I am currently reading ‘Emotions in the practice of psychotherapy‘ by Robert Plutchik and have been finding it a good read. In it Plutchik elaborates on his famous psycho-evolutionary theory of emotions that led to the circumplex and the Plutchik wheel of emotions. Basically, Plutchik argues that emotions can be classified on three dimensions- intensity, similarity and polarity (complementarity) and if one were to focus on similarity and polarity one can find eight basic or primary emotions, with other emotions either being a blend of the primary emotions or differing in intensity.
An example will help clarify: if one takes anger as a basic emotion then emotions like rage, fury or irritation, annoyance differ in their intensity from anger; likewise when two emotions like disgust and anger are co-present, then one may feel the emotion of hatred/hostility, which is a secondary emotion.
Long-term readers of this blog will know that I am sympathetic towards the basic emotions concept and also believe that their are eight basic emotions; the eight basic emotions identified by me are same as those by Plutchik though the polarity aspect varies slightly. For e.g., I believe the right polarity combinations are Fear-Interest; Sadness- Joy; Anger – Love; and Disgust- Surprise. Note that Plutchik considers Anger-Fear to be opposites and believes that Love is not basic but a blend of Joy and Acceptance.
Plutchik believes, and I have been arguing in my series of posts on emotions and personality, that emotions and personality are intimately connected and that regular/ habitual emotional experiences/ states lead to enduring related personality traits. Also having a particular personality trait likewise increases the probability of experiencing a particular emotion predominately. Thus there is a string bidirectional linkages between the emotional states one finds oneself in and personality traits one has.
Emotions evolved because they helped us survive and thrive. They are related to particular contingencies or features of the situation and help prime action tendencies that effectively deal with those situations to restore one towards homeostatic state (in case of negative emotions) or move towards flourishing and growth (in case of positive emotions). Personality or stable differences in emotional, behavioral, cognitive and motivational responding evolved as it enabled different persons to adapt to different niches of the (social) environment. Personality disorders evolved when things were taken to an extreme or their were unresolved conflicts related to the corresponding emotions.
We will look at emotions and corresponding personality disorders to delineate the relationship between personality and emotions.
Examples will make this clear.
Consider Fear. Fear evolved whenever Danger was present and primed the action tendency to Escape/ withdraw/ protect. Or consider Sadness that evolved in relation to a significant Loss and primed the action tendencies towards Reintegrating or gaining social support or renegotiating. Anger evolved in situations where Obstacles impeded progress or goal achievement and primed the action tendencies of Destruction of that obstacle or aggressiveness in social situations. Disgust evolved when faced with Unpalatable or harmful object priming the action tendency to Reject that object, be it physical or social.
Positive emotions have similar situational triggers and similar action tendencies.
Now, Plutchik also looked at personality disorders, their co-morbidity in patients and the similarity ratings by experts for personality disorders, that were factor analyzed, to lead to a circumplex structure of personality disorders. This structure could clearly delineate which personality disorders were similar and clustered together. Remember this clustering is based on actual empirical data and not arbitrary like the clusters defined by DSM.
Plutchik listed three clusters; but I could make out four clusters based on theoretical rationale as well as inspection of the circumplex.
The four clusters of personality disorders are :
- Cluster A: Avoidant, Self-Defeating and Dependent personality disorders.
- Cluster B: Dysthemic, Borderline, Histrionic and Hypomanic (this is not there in Plutchik circumplex)
- Cluster D: Antisocial, Narcissistic, Sadistic and Passive-aggressive
- Cluster C: Schizoid, Schizotypal, Paranoid and Obsessive-compulsive.
This brings me to my ABCD model, especially as applied to personality. To extend it to above relationship between emotions and personality disorders, I will make a point that Fear-Interest emotional dimension is related to Cluster A (Affect based) personality disorders, Sadness-Joy to cluster B (Behavioral), Anger-Love to cluster D (Dynamic/Social) and Disgust-Surprise to Cluster C (Cognitive).
Consider Avoidant and Self-defeating personality disorders – they are clearly related to (social) withdrawal, escape etc. and thus to Fear; Dependent can be related to lack of Interest.
Dysthemic and Borderline are clearly related to reintegration/ renegotiation etc and thus to sadness; Histrionic and Hypomanic are clearly related to problems with Joy/ Activity.
