Activists participate in a protest

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People who are adversarial narcissists and those with psychopathic tendencies are more likely to support leftist political ideologies, according to a recent study.

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Individuals with right-wing beliefs have been the subject of much authoritarianism research, so study authors Ann Krispenz and Alex Bertrams wanted to explore the psychological factors of the other side.

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There is a wealth of literature and research in the field of right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), they told However, authoritarianism researches seen in individuals who support leftist political ideologies are still rare.

They noted that many researchers were skeptical of the notion of left-wing authoritarianism, so they wanted to elaborate on why they expected individuals with higher levels of left-wing authoritarianism (LWA) to also report higher levels of narcissism, based on existing research.

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As a result, they discovered a new phenomenon which they called the principle of the dark ego vehicle.

According to this principle, individuals with dark personalities such as high narcissistic and psychopathic traits are drawn to certain forms of political and social activism which they can use as a vehicle to satisfy their own ego-focused needs instead of actually aiming for social justice and equality. . they told the website.

In particular, some forms of activism may provide them with opportunities for positive self-presentation and displays of moral superiority, to gain social status, to dominate others, and to engage in social conflict and aggression to satisfy their thrill-seeking needs.

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Krispenz and Bertrams conducted two studies: the first with 391 individuals with an average age of 46 who participated in various online tests; while the second further examined the relationship between narcissism and LWA in 377 participants in the same age group, focusing specifically on anti-hierarchical aggression.

They found that many times leftists don’t practice what they preach and their struggle for social justice is simply used as a pretext for activists to take action.

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An individual high in LWA might declare antiquated anyone who opposes their progressive values, strive to suppress free speech to regulate the expression of right-wing beliefs in educational institutions, and even advocate the use of violence to achieve their political goals, the authors said.

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The authors recognized that authoritarianism exists on both political sides.

The dark ego principle means that involvement in (violent) political activism is not attributable solely to political orientation, but rather to personality traits that manifest themselves in individuals on the left and right (radical) political spectrum, have observed.

Consequently, some individuals with high levels of adversarial narcissism may be motivated to support right-wing or left-wing ideological attitudes depending on which of these attitudes appears to be more appropriate to them given a specific situation.


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