Psychologists have long known what traits are associated with “bad” people; now we know the “good” ones too!

Psychologists have long known what traits are associated with “bad” people; now we know the “good” ones too!

via ABC news by Kylie Andrews

Psychology researchers have flipped their focus away from narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism to explore what characteristics are present in people who are the everyday saints around us. Maybe you’re one of them?

Key points

  • The “dark triad” of personality consists of three negative traits: the tendency to to manipulate others (Machiavellianism); seek admiration and special treatment (narcissism); and to be callous and insensitive (psychopathy).
  • In contrast, researchers have recently defined the “light triad” — the traits of a loving person with a focus on others
  • The researchers say naming these traits gives some much-needed focus on our light side

Most of us strive to be a good person.

Yet our culture is fascinated by psychopaths and narcissists. And with good reason. People high in the “dark triad” — the well-studied threesome of psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism — tend to cause substantial harm to others.

They also make interesting and colourful TV characters, so we’re exposed to a lot of them on our screens.

This dark triad of personality was first proposed in 2002, and since then research and public fascination with these antisocial traits has flourished.

“The dark triad and the dark side of our nature is an area that people keep on talking about over and over again,” said Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at Columbia University.

To fight for the light side, Dr Kaufman and his colleagues set out to discover the traits of a loving human being with an orientation towards others.

“I wanted to see if there was anything interesting about people who are not arseholes,” Dr Kaufman said.

After testing thousands of people they proposed the “light triad” — three traits they found to be most in contrast, although not opposite, to the traits of the dark triad…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE