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People With Narcissistic, Psychopathic Tendencies More Likely To Support Left-Wing Views, New Research Finds

Researchers warn minority activist groups about narcissistic 'enemies from within' that may hijack a movement for their own gain

People With Narcissistic, Psychopathic Tendencies More Likely To Support Left-Wing Views, New Research Finds

Narcissistic people and individuals with psychopathic tendencies are more likely to align with left-wing authoritarianism, according to a new study.

Researchers also found that “some forms of political activism can be attractive for narcissist/psychopaths,” while adding that some “political activists on the left side of the political spectrum do not actually strive for social justice and the support of underprivileged groups or persons, but rather endorse or express violence for the satisfaction of their own ego-focused, sometimes even antisocial, needs.”

The new research, published in Current Psychology, aimed to determine what psychological factors drive individuals to participate in violent political activism.

“Authoritarianism can be found on both sides of the political spectrum,” the study’s authors Ann Krispenz and Alex Bertrams said in a recent interview.

They added that indicators of authoritarianism on the political left include preferences for things like the absolute endorsement of progressive moral values, top-down censorship (i.e., the preference for the use of governmental an institutional authority to suppress any speech that is considered offensive and intolerant), and the motivation to use force and aggression to overthrow established hierarchies.

“For example, an individual high in [left-wing authoritarianism] might declare anyone to be ‘old fashioned’ who is opposing their own ‘progressive values,’ strive to suppress free speech to regulate the expression of right-wing beliefs in educational institutions, and even endorse the use of violence to reach their own political goals,” Krispenz and Bertrams added.

The study’s authors found that people who support using force to overthrow power structures, and to use force against individuals who endorse conservative values, are more likely to exhibit a sense of entitlement, arrogance, manipulative behavior, reactive anger, grandiose fantasies, acclaim seeking, shame, and a need for admiration.

Researchers also determined that left-wing authoritarianism has no relationship to altruism.

“In particular, certain forms of activism might provide them with opportunities for positive self-presentation and displays of moral superiority, to gain social status, to dominate others, and to engage in social conflicts and aggression to satisfy their need for thrill seeking,” Krispenz and Bertrams said.

The pair also warned that “minority groups should be made aware of the narcissistic ‘enemies’ from within their activist movement, as these individuals could hijack the cause thereby reducing the success of the activism in many ways.”

Krispenz and Bertrams added, “As grandiose narcissists typically desire fame, distinction, elevated social status, and high social importance, they can be assumed to strive for influential positions that involve social visibility and outreach as well as access to financial and other resources.”

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