Sadistic and Passive-aggressive are related to destructiveness (either overt or covert) and related to anger; Narcissistic (too much self love) and Anti-Social (no love for society) are problems with Love/compassion. Taken together the four personality traits related to above like Sadism, Machiavellianism, Psychopathy and Narcissism make the Dark Tetrad.
Lastly, Paranoid and Obsessive-compulsive are related to getting rid of something undesirable (external conspirators or internal thoughts) and possibly related to disgust. Schizoid and Schizotypal may on the other hand be related to Surprise.
If one were to continue extending the circumplex and extrapolate from emotions and personality disorders circumplex, one would arrive at the same ABCD structure of personality that I arrived from other considerations.
In essence, Fear is related to Neuroticism personality trait which is related to Avoidant and self-defeating personality disorders. Interest is related to eXtraversion trait and Dependent personality disorder.
Sadness is related to Conscientiousness trait and Dsythemic and Borderline disorders. Joy with Impulsive Sensation Seeking trait and Histrionic and Hypomanic disorder.
Anger is related to Agreeableness trait and Sadistic and Passive-aggressive disorders while Love is related to Honesty/Humility trait and Antisocial and Narcissistic disorders.
Finally, Disgust is related to Imagination trait and Paranoid and obsessive -compulsive disorders; while surprise is related to Openness to Experience trait and Schizoid and Schizotypal disorders.
To me, the above seems conclusive and makes immense sense. The cluster A disorders (as I have defined them, not the DSM ones) are primarily disorders of Affect; Cluster B of Behavior , Cluster C of cognition while cluster D of motives or are interpersonal in nature. This to me is an important theoretical advancement and should be followed up with empirical work.
Regular readers of The Mouse Trap would be aware of my ABCD model of psychology whereby all psychological phenomena are explained in terms of Affective, Behavioral, Cognitive and Dynamic/Desire dimensions.
The affective dimensions is also related to sensory processes; the behavioral dimension to motor processes; the cognitive dimension to associative processes and the desire/dynamic/motives dimension to social processes.
We are increasingly focusing on brain as a means to study psychological phenomena and thus four major divisions of neurosciences are affective neurosciences, behavioral neurosciences, social neurosciences and cognitive neurosciences.
Now, I have written extensively about personality, especially in relation to emotions, and have written a series of posts about the structure of personality traits and the underlying basic emotions. I have also tangentially touched upon or used ABCD and the fundamental four model while coming up with those previous posts; but today’s post is exclusively focused on the ABCD model and its utility for delineating personality traits.
Before we move onto personality traits, lets refresh our knowledge of brain structure. As per a controversial theory of brain structure, by Paul McLean, brain can be divided into a reptilian brain,a paleomammalian brain/ limbic brain and a neomammilain brain/neocortex; for our purpose the details of the model need not be true. However, one thing that McLean postulated was that older brain regions are in control of newer regions and if newer brain regions malfunction/ do not exercise control the behavior due to older system may get activated. Hughlings Jackson had surmised the same earlier and this is the part I will be focusing on.
Consider an earlier brain part that controls movement; (this may be mostly instinctual responding or impulsive initiation) ; a later brain part may inhibit and lead to better response/ proactive action that is well considered/ planned. I will call these two instances bottom-up effects and top-down effects on movement respectively.
With this in mind lets start a deeper look at the ABCD.
- Affective/sensory: This would be related to detecting unexpected stimuli or looking out for expected stimuli.
- The bottom up process of detecting incoming stimuli is enhanced by level of arousal. High arousal leads to better detection and low arousal to lesser detection; people may differ in their natural arousal levels and I guess you know where I am going with this-the introversion- eXtraversion dimension.
- The top down process of looking out for (potentially harmful) stimuli may lead to worry or anxiety. High Anxiety may help in vigilant detection, while lower anxiety to lapses in detecting harmful stimuli; the natural variation in this may be the trait Emotionally stable-Neuroticism( Emotionality). Anxiety remember was one of the dimensions discovered by Gray as relevant to personality.
- Behavioral/Motor: This would be related to initiating action or responding to stimuli.
- The bottom up process here would lead to Impulsivity , another dimension elaborated on by Gray. The personality trait relevant here would be Impulsive Sensation Seeking as defined by Zuckerman.
