2014 August 23 Saturday
Dark Triad Traits And Relationship Preferences

The Dark Triad personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism.

Specifically, narcissism was uniquely correlated with preferences for one-night stands and friends-with-benefits and psychopathy was uniquely correlated with preferences for booty-call relationships. Both narcissism and psychopathy were negatively correlated with preferences for serious romantic relationships.

Narcissists can be bothered to develop friendships to the point where friends-with-benefits becomes possible. Psychopaths don't want that much overhead. A booty call relationship where contact is only initiated when horny doesn't include much contact beyond the booty call.

What I want to know: Are the Dark Triad traits being selected for in industrialized societies?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 August 23 11:32 PM 


Comments
Florida resident said at August 24, 2014 7:56 AM:

Dear Mr. Parker:
I actually read "The Prince" by Machiavelli.
It is quite technocratic book about political techniques.
If you want to claim that
the very existence of any ruling elites is bad,
just say so.
A friend of mine taught me the saying
"Life is awful. But consider the alternative".
Machiavelli's technical advice is about technique of ruling,
not about goals of ruling.
Respectfully, F.r.

Florida resident said at August 24, 2014 8:00 AM:

By the way, here is Amazon, $0.01 + $3.99 S&H :
http://www.amazon.com/Prince-Dover-Thrift-Editions/dp/0486272745/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408891696&sr=1-2&keywords=Machiavelli

Wolf-Dog said at August 24, 2014 11:49 AM:

Florida Resident said: "Machiavelli's technical advice is about technique of ruling, not about goals of ruling."

----

In other words, Machiavelli's book is an amoral book. In fact, Machiavelli presented this book with the full knowledge that it will more often than not used for selfish goals, and his own goal was to benefit from making this knowledge available to those who would pay him for his services.

///////////////////////

Randall Parker asked: " Are the Dark Triad traits being selected for in industrialized societies? "

----

To be more exact, instead of using the term "industrialized society", maybe you should have used the term "wealthier societies". For example, Wall Street is not so industrialized, although it uses very advanced computers and hires a lot of scientists and engineers for endeavors that are not intended to manufacture anything.

In many non-industrialized societies there is a lot less need for Machiavellian thinking to gain an advantage, and there is less room for narcissism to flourish. Therefore it seems that industrialized societies are less likely to select the Dark Triad traits. In fact, some societies who value honor as the most important commodity, would ostracize Machiavellian or even narcissistic members, although I would concede that these societies are endangered species. Circassians might be one possible example of such traditional groups.

Wolf-Dog said at August 24, 2014 12:23 PM:

Typographical error: Of course, I meant to write that non-industrialized societies are less likely to select for the the Dark Triad, not the industrialized societies.

James Bowery said at August 24, 2014 12:59 PM:

As everyone who isn't anaziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews knows, genes are not a significant influence on behavior and even if they were, civilization's selective pressures are in the direction away from what Freud called its "discontents" and toward a more "civilized" man and what Pinker called "better angels".

Departure from the above normative thought may lead you to believe that my advocating said normative thought is a result of my having been selected for the dark triad and, as a consequence, promoting above normative thought so as to keep my food supply more accessible and less likely to kill me and those like me whoa are, after all, members of my most civilized tribe.

Florida resident said at August 24, 2014 1:54 PM:

Dear Wolf-Dog:
Have you read "The Prince" by Machiavelli ?
If you have, I am interested to hear
what particular parts (chapters, pages) of it do you deem amoral.
Your F.r.

Wolf-Dog said at August 24, 2014 4:57 PM:

Florida Resident,

I do have a copy of "The Prince" by Machiavelli, but let me clarify my own terminology first. It seems that on many occasions, the meanings of the words 'amoral' and 'immoral' are confused.

The word 'amoral' is generally used to mean: " having or showing no concern about whether behavior is morally right or wrong ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/amoral ),

whereas the word 'immoral' usually means: "not morally good or right : morally evil or wrong ".
( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/immoral ).

In other words, Machiavelli merely sold his research project to ambitious people who were in pursuit of power, as a service in exchange for some recognition or reward, even though he did not say that the techniques in the book should be used for malevolent purposes.
In this sense, although Machiavelli's book is not necessarily immoral, it is surely amoral because it is written as a recipe that is designed to attain power.

Wolf-Dog said at August 24, 2014 5:14 PM:

James Bowery said: "As everyone who isn't anaziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews knows, genes are not a significant influence on behavior and even if they were, civilization's selective pressures are in the direction away from what Freud called its "discontents" and toward a more "civilized" man and what Pinker called "better angels".

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Theories about social behavior can be genetically selected, do not imply moral equivalence with racist political parties that persecute people on the basis of such theories. Randall Parker might one day be proven wrong, but it is a reasonable question to ask if cold and insensitive parents are more likely to have such children even after the children are adopted by other families. Bluntly dismissing such theories would also be prejudice. Even dogs experience jealousy, and probably different types of dogs experience jealousy in a slightly nuanced and different ways. I do believe that very emotional parents are more likely to have such children even if the children were adopted by other families. It is well known that musical talent is often hereditary, and although this does not mean warm or cold characters, it is still a vague indication that the way we perceive things also has some genetic components.

destructure said at August 24, 2014 7:54 PM:

Wolf-Dog

James' comment was very clever. If one isn't careful they might misunderstand it.

Wolf-Dog said at August 24, 2014 8:42 PM:

Destructure, Thanks for the correction. But it is actually a mixture of nature and nurture. Some research also seems to indicate that behavior also influences genetics, which is incredible.

Florida resident said at August 25, 2014 3:47 AM:

Dear Wolf-Dog:
Thank you for clarification.
I really confused the meaning of the word "amoral" with one of "immoral".
It is still not clear from your reply,
if you actually have or have not read book "The Prince" by Machiavelli.
*
Anyhow, if "amoral" is not so derogatory, I am happy.
Isaac Newton "amorally" put forward 3-rd Newton's Law,
without having any concern that two centuries later
W. von Braun would use it for creating rocket V-2 to bomb UK,
but also for creating rocket "Saturn 5" for US space program.
Your F.r.

bbartlog said at August 25, 2014 1:21 PM:

Birth control, paternity laws, and abortion are probably resulting in selection against the dark triad traits, even as the actual societal retribution against those who act on them wanes. After all most of the guys who really want booty call relationships or lots of one night stands seem like they really *don't* want to get anyone pregnant, and they usually succeed in avoiding it. Meanwhile the women often wait until later to have kids, by which time their preference for the dark triad ladykillers has usually been brought under some kind of control, so that they end up settling down with more reliable beta types to have kids. Possibly at the poorest levels of society this isn't true, since the men aren't acting in a provider role any more anyway.


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