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Thread: The Dark Triad

  1. #1
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default The Dark Triad

    In Goleman's book "Social Intelligence" he talks about the Dark Triad in relation to lack of empathy.

    The triad consists Psychopaths, Narcissists and Machiavellian types. The idea is that those in the dark triad are arch-types. They either lack empathy or turn it off. He talks about the I/it & I/you relationships and how these types view others as "its".

    Is it possible that extremists who adopt terrorism as a tactic fit into this dark triad? Does it matter when considering their motivations?

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    (Mostly amateur philosophizing follows...)

    Having worked individually with large cross sections of college students, I can attest that variation in ingrained personality traits can make a big difference in how to deal with people. (Common sense, yes, but can we do anything constructive with it?) I've encountered only one or two people who were genuine sociopaths -- and it was quite an experience. They lied like they breathed air, and seemed to have no conscience about it at all. I would not consider negotiation with such people to be worthwhile at all; containment is the only thing that can be done. The trick is making accurate identifications.

    Does the military routinely use personality tests like the Myers-Briggs and/or Keirsey? I've read that the most common types in the military are ESTJ and ISTJ (more organizationally oriented, good at orders), and ENTJ and INTJ (more intuitive, good at leadership and strategy).

    One online version is here:

    http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm

    RJO (INTJ)

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    Council Member Tc2642's Avatar
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    Default Counterterrorism

    There are a good few chapters on Motivations for joining, theories of psychology etc. etc. in 'Counterterrorism' by G. C.S. Steven and R Gunaratna, I have a 2004 edition but I am sure you would be able to get an updated version.

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    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJO View Post
    (Mostly amateur philosophizing follows...)

    Having worked individually with large cross sections of college students, I can attest that variation in ingrained personality traits can make a big difference in how to deal with people. (Common sense, yes, but can we do anything constructive with it?) I've encountered only one or two people who were genuine sociopaths -- and it was quite an experience. They lied like they breathed air, and seemed to have no conscience about it at all. I would not consider negotiation with such people to be worthwhile at all; containment is the only thing that can be done. The trick is making accurate identifications.

    Does the military routinely use personality tests like the Myers-Briggs and/or Keirsey? I've read that the most common types in the military are ESTJ and ISTJ (more organizationally oriented, good at orders), and ENTJ and INTJ (more intuitive, good at leadership and strategy).

    One online version is here:

    http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm

    RJO (INTJ)
    I know that we administer a Myers/Briggs during ILE. In fact, I'm the testing officer for my unit. (Though I personally see very little utility for it; one more complete and utter time-waster, but ILE IS a time-waster, imo.)

    We used to do SOME personality testing in ROTC, but didn't do much with it; mainly it was for the use of the individual being tested. Most of this Personality/Aptitude testing comes down to "Now what the hell are you going to do with it?" Frankly, it isn't tremendously predictive or useful.

    I think if people just quit being so damned concerned about what they "are" or "are not" and trying to "improve themselves" and just focus on what they are already interested in, the world would be a better place.

  5. #5
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Before full scale profiling took off the FBI used to express belief in a theory called The Homicidal Triangle. Violent offenders often had 3 main characteristics in their back round. Post Adolescent bed wetting, cruelty to animals and some experience with Pyromania. My personal experience is that people that have histories with cruelty toward animals are big red flags. They have know empathy for any living creature at all, they are just "things" for their own personal use.

    My oldest dog "Bama" was tied to a tree as a puppy while some kids tried to run over here with a bicycle. This was all done with the complete knowledge of their parents. Bama is 15+ years old now but at the time there were no serious animal cruelty laws (it is now a felony in some cases in Alabama). Happy ending, I got her away from the family and she spends her time chasing squirrels (she is not real fast anymore) and lounging on our deck. To this day she has an absolute terror of small children.
    Last edited by slapout9; 07-01-2007 at 12:51 PM. Reason: fix stuff

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