- The top down process here would lead to Inhibition; when that process does not work, the low pole would be disinhibition (which is distinct from impulsivity). In FFM/HEXACO , this trait may be labeled as Conscientiousness and is related to strength of self-regulation.
- Drives/Social: This would be related to interactions with others and the motives behind them – either to help others or the reciprocate a previous help.
- The bottom up process here is reactive reciprocation; or aggression in case of deception/defection by the other. The one end of this pole will be characterized by Aggression and hostility while the other pole by nice and reciprocal behavior and this leads us right on to Agreeableness dimension.
- The top down or expectation driven process here would be trusting and helping others on the one pole (in hope of reciprocation) and manipulating, hurting or exploiting people on the other. this naturally leads us to Honesty-humility dimension of HEXACO and the opposite pole that I believe is the dark tetrad of sadism, Machiavellianism, narcissism and sadism.
- Cognitive/ associative : This would be related to the tendency to make and use broad vis–vis narrow associations while doing information processing.
- The bottom up process here could be related to distractibility vis-a-vis focus. Some people may be easily distracted/ form loose associations and this may lead to Openness to experience in them; others may be more closed to new information. I think of this as the encoding process.
- The top down process here could be related to imagining novel associations between concepts etc. I would say this is a new dimension called Imagination dimension (Scott Barry Kaufman would be happy to hear:-)) . At one end would be daydreamers and creative folks , at the other end more pragmatic/ reality oriented folks. I relate this to retrieval process. As this trait may still be evolving, we see psychosis related to this- imaginations/ top down processes overpowering reality orientation. this may also explain the association of creativity and mental illness.
I am happy with this personality structure organization with eight traits, instead of the usual five, that I have come up with. It has a solid theoretical rationale and a lot of thinking has gone into it; of course empirical work will prove whether its true or not and whether it stands the test of time!!
Altruism, put simply, is helping others or cooperating with others, even if it is costly to self. Of course, something like that cannot evolve, unless there are benefits too, associated with such acts of apparent selflessness.
Cooperation, to start with, can evolve based on three forms of reciprocity: direct, indirect and network. All are based on the fact that there re repeated interactions between group of people- dyads, triads or many more. Reciprocity can typically be measured in the lab using the repeated Dictator/ Trust game.
Direct reciprocity was proposed by Robert Trivers as a mechanism for the evolution of cooperation. If there are repeated encounters between the same two players in an evolutionary game in which each of them can choose either to “cooperate” or “defect”, then a strategy of mutual cooperation may be favoured even if it pays each player, in the short term, to defect when the other cooperates.
Here, in direct reciprocity A trusts/helps B and hopes that when time comes B will reciprocate/help A. The top-of-the-mind factor is whether or not to trust somebody and whether or not to reciprocate someone’s trust. Trust and exploitation may be relevant issues here. In the Dictator/ Trust game this trust/exploitation manifests as the amount that is split and given to the other person vs kept with oneself.
In the standard framework of indirect reciprocity, there are randomly chosen pairwise encounters between members of a population; the same two individuals need not meet again. One individual acts as donor, the other as recipient. The donor can decide whether or not to cooperate. The interaction is observed by a subset of the population who might inform others. Reputation allows evolution of cooperation by indirect reciprocity.
This is partially correct that reputation for being trustworthy helps in indirect reciprocity; however that is only true for the downstream version; for the upstream version feelings of gratitude/happiness/awe/elevation in persons receiving the help/ witnessing the act also lead to more pro-social behavior by those receiving help/ witnessing. Thus feelings of gratitude/ awe/elevation mediate this kind of upstream indirect reciprocity. See below for upstream and downstream variants.
Individual acts of indirect reciprocity may be classified as “upstream” or “downstream”:
Upstream reciprocity occurs when an act of altruism causes the recipient to perform a later act of altruism in the benefit of a third party. In other words: A helps B, which then motivates B to help C.
Downstream reciprocity occurs when the performer of an act of altruism is more likely to be the recipient of a later act of altruism. In other words: A helps B, making it more likely that C will later help A.
Before touching upon network reciprocity, I will take a quick detour about kin selection. I believe kin selection or inclusive fitness is also a type of reciprocity (that between related individuals sharing genes) and may be rechristened genetic reciprocity. After all if A is likely to help B because they share x % of genes, the reverse is equally true and applicable. And of course this is mediated by emotional attachment to the kid/kin.
