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The Dark Core of Personality

"Indifference of the indicator"

"Indifference of the indicator"

Over 100 years ago, Charles Spearman made discoveries about human intelligence. One is that the general factor of intelligence (g-factor) conforms to the principle of the "indifference of the indicator," meaning that regardless of what test of intelligence you use, as long as the intelligence test is difficult and long enough, you can reliably measure a person's intelligence.

A new study suggests the same principle applies to human malignancy. The General Dark Factor of Personality (D-factor) conforms to the principle of "indifference of the indicator."

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Dark Core of Personality

The Dark Core of Personality

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/the-dark-core-of-personality/

blogs.scientificamerican.com

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Key Ideas

"Indifference of the indicator"

Over 100 years ago, Charles Spearman made discoveries about human intelligence. One is that the general factor of intelligence (g-factor) conforms to the principle of the "indifference of the indicator," meaning that regardless of what test of intelligence you use, as long as the intelligence test is difficult and long enough, you can reliably measure a person's intelligence.

A new study suggests the same principle applies to human malignancy. The General Dark Factor of Personality (D-factor) conforms to the principle of "indifference of the indicator."

The dark traits of personality

We all know people who consistently display ethically, morally and socially unreasonable behavior. Personality psychologists refer to these characteristics as "dark traits."

Researchers emphasize that these dark traits are related to each other, so they suggest that a D-factor exists. This is defined as the basic tendency to maximize one's own goal at the expense of others, and believing that one's malicious behaviors are justified.

Scoring high on the Dark factor

  • Those who score high on the D-factor aren't always uncooperative, as they can be very strategic in choosing when to cooperate.
  • Those scoring high on the D-factor will not be motivated to help others in need without it benefiting themselves.

Traits of the Dark factor

  • Egoism. Excessive concern with one's own advantage at the expense of the wellbeing of others.
  • Machiavellianism. A callous person that's so focused on their own interests that they will manipulate and deceive to get what they want.
  • Moral Disengagement. Behaving as if ethical standards don't apply to oneself.
  • Narcissism. All-consuming desire for ego reinforcement.
  • Psychological Entitlement. Thinking that one is entitled to more than others are.
  • Psychopathy. Display a lack of self-control, is callous, and impulsive.
  • Sadism. Intentionally causing physical, sexual, or psychological pain on others to assert dominance or for enjoyment.
  • Self-interest. Chasing after socially valued domains, including material goods, social status, recognition, academic or occupational achievement.
  • Spitefulness. Doing something that will harm others even though it means harm to oneself. It could be social, financial, physical, or an inconvenience.

Your Dark Core Score

The more you agree with multiple items on this scale, the higher the likelihood you would score high on the D-factor. If you are strong on just one item, you probably will not score high on the D-factor:

  1. It is hard to get ahead without cutting corners here and there.
  2. I like to use clever manipulation to get my way.
  3. People who get mistreated have usually done something to bring it on themselves.
  4. I know that I am special because everyone keeps telling me so.
  5. I honestly feel I deserve more than others.
  6. I'll say anything to get what I want.
  7. Hurting people would be exciting.
  8. I try to make sure others know about my successes.
  9. It is sometimes worth a little suffering on my part to see others receive the punishment they deserve.

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

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The dark triad of personality

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.

The average person displays both triads

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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The Dark Triad, which is associated with the Seven Deadly Sins (Lust, Anger, Greed, Sloth, Gluttony, Pride and Envy) seems to be very fascinating, with many researchers drawn towards it just like viewers are drawn to serial-killer shows and murder mysteries.

The Dark Area Of Our Personalities

There are certain personality traits in literature that fall under the Dark Triad:

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  • Subclinical Narcissism: It means focusing towards the self, giving oneself entitlement and importance.
  • Subclinical Psychopathy: A tendency to be insensitive and cruel with regards to others.

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  1. Continued appreciations of the same objects, events and circumstances.
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Self-Actualization: From Darkness To Light

Self-Actualization is an internal struggle that one must take by leaning towards stability and our higher goals while minimizing disruption from distracting thoughts and impulses (disruptive impulsivity).

One also has to look out for oneself to not fall in the dark abyss of negativity and doubt, apart from feeling directionless or meaningless.

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Openness to Experience

It describes people who enjoy the arts and new experiences. Possible facets:

  • Fantasy: they have a vivid imagination
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Conscientiousness

People that score high on this are organized, methodical and tend to keep going and going. Possible facets:

  • Competence: they complete tasks successfully
  • Order: they like order
  • Dutifulness: the follow the rules
  • Achievement-striving: they work hard
  • Self-discipline: they get chores done right away
  • Deliberation: they avoid mistakes.

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Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner described nine different types of intelligence in his book Frames Of Mind: The Theory Of Multiple Intelligences.

Each ‘type’ of intellig...

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There are people who find nature to be meditative and feel closely connected to trees, rivers and flowers. The natural elements around them like the clouds and the universe attracts them.

They make great astronomers, botanists, geologists and landscape architects.

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Some people love interacting with friends, family and colleagues. They understand body language, and communicate better and are sensitive to others feelings, perspectives and viewpoints. This super-important intelligence type can be applied to most careers.

Interpersonal Intelligence types can have great careers as managers, psychologists, teachers and social workers.

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Recently, six traits were identified that are consistently linked to workplace success: Conscientiousness, adjustment, ambiguity acceptance, curiosity, courage, and competitiveness.

Each trait may have drawbacks at extremes. The relative importance of each trait will be determined by the job you are doing. Knowing the traits can also aid in personal development so that you can identify your own strengths and weaknesses and the ways you may account for them.

Conscientiousness

Conscientious people are committed to plans and ensure they carry them out accurately. They consider the wisdom of their decisions for the long-term.

They are essential for strategic planning but can be too rigid.

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Values are a part of us. They highlight what we stand for. Values guide our behavior, providing us with a personal code of conduct.

When we honor our personal core values consistently,...

Personal Values and Behavior

Knowing your personal values changes your behavior.

For instance: When you value health, you don’t have to wrestle with managing impulse control as much. If you know a particular food or activity isn’t good for your body, you don’t want it.

Create meaningful core values
  1. Start with a beginner’s mind, someone with no preconceived notions of what is.
  2. Create your list of personal values. 
  3. Chunk your personal values into related groups. 
  4. Highlight the central theme of each value group. 
  5. Determine your top Personal Core Values. Whittle your list down to 5 - 10 core values and rank them in order of importance.
  6. Give your personal values richer context. Highlight values into memorable phrases or sentences.
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Happiness and meaning are two main motivations in life. Research suggests that happiness and meaning are strongly correlated and often feed off each other.

Describing happiness and meaning
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  • Meaning has two major components: The cognitive processing component involves making sense of your experiences. The purpose component is motivational and consists of pursuing long-term goals that reflect one's identity. Meaning is related to activities such as developing and expressing the self, and consciously integrating one's past, present, and future experiences.
How to create meaning

While happiness satisfies the moment, avoiding negative thoughts and feelings may interfere with your personal development. Personal development relies on experiencing both positive and negative emotions. In contrast, two measures of meaning were positively associated with adaptation:

  • Cognitive processing. It is strongly related to grit (passion and perseverance).
  • Self-distancing. It is strongly related to gratitude and well-being. It seems that creating meaning is adaptive if one can maintain a third-person perspective of detachment.

Ultimately, well-being consists of both happiness and meaning. People are happiest when they pursue meaningful activities.