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The Dark Factor of Personality

Morten Moshagen, Benjamin Hilbig, and Ingo Zettler: D — the tendency to maximize one’s own outcomes at a cost to others, while holding beliefs that justify those harmful behaviors — underlies all dark traits and represents their common psychological core. Thus, instead of saying that someone is an amoral, egoistic, narcissistic psychopath who selfishly acts according to her or his own interests and, in doing so, engages in sadistic and spiteful behaviors, we may just say that this person is at a high D level. What is more, every specific dark trait — narcissism, psychopathy, spitefulness, greed, and so on — is essentially a flavored variant of D. Dark traits largely differ with respect to the emphasis they place on the main characteristics of D.

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