Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-4070
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4097
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Dark personalities are those that are malevolent and antagonistic. Underlying such tendencies may be some attraction to perceptual darkness, given that darkness has been symbolically linked to malevolence and evil throughout human history. In the present research (total  = 501), participants were asked to choose whether they prefer dark or light as abstract perceptual concepts. Preferences for darkness were non-normative as well as informative concerning interpersonal functioning. Specifically, dark-preferring individuals scored lower in agreeableness or higher in antagonism (Study 1) and they also exhibited lower levels of prosocial feeling and personality in the conduct of their daily lives (Study 2). An attraction to darkness therefore belies tendencies toward antagonism and callousness. In total, the research highlights the manner in which a simple preference judgment involving metaphor-rich stimuli can be used to gain key insights into the motivational substrates of social functioning.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Antagonism; Dark Symbolism; Personality; Preferences; Prosocial
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