How To Detect Each Of The 9 Dark Personality Types Recognized By Psychologists

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Most of us keep asking how do some people have the capacity to impose harm on others. We can’t explain this phenomena and immediately put them in another category of evil.

People tend to do everything under their power to improve themselves and be the lovable beings that they could possibly be, yet there are still some who seem to do the opposite.

Their view on humanity is far different. They can impose harm to others as simple as brushing their teeth.

These people who we call evil or twisted, may belong to what psychologists refer to as the D factor personality types.

A General Dark Factor of Personality or D factor is said to exist within a person and tells the extent of that person’s dark traits that are ethically, morally, and socially questionable.

The D factor is defined as the tendency to maximize one’s own utility at the expense of others, accompanied by beliefs that serve as justification for one’s malevolent behaviors. 

But how to tell if a person has a D factor personality? Scientists from the Ulm University, University of Koblenz Landau, and the University of Copenhagen proposed an idea.

They suggested that the degree of a person’s malevolence can be measured by the same way the intelligence factor is measured.

The D factor works in the same way. Anyone who scores high on a single dark trait also scores high on several other dark traits.

This leads psychologists to suggest that darkness has a common core in humanity and that those dark traits are related to a deeper core.

In identifying the D factor personality, the scientists administered 9 different tests across 4 studies, which focused on the dark traits derived from the psychological literature.

The following are the D factor personality traits as defined by psychologists, along with the Dark Core Scale test designed by psychologist Scott Barry Kauffman.

How To Detect Each Of The 9 Dark Personality Types:the-9-dark-personality-types-psychologists

1. Egoism.

Egoism is the excessive concern with one’s own pleasure or advantage at the expense of community well being.

People who fall into this category disregard the feelings of others as long as they’re happy.

Dark Core Scale: It is hard to get ahead without cutting corners here and there.

2. Machiavellianism.

Machiavellianism is characterized by manipulativeness, callous affect, and a strategic calculating orientation.

These people are found mostly in the corporate environment. They manipulate people to get what they want, like putting others down in order to put themselves up.

Dark Core Scale: I like to use clever manipulation to get my way.

3. Moral Disengagement.

A generalized cognitive orientation to the world that differentiates individuals’ thinking in a way that powerfully affects unethical behavior.

In most cases, these people will rationalize that other people made them do nasty things.

Dark Core Scale: People who get mistreated have usually done something to bring it on themselves.

4. Narcissism.

Ego reinforcement is the all consuming motive.

Narcissists love only themselves and see only their needs.

Dark Core Scale:  I know that I am special because everyone keeps telling me so.

5. Psychological Entitlement.

A stable and pervasive sense that one deserves more and is entitled to more than others.

These people have a crooked belief that the world owes them something. Thus, they believe they deserve more than what they get.

Dark Core Scale: I honestly feel I’m just more deserving than others.

6. Psychopathy.

Deficits in affect and self control, or impulsivity.

Psychopathy is one trait that is hard to spot because psychopaths may appear normal and charming outside yet manipulative and lack sympathy inside.

Dark Core Scale: I’ll say anything to get what I want.

7. Sadism.

A person who humiliates others, shows a longstanding pattern of cruel or demeaning behavior to others, or intentionally inflicts physical, sexual, or psychological pain or suffering on others in order to assert power and dominance or for pleasure and enjoyment.

Sadists use people as tools in getting what they want. And worst, they find pleasure in seeing the suffering of others.

Dark Core Scale: Hurting people would be exciting.

8. Self Interest.

The pursuit of gains in socially valued domains, including material goods, social status, recognition, academic or occupational achievement, and happiness.

As the name derives, people who are focused only on their own self interests consider things only for their own advantage and make decisions based on what’s best for them without including other people in the picture.

Dark Core Scale: I try to make sure others know about my successes.

9. Spitefulness.

A preference that would harm another but that would also entail harm to oneself. This harm could be social, financial, physical, or an inconvenience.

People who are spiteful are full of hatred in their hearts and derive happiness in seeing the misery of others. They don’t care if they suffer in certain situations as long as they see that other people suffer more than they do.

Dark Core Scale: It is sometimes worth a little suffering on my part to see others receive the punishment they deserve.

When you agree on more items in the Dark Core Scale, it’s likely that you’d score high in the D factor test. Agreeing only on one or two means you’d score low.