Don't feel like compassion
People whose personality is dominated by the "Dark Triad" are just as capable of empathizing with other people. They just don't have a particular inclination to it. This is the conclusion of Petri Kajonius and Therese Björkman from Hochschule West in Sweden based on an online survey on the LinkedIn platform with 278 people.
The scientists recorded both the propensity of the subjects to the three "dark" characteristics Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism as well as their ability to empathize. The latter was found to be closely related to the participants' general intellectual abilities, but not to their personality traits.
People who have had the "Dark Triad" are on average less compassionate. But is that because they can't empathize with others, or are they simply not interested in what's going on in them? Previous research had already indicated that people with dark personalities are quite empathetic and also use it - but only for their own benefit. The new research now confirms this and makes it clear that what we commonly refer to as empathy - feeling for the sake of another - ultimately depends on the willingness to do so. People with strong inclinations towards the Dark Triad traits do not have this disposition. The research results help to shed light on the connection between personality traits and the skills associated with them, write Kajonius and Björkman.