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The Light Triad vs. Dark Triad of Personality

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Light Triad vs. Dark Triad of Personality

The Light Triad vs. Dark Triad of Personality

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/the-light-triad-vs-dark-triad-of-personality/

blogs.scientificamerican.com

5

Key Ideas

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 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)

Positive and negative aspects of our dark side

  • 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.

Positive and negative aspects of the light triad

  • 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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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.

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Light And Dark Triads

Our personalities have two distinct triads: The Light Triad and The Dark Triad. The dark ones sometimes overlap with the light ones to form a complete personality.

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:

  • Machiavellianism: A tendency to strategically exploit or deceive other people.
  • 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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Two central motivations in life: happiness and meaning
Two central motivations in life: happiness and meaning

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
  • Happiness has more to do with getting what you want and feeling good.
  • 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.