Expert interview: Brain researcher Mikhail Votinov on the dark side of the human psyche and measuring evil

Dr.

Expert interview: Brain researcher Mikhail Votinov on the dark side of the human psyche and measuring evil

Dr. Votinov, you are a neuroscientist and, among other things, research the brains of criminals. Do your research results ever scare you? No! I'm more likely to be confused or at least surprised. Especially when I do an experiment and something different comes out than expected. But then you start looking for the reasons. In any case, I'm not afraid.

Even your scientific publications talk about the “dark one”. What do you mean by that? A certain malice. Those who have dark character traits are usually antisocial in their behavior and tend to seduce, deceive, exploit and even directly harm others. I think that even in the language of science it is justified to call such properties “dark”.

Which personality structures are we talking about specifically? Three different ones, which are usually combined into a “dark triad”: narcissism, psychopathy as a severe form of antisocial personality disorder and Machiavellianism.

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