In a recent publication by the peer-reviewed journal Current Psychology, researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland have shed light on a fascinating connection between dark personality traits and left-wing aggression. The study, conducted by Dr. Ann Krispenz and Dr. Alexander Bertrams, explores the motives behind individuals endorsing aggressive left-wing political and social activities, revealing that some individuals with narcissistic or psychopathic tendencies are attracted to such activism as a means to fulfill their ego-focused needs, rather than genuine aspirations for social justice.
The study introduces the concept of the “dark-ego-vehicle principle.” According to this principle, individuals possessing dark personality traits, such as high narcissism and psychopathy, gravitate towards specific forms of political and social activism that serve as vehicles for satisfying their ego-focused desires. These individuals may exploit these activities as opportunities for self-presentation, displays of moral superiority, gaining social status, dominating others, and engaging in social conflicts and aggression to fulfill their need for excitement and thrill.
To investigate the endorsement of anti-hierarchical aggression aimed at overthrowing those in power and its association with dark personality traits, the researchers conducted two studies. Both studies found a correlation between individuals endorsing such aggression and possessing narcissistic and psychopathic attributes. However, it is important to note that these findings do not imply that all individuals with left-wing political views exhibit these dark traits. Rather, the research emphasizes the presence of a subset of individuals who exploit certain forms of activism for their own ego-driven motives.
The authors aimed to delve into the psychological factors underlying left-wing authoritarianism, an area that has received limited attention compared to right-wing authoritarianism. The study defined left-wing authoritarianism as comprising three components: anti-hierarchical aggression, anti-conventionalism, and top-down censorship. The researchers developed a new measure to assess participants’ tendencies towards left-wing authoritarianism.
“dark-ego-vehicle principle” https://t.co/l5Rkz2588e
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While this study provides valuable insights into a specific aspect of left-wing activism, it is crucial to acknowledge that authoritarianism can manifest across the political spectrum. The research does not claim that all left-wing activists possess dark personality traits, nor does it imply that right-wing activists are exempt from similar tendencies. It serves as a reminder that personality traits can intersect with political ideologies, leading to unique manifestations in different individuals.