What sign can give a psychopath away: scientists make an unexpected discovery

Their short stature forced people to look for other ways of survival besides physical superiority over the enemy

Perhaps only very tall people have never wanted to become at least a few centimetres taller. But scientists have discovered that this desire can actually be linked to a dangerous mental disorder. A new study shows that an obsessive desire to grow up correlates with a person's tendency to exhibit traits known as the "dark triad" - psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism.

This conclusion was reached by scientists from the University of Padua, Italy. The results of their work were published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences..

"Short people, especially those who would like to be taller, are more likely to have traits that make them more prone to ostentatious behaviour and confrontation, as well as interested in power," said Peter K. Jonason, the lead author of the study. According to scientists, this is how short people can compensate for their lack of height.

It is known that people with psychopathic traits lack empathy, are impulsive and disregard social norms and rules. People prone to narcissism are characterised by a heightened sense of self-importance, a belief that everyone owes them, and a need to be admired. Machiavellianism, as another part of the "dark triad", is characterised by a tendency to manipulation, cynicism, and lack of morality.

According to Jonason, such personality traits are of such great interest to scientists because of the idea that they can be used by people to achieve status, find mates, and survive. These traits can affect people's ability to compete with others. At the same time, the "dark triad" is not something that society approves of.

At the same time, scientists note that short stature is more likely to provoke narcissism in men than in women. As for psychopathy and Machiavellianism, there was no significant difference between the sexes.

A total of 367 adults from the United States took part in the study. They were asked to fill out a questionnaire to identify the Dark Triad traits to assess their level of psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism. The researchers also asked the participants to indicate their actual height and whether they were satisfied with it or would like to be taller.

The processed data showed that people with shorter stature who would like to be bigger, as a rule, more often demonstrated signs of psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism. The authors of the study suggested that this may be due to the evolutionary need to survive not through physical size, but through the ability to psychologically influence others. In other words, if someone was physically smaller and weaker, they tried to find a psychological advantage to be on a level playing field with others.

The researchers suggest that this could also provide advantages in survival and mate finding. Short men could demand respect, acquire resources, and impress romantic partners with their personality traits, for example, while short women could use deception to appear more desirable or to gain protection and resources.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL published psychologist's advice on how to easily get rid of bad habits.

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