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Description: At least intellectually, we tend to be drawn towards the dark side. Why this may be is perhaps due to a belief that understanding the darker personality profiles that people around us may be operating under better equips us to notice and to protect ourselves from being taken advantage of. Within personality theory and research there has been much consideration of the so called dark triad of personality types including Narcissism, Psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. As fascinating and as potentially useful as an understanding of the dark triad may be, think for a minute about what the opposite of the dark triad might involve? Of course, we could simply define the opposite of the dark triad as scoring low on the scales that assess tendencies towards Narcissism, Psychopathy, and Machiavellianism but are you satisfied by a definition of good as simply “not dark?” What might a Light Triad look like or involve? Think about that and then read the article linked below that describes an effort of several psychologists define a Light Triad.

Source: The Light Triad: Psychologists Outline the Personality Traits of Everyday Saints, Lacy Schley, The Crux, Discover Magazine.

Date: April 5, 2019

Photo Credit: Melitas/Shutterstock

 Article Link:

Do you like the Light Triad which includes Kantianism (treating people and people rather than instrumental opportunities for self-gain), Humanism (valuing others’ dignity and worth) and Faith in Humanity (viewing humans as basically good)? Do you have a sense of where you might fall on BOTH the dark AND light triads? If not, go to the link the article author’s provide to take a test and find out. So, while it may not be quite as fascinating, we now have a “light side” we can lean towards as a proper balance against the dark side.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What is the Dark Triad and why are we so fascinated with it?
  2. Is the light triad the opposite of the dark triad and if not, how is it located?
  3. There has already been a LOT of use of the dimensions of the dark triad to discuss things like presidents and other people. How might we make use of the light triad?

References (Read Further):

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.

Paulhus, D. L., & Williams, K. M. (2002). The dark triad of personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Journal of research in personality, 36(6), 556-563.

Furnham, A., Richards, S. C., & Paulhus, D. L. (2013). The Dark Triad of personality: A 10 year review. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 7(3), 199-216.

Garcia, D., & Sikström, S. (2014). The dark side of Facebook: Semantic representations of status updates predict the Dark Triad of personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 67, 92-96.

Laborde, S., Guillén, F., Watson, M., & Allen, M. S. (2017). The light quartet: Positive personality traits and approaches to coping in sport coaches. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 32, 67-73.