The Light Triad vs. Dark Triad of Personality - Deepstash

The dark triad of personality consists of narcissism (self-importance), Machiavellianism (strategic exploitation and deceit), and psychopathy (callousness and cynicism).

We are all at least a little bit narcissistic, Machiavellian and psychopathic.

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The light side of human nature

The light triad of human nature consists of three distinct factors:

  • Kantianism (treating people for who they are, not as means)
  • Humanism ( valuing the dignity and worth of each person)
  • Faith in humanity (believing in the fundamental goodness of humans)

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The light triad is not simply the opposite of the dark triad. There is a little bit of light and dark in each of us.

A study revealed that the average person is leaning more toward the light triad than the dark in their everyday patterns of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Extreme malevolence is rare in the general population.

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  • In studies, the dark triad was positively correlated with being younger, male, motivated by power, immature defense style, selfishness.
  • The dark triad was negatively correlated with life satisfaction, conscientiousness, agreeableness, values, compassion, empathy, a quiet ego, a belief in the good of people and self.
  • The dark triad positively correlated with utilitarian moral judgment, assertiveness, and the strengths of creativity, bravery, and leadership. There was also a connection between the dark triad and curiosity.

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  • In studies, the light triad was associated with being older, female, less childhood unpredictability, higher levels of religiosity, life satisfaction, fulfillment with their relationships, acceptance of others, belief in the good of others and self, empathy, enthusiasm, having a quiet ego.
  • Character strengths include curiosity, perspective, zest, love, kindness, teamwork, forgiveness, and gratitude.
  • Persons scoring high on the light triad actively seek to grow and learn (where the dark side embrace and deprive). They reported more competence, and autonomy.
  • The light triad was negatively correlated with the motives for achievement.
  • They are potentially more open to exploitation and emotional manipulation from those who score higher on the dark triad.

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