What is the psychology of evil people
What bad people have in common in terms of character
According to statistical analyzes, various "dark" personality traits such as egoism, moral disinhibition and spitefulness can be traced back to a common D-factor.
This records the general tendency of people to seek their own advantage at the expense of others - and to justify that consciously or unconsciously.
For immoral behavior in everyday life, however, certain circumstances such as opportunities or interpersonal conflicts usually have to be added.
Sometimes people do evil. They cheat, rob, become violent or cause other harm, sometimes for no apparent reason. We see such behavior in the news every day, and the history books are full of examples of horrific acts. So the question arises: Why do people do this?
What drives us to immoral acts has long preoccupied anthropologists, historians, behavioral scientists and other researchers. Psychology also has a lot to say about this. She generally differentiates between more situational, external influences and inherent character factors. Of course, in reality the two always come together: Favorable opportunities such as a chaotic large event invites some to theft or sexual harassment; other acts happen because the emotions of those involved build up in an argument, for example.
This article is included in Brain & Mind 8/2019
However, personal dispositions are always involved, for example the tendency to get out of hand quickly or to act unscrupulously towards others. Certain idiosyncrasies make some people act downright malicious - just think of psychopathy or sadism. Individual characteristics that develop from the interplay of genes and environmental experiences evidently influence the tendency towards immoral acts. But how can they best be captured and described? ...
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