As per one definition of kin selection:
A biological theory stating that a gene that causes an organism to exhibit behavior detrimental to its survival will increase in frequency in a population if that behavior benefits the organism’s relatives, which will pass the gene on to subsequent generations.
If I slightly change words form above definition, I can now define a neighbor selection process as a cultural theory stating that a meme that causes an organism to exhibit behavior detrimental to its survival will increase in frequency in a population if that behavior benefits the organism’s neighbors, which will pass the meme on to subsequent neighbors.
We are now ready to look at network reciprocity:
Real populations are not well mixed, but have spatial structures or social networks which imply that some individuals interact more often than others. One approach of capturing this effect is evolutionary graph theory, in which individuals occupy the vertices of a graph. The edges determine who interacts with whom. If a cooperator pays a cost, c, for each neighbor to receive a benefit, b, and defectors have no costs, and their neighbors receive no benefits, network reciprocity can favor cooperation.
Basically, what I understand from the above is that if you help your neighbors sometimes such that the cost is not too high but benefits to neighbors are high and if cost to benefit compares favorably with average number of neighbors/ neighborly interactions you have, then in the long run you will benefit and this form of cooperation can evolve. To me the effects are mediated by the number of neighbors or sociability of a person.
Of course, even if you have all these mechanisms in place, cooperation may not evolve, as you may have free-riders. One important mechanism that has evolved to keep the free-riders in check is that of punishment. And once punishment is part of the picture you don’t even need repeated interactions, one-off games may be sufficient. I call this phenomenon Direct Punishment. One way it has been measured is with the Ultimatum game.
In the Ultimatum game, the second player can inflict costly punishment on first player by refusing to accept the division; this costly punishment is dyadic in nature and the aggression/hostility/vengefulness of the second player ensures that cooperation in even one-off encounters happens.
Basically instead of trusting and helping B, A starts by exploiting B and B retaliates by punishing A at cost to oneself.
Of course one can then surmise that there can be a phenomena of indirect punishment. This again may happen in two ways:
- Indirect punishment upstream: A is exploitative in nature; A exploits B; B punishes A, who then feels guilt/ gets reformed and stops exploiting C or even starts helping C.
- Indirect punishment downstream: A is exploitative in nature: A exploits B, B punishes A; B gets a reputation for being tough/competent and stops getting exploited by others say C or C may now even help B.
The Indirect reciprocity effects can be seen in Public goods/ trust game.
I will now take a detour and introduce the HEXACO model of personality which set me thinking about this in the first place.
HEXACO is an alternate personality model that is based on the same principles as the Big Five/FFM; i.e. it uses factor analysis of lexical terms in various languages to arrive at major personality traits.
The six factors are generally named Honesty-Humility (H), Emotionality (E), Extraversion (X), Agreeableness (A), Conscientiousness (C), and Openness to Experience (O). The personality-descriptive adjectives that typically belong to these six groups are as follows:
Honesty-Humility (H): sincere, honest, faithful, loyal, modest/unassuming versus sly, deceitful, greedy, pretentious, hypocritical, boastful, pompous
Emotionality (E): emotional, oversensitive, sentimental, fearful, anxious, vulnerable versus brave, tough, independent, self-assured, stable
Extraversion (X): outgoing, lively, extraverted, sociable, talkative, cheerful, active versus shy, passive, withdrawn, introverted, quiet, reserved
Agreeableness (A): patient, tolerant, peaceful, mild, agreeable, lenient, gentle versus ill-tempered, quarrelsome, stubborn, choleric
Conscientiousness (C): organized, disciplined, diligent, careful, thorough, precise versus sloppy, negligent, reckless, lazy, irresponsible, absent-minded
Openness to Experience (O): intellectual, creative, unconventional, innovative, ironic versus shallow, unimaginative, conventional
The factor H is a new factor not present in Big Five/FFM. The E though looking similar to N of big Five, is conceptually different; it no longer contains anger/hostility which are instead present in HEXACO A. similalrly there are important differences between HEXACO A and Big Five A. the other 3, C, O and X (extarversion) are similarly conceptualized and defined in both systems and have same loadings when tested together.
Ashton and Lee, the proponents of the HEXACO model, have themselves related evolution of altruism to these traits [pdf] and I am building on their work.
