Why is this evil sadistic

psychology Dark factor: all evil has the same core

Egoists, narcissists, sadists: they have more in common than you think. Researchers at the universities of Koblenz-Landau, Ulm and Copenhagen have researched the common core of these difficult personality traits and summarized it as the so-called "dark factor": the dark side of the personality, the common core of many difficult personality traits.

Egoism, spite, Machiavellianism, moral disinhibition, narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, self-centeredness and exaggerated pretension - their common core, which the researchers call the "D factor" for short, describes an extreme form of individual benefit maximization, the "walking over corpses" : When people put their own benefit above everything else, accepting damage for others or society and justifying this to themselves.

Morten Moshagen, who heads the "Psychological Research Methods" department at Ulm University, summarizes the results of the study.

The core part of this dark factor of personality is an exaggerated egoism that has negative effects on others or on society in general. This is accompanied by beliefs that prevent feelings of guilt, remorse and moral scruples.

Prof. Morten Mortenshagen

Dark factor analysis instead of individual questionnaires

So far, people with such personality disorders have been analyzed and diagnosed in elaborate questionnaires. In the opinion of Professor Benjamin Hilbig from the University of Koblenz-Landau and his colleagues, these are not even necessary, as many of these properties differ relatively little, as their joint study with 2,500 test persons shows. In addition to questionnaires, the behavior of the test subjects was also examined in game situations, such as in the "dictator game", in which participants can distribute money to themselves and strangers.

Who needs the D factor ?!

But where is the knowledge about the D-factor useful? Professor Morten Moshagen, for example, evaluates the D-factor as an indicator for predicting selfish and dishonest behavior: "To put it bluntly, one could say that when a boss gleefully cleanses his employees down, the probability is high that he will also take advantage of business partners, evade taxes or his wife is cheating. " Knowing about the difficult behavior of a person can also be useful when selecting personnel in companies that are looking for people with certain personality traits.