Can Light & Dark be measured in the human psyche?

Humanity has been struggling to understand good and evil since the beginning of time. What are the light and dark attributes that exist within everyone?

Over the years, there has been an extensive amount of research and conversation regarding the Dark Triad, a set of characteristics often deemed malevolent. With that said, hese attributes are typically distributed throughout the population – e.g., you can score low, medium, or high – and are completely indicative of normal functioning.

But in 2019, a groundbreaking study was performed to create the Light Triad, an empirically discernible set of characteristics that, in combination, have substantial implications for the bright side of life.

J.R.R. Tolkien Quote

Credit: Scott Barry Kaufman, David Yaden, Elizabeth Hyde and Eli Tsukayama

Main characteristics of the Dark Triad personality traits Source: D'Souza (2016).

What is the correlation between the two?

The average balance score for the entire sample of thousands of test participants was 1.3, indicating that the average person's daily patterns of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are skewed toward the light rather than the dark.

As this scatterplot illustrates, extreme malevolence is relatively uncommon in the general population:

"The Light vs. Dark Triad of Personality: Contrasting Two Very Different Profiles of Human Nature," by Scott Barry Kaufman, David Yaden, Elizabeth Hyde and Eli Tsukayama, in Frontiers in Psychology, March 12, 2019

Where do you stand?

1. Studies show that everybody has attributes of both light and dark.

2. Take the test below to check in and see where you're at in the balance.

References

Paulhus., D. & Williams, K.. (2002). The Dark Triad of Personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy. . Journal of Research in Personality Volume 36, Issue 6, Pages 556-563.
Kaufman, S. B., Yaden, D. B., Hyde, E., & Tsukayama, E. . (2019). The Light vs. Dark Triad of Personality: Contrasting Two Very Different Profiles of Human Nature. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 467. .

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