Basically as per them,
To begin, we have proposed that the Honesty- Humility and Agreeableness factors represent two complementary aspects of the construct of reciprocal altruism (Trivers, 1971). Honesty-Humility represents the tendency to be fair and genuine in dealing with others, in the sense of cooperating with others even when one might exploit them without suffering retaliation. Agreeableness represents the tendency to be forgiving and tolerant of others, in the sense of cooperating with others even when one might be suffering exploitation by them. (For a discussion of two broadly similar, although not identical, constructs, see Perugini, Gallucci, Presaghi, & Ercolani, 2003.) Presumably, high levels of Honesty- Humility are associated with decreased opportunities for personal gains from the exploitation of others but also with decreased risks of losses from withdrawal of cooperation by others. In a similar manner, high levels of Agreeableness are associated with increased opportunities for personal gains from long-run reciprocal cooperation with others, as well as with increased risks of losses from exploitation by others. (Note that we use the term altruism in terms of a dimension of altruistic versus antagonistic tendency, which involves both a willingness to help or provide benefits to others and an unwillingness to harm or impose costs on others.)In addition, we have proposed that Emotionality represents tendencies relevant to the construct of kin altruism (Hamilton, 1964), including not only empathic concern and emotional attachment toward close others (who tend to be one’s kin) but also the harm-avoidant and help-seeking behaviors that are associated with investment in kin (see also Lee & Ashton, 2004). Presumably, high levels of Emotionality are associated with increased likelihood of personal and kin survival, as well as with decreased opportunities for gains that are often associated with risks to personal and kin survival.
When people talk about culture and personality, the normal top-of-the-mind concern is whether cultures affect personality and if so to what extent?
Personality, or enduring individual differences in thinking, feeling, motivations and behavior among have been shown to be partly heritable and under genetic effect; they are partly shaped by the culture and early life experiences also.
However, this post is not about the culture’s effect on personality; rather just like individuals differ from each other on certain universal traits (say the Big Five) and this individual difference is what typically comes to mind when one talks of personality of an individual (i.e. so-and-so is extarverted as compared to population mean etc) , so too cultures show differences from each other and one may conceive of these differences as enduring and differentiating aspect of that culture vis-a-vis other cultures, in essence its personality.
A name that is quite well-known in this context is that of Geert Hofstede. He, initially, in the 1970s, analyzed values data from IBM employees, from over 50 countries to arrive at four dimensions on which the cultures differed. He later extended this work and analyzed data from World Values Survey and work by him and others later led to addition of two more dimensions. The six dimensions, on which cultures differ, in his own words [pdf] are:
1. Power Distance, related to the different solutions to the basic problem of human inequality;
2. Uncertainty Avoidance, related to the level of stress in a society in the face of an unknown future;
3. Individualism versus Collectivism, related to the integration of individuals into primary groups;
4. Masculinity versus Femininity, related to the division of emotional roles between women and men;
5. Long Term versus Short Term Orientation, related to the choice of focus for people’s efforts: the future or the present and past.
6. Indulgence versus Restraint, related to the gratification versus control of basic human desires related to enjoying life.
Lets analyze this a bit further.
Power Distance has been defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.
To me it seems all about relationships among people- whether the hierarchical relationships are accepted or resisted. If one could extend an analogy to individual differences in personality, this may be analogous to the trait of Agreeableness in individuals- whether you are kind and nice or aggressive towards others.
Uncertainty Avoidance is not the same as risk avoidance; it deals with a society’s tolerance for ambiguity. It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are novel, unknown, surprising, and different from usual.
To my mind it is absolutely clear that is a cognitive dimension and analogous to Openness to Experience in individual variation. Both share the underlying theme of being open and exploratory and tolerant of ambiguity.
Individualism on the one side versus its opposite, Collectivism, as a societal, not an individual characteristic, is the degree to which people in a society are integrated into groups. On the individualist side we find cultures in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family. On the
collectivist side we find cultures in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families (with uncles, aunts and grandparents) that continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty, and oppose other ingroups.
To me this looks like an analog of Extraversion-introversion in individuals. One end is quite while the other is quite engaged with outside activities. In cultural terms, one end is characterized by close knit families while the other with more individualistic pursuits.
