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The Dark Triad is an umbrella term for three distinct but related personality traits: psychopathy, Machiavellianism and narcissism. All three involve a disregard for other people’s feelings, a tendency to violate social norms, and an exaggerated sense of one's own importance. These three traits stem from similar underlying needs– control, attention and validation– as well as a defensive psychological armour that involves a capacity to manipulate, exploit and deflect uncomfortable truths. The Dark Triad has been linked to a number of problematic outcomes, such as aggression, deception, superficial charm, illicit behavior, impulsivity, and a disregard for rules and authority. Taken together, these traits can give rise to destructive patterns of behavior.

See also: flow state, altered state, radical hope, peak experience

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