Human psyche is an intricate and difficult to detect matter, which psychologists and psychiatrists have always tried to decipher. Scholars have long wondered about the origin of good and evil and today a study may have found the keystone: the dark factor.
Scientists trace the whole of the evil tendencies that characterize the human spirit to three factors, known as the dark triad. These are psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellism, described as the tendency to perform purely utilitarian machinations.
To strengthen this terrible triptych, however, it is possible to find several other components that unbalance human nature towards darkness, such as selfishness and sadism. But what is the origin of such inclinations? Is there a fulcrum from which the propensity to evil originates?
In 2018, a team of German and Danish psychologists identified the origin of human propensity to evil, giving it the haughty name of… the Dark Factor of Personality.
The theoretical mechanisms at the basis of this factor may be associated with another factor, known as the g factor or general intelligence. The latter was theorized by psychologist Charles Spearman, a hundred years ago. These noted that those who obtained high scores at a type of cognitive test were able to achieve significant results in other intellectual tests, confessing the possibility of determining a factor of general intelligence. As for brain capacity meters, past studies have revealed that IQ testing can be improved by practice.
“In the same way, the dark aspects of human personality also have a common denominator. This means that – like intelligence – it is possible to say that they are all expressions of the same dispositional tendency,” said Ingo Zettler, psychologist at the University of Copenhagen.
Zettler and his team interviewed 2,500 study participants, asking questions specifically created to assess the levels and propensity towards the nine dark traits of the human personality. Among these were evaluated selfishness, Machiavellism, moral disengagement, narcissism, psychological law, psychopathy, sadism, self-control, interest and badness.
Once the data were collected, the researchers carried out a statistical study of the results, finding a specific trend. It seems, in fact, that, although distinct and recognizable, the dark traits of personality tend to overlap in individuals precisely because of the factor D which, as the central focus, differs for each person.
In relation to the results, Zettler specifies “In a given person, factor D can manifest itself mainly as narcissism, psychopathy or one of the other dark traits, or a combination of these” and, deepening the work of structuring the behavioural model This is because factor D indicates how likely a person is to engage in behavior associated with one or more of these dark traits.” Researchers are very confident about the potential of this study in relation to understanding and interpreting the evil actions of humans.
The test is very simple: you will have to do nothing but click here and you will be redirected to the website designed by the researchers. Click on “Determine your D-score,” set the Italian language and you can start the test that will measure your dark factor quotient, answering simple questions.
What was the result of your test? Evaluate the dark traits of your personality and, if you like, share the results in the comments. If, however, you wish to know your degree of carelessness, here are the seven questions to understand how wise a person is.