Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Dark Triads and Dark Knights: Another interesting study.

 Here is an very good and interesting article from The Scientific American.

Basically, it proves the premise of game. People with the Dark Triad are better able to present themselves in such a way to make themselves attractive. It's not their innate "Dark Triad-ness" that is attractive, in fact, the study mentions that many of these people are later avoided, rather it's their ability "to make themselves attractive" that makes them attractive.

As the authors cleverly demonstrate, it's not the ability to the those of the Dark Triad to learn modes of behaviour and dress that makes them attractive and not necessarily their innate qualities. Whilst the study did not look at it, it certainly hinted that many of those who possessed Dark Triad qualities had difficulties with long term relationships.

Which leads to another implication of the study. The reason why those of the dark triad have "success" is because their targets are predictably superficial in their assessments of them. Every time I see a Katie Piper taking some thug-luvin, I can't but help feel that there goes a woman without any long term sense or judgement.

Still, for the young Christian man looking for a mate, when you see a woman paired up with such a man, it is a sign, like a tattoo, that such a woman is not a good long term investment.  She who lives by the tingles shall die (or be disfigured) by them.  BTW, here is an example of a woman with an extraordinary good deal of common sense.

However, the research which I have presented in the last few posts demonstrates that it is difficult to have a good relationship with a woman if a man does not at least possess something which generates the "tingles" in his mate. In other words, a man needs to possess both alpha and beta qualities. But what would such a man be like? I imagine there are many permutations possible, but I've always liked Raymond Chandlers description of his ideal detective, since I believe it encapsulates the alpha/beta mix very well. I tend to think of it as the concept of the "Dark Knight"

“In everything that can be called art there is a quality of redemption. It may be pure tragedy, if it is high tragedy, and it may be pity and irony, and it may be the raucous laughter of the strong man. But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid.

The detective in this kind of story must be such a man. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor -- by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world. I do not care much about his private life; he is neither a eunuch nor a satyr; I think he might seduce a duchess and I am quite sure he would not spoil a virgin; if he is a man of honor in one thing, he is that in all things.

He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. He will take no man's money dishonestly and no man's insolence without due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him. He talks as the man of his age talks -- that is, with rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham, and a contempt for pettiness.

The story is the man's adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. He has a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to him by right, because it belongs to the world he lives in. If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in. ”
― Raymond Chandler, The Simple Art of Murder
Chandler really knows how to mix the alpha and beta just right.


Anonymous said...

I've never really women that wore makeup, or that dressed overly sexy, mainly because I didn't trust them. I knew they were hot, I just didn't want to get to know them. Nice to have some scientific backing for a gut a feeling.

Anonymous said...

*liked* women

Anonymous said...

Have you ever read any of the Ripley novels, doctor, by Patricia Highsmith? What you wrote here made me think of her wonderful creation, the anti-hero Tom Ripley - although he is a sociopathic murderer, he nonetheless also has a certain sense of honor, a willingness to at times help others that would seem to go against his Dark Triad personality. And unsurprisingly he has a beautiful French wife, who is obviously attracted to his alpha/ beta qualities, even though she also basically realizes that he is a criminal.

Simon Grey said...

This dovetails rather nicely with Badger's recent post about women wanting a normal guy. Basically, the most attractive guy is one who has the right mix of alpha and beta qualities. Of course, most women aren't really deserving of such a guy, especially the ones that will err on the side of too much alpha (dark triad traits) when selecting a mate.

On a tangentially related aside, I finally watched Casablanca for the first time last night. Bogart's Rick is pretty much a man, and perfectly meets Chandler's description of the ideal detective/man. I've also seen The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon, both of which also star Bogart. His characters in both these films are pretty similar to his character of Rick in Casablanca, and it's impressive to see just how masculine Bogart is in these three characters. He's strong, confident, and calm. His actions are deliberate and intelligent. Yet, he still displays sympathy towards those who are struggling, and is quite gracious and self-sacrificing. He has honor and nobility, coupled with humility and grace. He's neither arrogant nor manipulative, and he never takes advantage of anyone (save for those who try to play him), but he's not a doormat for anyone. Really, a lot of men would do well to emulate Bogart (or at least his character's in these movies), since he is, to use a phrase, a man with a chest.

Interestingly, you can see these same character traits in Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne/Batman, so "Dark Knight" is certainly an appropriate description. You can also see these same traits in Keifer Sutherland's Jack Bauer and Timothy Olyphant's Raylan Givens. Actually, now that I think about it, your Dark Knight template is the basis of a good number of leading male roles in modern television and film.

modernguy said...

Yeah, right. Put Bogart next to Pauly D and to most young hot women these days he looks like chopped liver.

Jack said...

Love this quote, Soc. Keep up the good work!

David Foster said...

I wonder if wearing clothes other than one's normal outfit has an impact on body language, and in the case of dark-triad people acts to partially suppress whatever cues they are normally transmitting this way.

Also, why do popular-magazine articles..even in something called "Scientific American"...generally avoid use of *numbers* when reporting studies? What on earth does "positively correlated with" mean?...it could be "5% of the variance explained" or "60% of the variance explained".