Masculinity versus its opposite, Femininity, again as a societal, not as an individual characteristic, refers to the distribution of values between the genders which is another fundamental issue for any society, to which a range of solutions can be found.
I cannot find a ready analogue of this in individual differences in personality in terms of the Big Five. In cultural terms this is related to whether gender roles are heavily differentiated (masculine cultures) or less so (feminine cultures).
Values found at this pole (long term orientation) were perseverance, thrift, ordering relationships by status, and having a sense of shame; values at the opposite, short term pole were reciprocating social obligations, respect for tradition, protecting one’s ‘face’, and personal steadiness and stability.
This can be equated easily with the Conscientiousness individual difference, one pole of which is associated with self-control etc.
Indulgence stands for a society that allows relatively free gratification of basic and natural human desires related to enjoying life and having fun. Restraint stands for a society that controls gratification of needs and regulates it by means of strict social norms.
This focus on happiness/ well-being versus constraint and repression of desires may be the analogous of neuroticism and emotional stability, where one end may have repressed desires at individual level while other exhibits more stability.
I know this is a far conjecture, and by no means am I suggesting that if a culture is high in Uncertainty avoidance, the individuals within it will have low openness to experience; the relationship between cultures and personality is more complex than that; but it is a good way to think about cultures that they too have a unique personality and its structure may be on the same lines as individual differences personality.
People since time immemorial have been fascinated by the problem of evil; some consider it a philosophical (why does evil exist?) and religious problem (Why does god allow evil if he is omnipotent and benevolent?) while some others have taken a more scientific approach.
Prominent psychologists from Roy Baumeister to Simon Baron-Cohen have written about evil and I first got drawn into psychology when I read ‘The anatomy of human destructiveness‘ by Erich Fromm in 1992, while still in college. As a matter of fact Fromm first came up with the term ‘malignant narcissism’ which was a sort of predecessor to the modern theory of an evil personality.
The modern theory of evil personality has recognized the existence of a dark triad- Narcissism, Machiavellianissm and Psychopathy, and recent studies and conceptualization have extended this to include a fourth trait called Sadism to make it a dark tetrad.
Research has shown that these four traits are moderately correlated to each other but are separate constructs.
But first lets understand what we mean by these terms.
Sadism: Everyday sadism, includes but is not limited to sadism in a sexual context. Put simply, it is a tendency to take pleasure in inflicting pain on others, either directly or vicariously. Normally, if we hurt someone else we feel guilt and shame and distress etc; sadists instead become addicted to such hurting others events as they feel diminished negative affect in hurting someone and instead feel pleasure.
Narcissism: Narcissists have a grandiose sense of self; they also feel very entitled; they are exploitative and demonstrate attention-seeking behavior.
Machiavellianism: Machiavellianism is basically having no qualms in manipulating people; they are also very good at such manipulations and are calculating and cold in their calculations..
Psychopathy: Psychopaths, apart from demonstrating anti-social behavior, are characteristic by their callous and unemotional attitude towards others people suffering. some people believe they lack empathy, while others believe they can cognitively know what it feels like, but do not affectively feel in the same way as their victims.
There is a rich body of literature linking the dark tetrad to many negative outcomes ranging from over-representation in internet trolling to more juvenile delinquency.
There is also some evidence linking these traits diffferentially to the big HEXACO/big five traits. for eg. Narcissism is associated with Extraversion, while Machiavellianism is associated with less Agreeablness; Sadism with less Emotionality, while Psychopathy with less Conscientiousness. The lowered scores on Humility-Honesty dimension of HEXACO are associated with all the four dark triad traits.
Similarly, the traits react differently when provoked: Narcissists aggression is insecurity driven; sadistic persons pleasure driven while that of a psychopath revenge driven.
Referring to my previous post, one can even conjecture that sadism is the Life schema/ Pain-pleasure axis gone wrong; Narcissism is due to inflated self schema; Machiavellianism a result of dysfunctional Others schema, while Psychopathy tied to deficiencies in the World schema.
It would be a mistake to presume that this dark triad is a categorical difference- its a dimensional difference and of degree rather than kind. All of us demonstrate some Machiavellian behavior or say everyday Sadism and its only a matter of time if these tendencies go unchecked you end up on the other side. As the popular saying goes, there are two wolves inside of us, the one which grows depends on which wolf you feed.