Are all narcissists cruel

Cologne. -

Psychopaths cannot empathize with other people - they lack empathy. They often lack a conscience. Reviewers have also diagnosed psychopathic, sadistic, or narcissistic personality traits in known serial killers.

It is their cruel deeds that stunned us and left us wondering how people can be so brutal, so unscrupulous, so angry. Like serial killer Ted Bundy, who killed at least 30 women in the 1970s. He tortured, raped, stabbed, strangled or killed his victims. His lawyer Polly Nelson says of him: "Ted was the embodiment of heartless evil." As different as sadists, narcissists, egoists or psychopaths are, they have one thing in common: the dark factor.

Dark-Factor: Exaggerated egoism common trait

Scientists from the Universities of Ulm, Koblenz-Landau and Copenhagen interviewed more than 2500 people in a study in order to be able to grasp particular personality in a structured manner. In an online questionnaire everyone can determine whether there is a dark core in them.

"The core component of this dark factor in personality is an exaggerated egoism that has negative effects on others or on society in general," explains Morten Moshagen from Ulm University. Such people do not know guilt, remorse or moral scruples.

Egoists, narcissists, psychopaths - personal benefit is the drive

The psychologists assume that bad people want to increase their own benefit at all costs. That means: you intentionally harm other people or willingly accept that another person will be harmed. You justify this behavior to yourself and to others.

Egoism, narcissism, hatefulness, psychopathy, sadism, moral disinhibition, self-centeredness, exaggerated claims and Machiavellianism: someone with a Machiavellian personality disregards common moral concepts, manipulates other people and exploits them. Morten Moshagen, Ingo Zettler and Benjamin E. Hilbig found that all of these personality traits can be traced back to a dark core.

Those who are bad are more likely to become criminals

A high dark factor can manifest itself in a wide variety of problematic behaviors. "To put it bluntly, you could say that if a boss gleefully cleans up his employees, the probability is high that he will also take advantage of his business partners, evade taxes or cheat on his wife," says Moshagen. The D-Factor is well suited to predict selfish and dishonest behavior, explains Zettler. According to the study, people with a high D-factor are more likely to become violent, criminal, or break social rules.

Erin Buckels, Daniel Jones and Delroy Paulhus from the University of British Columbia and the University of Texas found in a study that certain personality traits are particularly common in executives. People with these characteristics are very self-centered and emotionally cold. This includes psychopaths who behave extremely recklessly, without a guilty conscience.

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How to protect yourself from bad behavior

The point at which a person is a psychopath is measured scientifically using the "Psychopathy Checklist" (PCL), for example, criteria such as a lack of empathy or superficial charm are assessed. Anyone who meets 75 percent of these characteristics is classified as a psychopath.

According to expert opinion, it is important to set boundaries and speak to them about their behavior in people who exhibit such bad behavior. It is also good not to enter into intimate relationships with selfish and narcissistic people who only have their own benefit in mind. (rha)