of empathy and self-control, combined with impulsive behavior;
  • Sadism: a desire to inflict mental or physical harm on others for one’s own pleasure or to benefit oneself;
  • Self-interest: a desire to further and highlight one’s own social and financial status;
  • Spitefulness: destructiveness and willingness to cause harm to others, even if one harms oneself in the process.…’

Via Psych Central