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Why are Dark Personality Traits More Physically Attractive than Others?

Some recent research shows that people are more attracted to dark personalities like narcissism and psychopathy. These dark personality traits are physically appealing and draw people's attention; bad boys and mean girls are always the most famous people.

Though not everybody is attracted to dark personalities, many people are drawn to them without realizing it. Why are people attracted to his kind of personality? Some recent research done by the researcher can help us understand this question.

The Experiment

To find out the reason behind this fact, Nicholas Holtzman and Michael Strube, professors at Washington University in St. Louis, conducted a test where they invited 111 students of the college, with 64% of women, to the lab. These people were photographed and then asked to change their clothes to a t-shirt and sweatpants, and their makeup and accessories were removed. Now they were photographed in their natural look.

Both these photos were shown to a group of strangers, and they were asked to rate their physical attractiveness based on both images. Then they compared the attractiveness rating of students in dressed-up photos and natural photos, and they found that clothes, makeup, and accessories made students more appealing.

Afterward, Holtzman and Strube assessed the students' personalities and behavior like narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. The students were asked to rate themselves, and some of their friends were contacted, and the researchers asked them to provide ratings on their friends' personalities. Their rating was combined with their friend's rating. This score was used to get the final rating of each person.

These rates of Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy were used to form a "triad" score.

The findings showed that the dark triad attractiveness was based on their way of dressing, as the dark triad score of physical beauty was not the same in the dressed down or the natural photos. This means that people with dark triads and personalities are not more physically attractive than others if the freedom of their dressing up is taken away from them. It shows that people who have dark characters are better at dressing up and making themselves appealing physically.

This supports the research done in 2010 by the researchers at Westfalische Wilhelms-University of Muenster. In this test, they gathered information on students' personalities and were then asked to introduce themselves to each other briefly.

After this, they gave each of them a form to survey their impression of their first meeting and what they thought about them. The survey showed students with narcissistic personalities are more attractive and likable.

It was perceived that narcist people are more flashy and well-kept, have a confident face and body language, have alluring personalities, and have attractive looks. This proves that people with dark triads are better at carrying themselves and have a good character that impresses people.

Most women are seen to be attracted to men with dark personality traits and those men because of their looks. These men with solid and brooding personalities tend to get more attention, like Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights, and his characters portray narcissism and chauvinism, which many people like.

Countess Elizabeth Bathory

Countess Elizabeth Bathory, or the "Blood Countess," the most famous female serial killer in history, was an excessive narcissist. She was a woman of exceptional beauty and allure, and she was an unmatched beauty. She had long hair like a raven, contrasted with her milky white complexion, beautiful amber-like eyes and voluptuous figure. She was famous in society for her beauty, but she was a vain, selfish, and chauvinist woman.

She was not only a narcist but also had a psychological illness. It is believed that she brought young girls to work in her mansion with the lure of high pay and killed them in the underground room with various kinds of torture. It was rumored that she bathed in the blood of her victims to keep herself young and beautiful for a long time.

The Bathory family had people with twisted personalities. Elizabeth's brother, father, and uncle were alleged to be pure evil, and they subjected the commoners to various kinds of torture, terror, and hell.

Her husband Vlad III was known as Vlad the Impaler, and this nickname was based on his favorite technique of torture and execution; he inspires the Dracula movie, and she also witnessed the death of her two sisters by hanging in vicious riots and their murdered being executed and burned alive to death.

It is believed that due to this violence that she experienced and saw since a young age, she has developed a mental disorder that contributed to narcism that drove her to madness.


The fact that people with dark triads are more attractive and well-kept personalities contradicts our belief that good people and bright and kind characters have a good feeling. This shows that it is essential to spend and know the nature of people before formulating a judgment about them.

Physical attractiveness is associated with "the halo effect," a person with a good personality will also be intelligent, kind, confident, and sound. A good physical appearance and personality always leave an advantageous first impression.

People with exploitive and dark personalities are most successful in putting you in a character that everybody likes, and they have confidence, humor, charm, and good looks. So even if a person has a charming personality, they might not always be what they are expected to be.



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