True Crime Psychology and Personality: Narcissism, Psychopathy, and the Minds of Dangerous Criminals
CASE: Harold Fish Murder Case and the Dark Triad

CASE: Harold Fish Murder Case and the Dark Triad

February 28, 2020

This episode looks at the mental health and personality aspects in the Harold Fish murder case. What dark triad traits do we see in this case? The Harold Fish murder case was an unusual self-defense situation that turned into a second-degree murder conviction. There has been speculation about how the dark triad traits may have influenced the outcome of this case. 

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Citations

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/az-court-...

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/15199221/ns...

http://www.haroldfishdefense.org/welc...

DARK TRIAD: Sexual Fantasies and Subtle Signs

DARK TRIAD: Sexual Fantasies and Subtle Signs

February 21, 2020

This episode discusses the dark triad of personality which includes psychopathy, narcissism, and machiavellianism. Particular attention is made to types of sexual fantasies in general and specifically fantasies amongst those with "dark personalities." The first sexual fantasy is “intimate.” This is the most common fantasy. Here we see a sense of attachment and familiarity. This is when somebody wants to connect with a sexual partner at the emotional level. The next sexual fantasy is referred to as “exploratory.” Here we see a commission of diverse acts, like mate swapping or promiscuity. The third one is the “impersonal” fantasy. Here we see characteristics like being emotionally detached and disinterested, for example, fetishism. The last sexual fantasy theme is the "sadomasochistic" fantasy. Here we see causing or submitting to physical or emotional abuse. 

We also discuss some subtle signs associated with the dark triad.  When we think of the dark triad, we think of narcissism as the ‘lightest trait’ and psychopathy as the ‘darkest trait.’ These different traits have characteristics in common like empathy deficits, selfishness, a short-term mating style, as well as being competitive, antisocial, hedonistic, and having antagonism. 

Narcissism in the dark triad is really grandiose narcissism. We see characteristics like arrogance, being socially dominant, being self-centered, a sense of entitlement, and a tendency to manipulate others (we see this characteristic with all three of the dark triad traits). Psychopathy characteristics include callousness; a lack of empathy, remorse, or guilt; violating society's norms; being irresponsible; being impulsive; having shallow effect; and superficial charm. The trait of Machiavellianism includes antisocial behaviors, but they're usually conceptualized as white-collar crime. We also see cynicism, having good impulse control (so this would differentiate Machiavellianism from psychopathy), callousness and being goal-oriented (usually we conceptualize the goal as being negative).

Timestamps:

00:30 - Dark triad and sexual fantasies

09:40 - Subtle signs

More Content on Narcissism, Psychopathy, Sociopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder

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Ars Longa Media

To learn more about or to support Ars Longa Media and this podcast, go to arslonga.media. We welcome your feedback at info@arslonga.media 

Citations

Baughman, H. M., Jonason, P. K., Veselka, L., & Vernon, P. A. (2014). Four shades of sexual fantasies linked to the Dark Triad. Personality and Individual Differences, 67, 47–51.

Valentine’s Day Special: The Chris Watts and Nichol Kessinger Affair

Valentine’s Day Special: The Chris Watts and Nichol Kessinger Affair

February 14, 2020

This episode discusses how did the dynamics of the Chris Watts-Nichol Kessinger affair contributed to the Watts family murders. The dynamics in this affair appear to be a critical factor in this case. One theory of the dynamics is that Chris Watts was introverted and insecure and Nichol Kessinger was confident, extraverted, and experienced in romantic relationships. This may have led to a power differential that unintentionally contribute to the horrific murders. This episode also reviews the role that immaturity, the passionate stage of romance, and impulsivity may have had in this case. 

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For even more, scientifically informed content on psychology and personality check out Dr. Grande's YouTube channel

Ars Longa Media

To learn more about or to support Ars Longa Media and this podcast, go to arslonga.media. We welcome your feedback at info@arslonga.media 

Citations

Westfall, S. S., Frederick, S. H. I., Baker, K., Boudin, M., & Truesdell, J. (2018). The Watts Family Murders SECRETS & LIES. People, 90(12), 52.

Westfall, S. S., Baker, K. c., & Helling, S. (2018). The Watts Family Murders A MONSTER’S DOUBLE LIFE. People, 90(25), 63.

DARK TRIAD: Narcissism, Psychopathy, and Machiavellianism (plus Spotting Dark Triad Traits)

DARK TRIAD: Narcissism, Psychopathy, and Machiavellianism (plus Spotting Dark Triad Traits)

February 14, 2020

What is the dark triad? There are three specific personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy, and a trait referred to as Machiavellianism. All three of these traits share a personality trait called antagonism.

