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Narcissistic people with psychopathic traits are more attractive, according to a study

Narcissistic people with psychopathic traits are more attractive, according to a study

June 24, 2021

They say that first impressions are crucial, and rightly so . Taking into account that time is gold in decision-making, the first minutes in which we come into contact with an unknown person will lead us to decide to what extent this is attractive or rejects us.

We simply can not afford to examine each person in all their depth, attending to all their details and nuances, if we do not even know if it is worthwhile to spend our time on that.

Are narcissists and psychopaths more attractive?

When what we have to decide is whether or not the person in front of us is a potential partner, however, there is a paradox that we are trying to judge whether we can plan a life (or a few years) together from information we collect in very little time, with the first conversations. maybe this apparent contradiction is what makes it possible for us to be attractive to people with whom we should least expect when creating common projects.


And it is that, although it seems strange, a study published in the European Journal of Personality has reached the conclusion that narcissists and people with psychopathic traits are advantageous to speed dating and are perceived as more attractive than the rest.

The seductive power of the Dark Triad

For several years it has been known that there are three personality traits that, despite having bad press and being badly seen on paper, are especially attractive. These three personality traits form the so-called Dark Triad, or dark triad, and are the following:

  • Narcissism: related to the constant search for attention, the undertaking of actions to try to please others, the firm rejection of criticism and potentially harmful messages for self-esteem, and the tendency to manipulate other people.
  • Machiavellianism : related to the constant search for wealth, power and fame, the establishment of long-term personal relationships aimed at manipulating others, and cold and dispassionate thinking focused on how to achieve one's own benefit independently of the common well-being.
  • Psychopathy: tendency to impulsivity, antisocial behavior, manipulation of others and the constant search for strong emotions.

You will have noticed that these traits do not fit very well with anything that has to do with collective projects and the establishment of common objectives, which are fundamental pillars of family stability. However, from an evolutionary point of view, it is very possible that people who only care for themselves have reproductive success: they only have to manage enough people to generate offspring and make them reproduce.


In this way, these personality traits could be inherited from generation to generation .

In the present study, a team of researchers wanted to see to what extent these three personality traits could be related to greater success in a series of quick appointments carried out under their supervision.

How does the study was realized?

First, the researchers selected 90 people (44 men and 46 women) between 18 and 32 years old. After specifying this group of volunteers, they were given a questionnaire in which their scores were measured both in the Dark Triad traits and in the personality traits of the Big Five test (extraversion, responsibility, kindness, emotional stability and openness to the experience), that in other studies have been related to the success in the long-term maintenance of the couple relationships.


After completing the questionnaires, the participants went on to make a series of quick appointments among them. In total, 691 quick appointments were made, lasting three minutes each. After each appointment, the participants filled out a form in which they punctuated the other person in several aspects, among which were their physical attractiveness, the desire they had to start a friendship with her and the degree in which she would be of agree to have casual sex with her.

Results: narcissists are more desired

The scientists found a significant correlation between the score in psychopathy and narcissism and the chances of being chosen or chosen for short relationships , both in men and women, and regardless of their degree of physical attractiveness. That is to say, that more narcissistic people with more psychopathic traits were more desired as couples for short-term relationships. However, the correlation was reversed in the case of the Machiavellian trait.

In addition, the results showed that women who obtained higher scores in physical attractiveness also tended to obtain high scores in narcissism. As expected, the variable of physical attractiveness had a strong relationship with the possibilities of being chosen or chosen as a couple, especially in the case of women.


10 Traits of a Psychopath (June 2021).


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