Narcissism, as it relates to the dark triad, has two different types: grandiose and vulnerable. With grandiose narcissism, we see traits like being dominant, arrogant, exploiting other people, and exhibitionism. With vulnerable narcissism, we see characteristics like being shy, distrusting other people, having mood lability, and being self-critical. Most of the research on the dark triad is really referring to grandiose narcissism and not vulnerable narcissism.

With psychopathy, we see characteristics like violating social norms, being callous, having a lack of empathy, being impulsive, irresponsible, having superficial charm, being manipulative, and having shallow effect. When we look at the research that studies psychopathy related to the dark triad, we're really talking about a continuum where there can be subclinical psychopathy all the way up to clinical psychopathy.

The last trait in the dark triad is Machiavellianism. We don't really see this mentioned in the clinical literature very much. This is really something we see more in literature related to careers. With Machiavellianism, we see characteristics like being manipulative, callous, being goal-oriented, having a satisfactory to a good level of impulse control, and tending to be related to white-collar crime or at least white-collar antisocial behavior. An important point with Machiavellianism is that there's no clinical impairment here with this particular trait. 

What is the difference between the dark traits and the vulnerable dark traits? The dark traits and the vulnerable dark traits are traits that are connected to criminality and, in theory, they are differentially connected to criminality. The dark traits predict certain types of criminal activities and the vulnerable dark traits predict other types of criminal activities. The topic of dark traits and vulnerable dark traits is a little confusing because of the term triad. A lot of times we hear this we hear the “dark triad” and the “vulnerable dark triad,” but just like the traits, there's no single agreed upon definition for the dark triad or vulnerable dark triad. One popular definition of the dark triad would be that there's three traits: psychopathy, narcissism, and machiavellianism. This particular theory, to some extent, has fallen out of favor because machiavellianism doesn't appear to be a distinct construct. I talked about this in a prior video about the dark triad. Another conceptualization has interpersonal and affective psychopathic traits along with grandiose narcissism. The vulnerable dark triad comprises lifestyle psychopathic traits, vulnerable narcissism, and borderline personality traits.

00:30 - What is the dark triad?

07:38 - Dark traits vs vulnerable traits

15:20 - Spotting the dark triad in faces

More Content on Narcissism, Psychopathy, Sociopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder

For even more, scientifically informed content on psychology and personality check out Dr. Grande's YouTube channel

Ars Longa Media

To learn more about or to support Ars Longa Media and this podcast, go to arslonga.media. We welcome your feedback at info@arslonga.media 

Citations

Vize, C. E., Lynam, D. R., Collison, K. L., & Miller, J. D. (2018). Differences among dark triad components: A meta-analytic investigation. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 9(2), 101-111. doi:10.1037/per0000222

Holtzman, Nicholas S. (2011). Facing a Psychopath: Detecting the Dark Triad from Emotionally-Neutral Faces, Using Prototypes From the Personality Faceaurus. Journal of Research in Personality. 45, 648-654.

Giacomin, M., & Rule, N. O. (2018). Eyebrows cue grandiose narcissism. Journal of Personality. doi:10.1111/jopy.12396

Shiramizu, V., Kozma, L., DeBruine, L., & Jones, B. (2019). Are dark triad cues really visible in faces? Personality & Individual Differences, 139, 214–216.

Edwards, B. G., Albertson, E., & Verona, E. (2017). Dark and vulnerable personality trait correlates of dimensions of criminal behavior among adult offenders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 126(7), 921–927.

NARCISSISM: Avoiding Narcissistic and Psychopathic Manipulation

NARCISSISM: Avoiding Narcissistic and Psychopathic Manipulation

February 7, 2020

This episode discusses how people that are narcissistic and psychopathic use emotions to manipulate people. This is a specific type of manipulation, where people try to elicit a specific emotion to achieve objective. We know this tends to be more associated, as a behavior anyway, with narcissism and psychopathy. Somebody doesn't have to be narcissistic or psychopathic to be manipulative. When we talk about emotions what we see is that emotions are thought of as helpful. If we look at emotions, we see there are only six basic emotions and they are present across all cultures. The emotions are anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise. Emotions are simple, immediate, and they're constricted to really just six types, although the amount of expression would be different depending on the situation. 

More Content on Narcissism, Psychopathy, Sociopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder

For even more, scientifically informed content on psychology and personality check out Dr. Grande's YouTube channel

Ars Longa Media

To learn more about or to support Ars Longa Media and this podcast, go to arslonga.media. We welcome your feedback at info@arslonga.media 

 

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