Despite common thought, not all people with dark triad disorders are void of empathy. Some people with dark triad disorders experience above-average empathetic capabilities. Researchers shed light on "dark empaths" and empathy deficits in those with dark triad disorders.
Atypical activation and negative functional connectivity between the insula and ventromedial prefrontal cortex could explain why psychopaths lack empathy.
Activities targeting agreeableness were shown to reduce Dark Triad personality traits. However, those with Dark Triad personality disorders are less likely to want intervention to increase agreeableness.
Psychopathy is associated with altered expression of genes and immune responses related to molecular pathways. In neurons, the up-regulation of PRL10P9 and ZNF132 and down-regulation of CDG5 and OPRD1 were linked to psychopathic behaviors. The genetic expression explained up to 92% of the variance of psychopathic symptoms. Researchers speculated these genes may be relevant to the lack of empathy and emotional callousness associated with psychopathy, as previous studies have linked a number of these genes to ASD and problematic social behaviors.
Researchers report a strong focus on reward coupled with a lack of self control appears to drive criminal psychopaths.
It is estimated that 1% of the general population has psychopathic traits. Among the upper echelons of corporations, up to 3.5% of employees are psychopathic, with the percentage rising for those who are chief executives. Researchers investigate how those with psychopathic traits impact the workplace for other employees, and how corporate psychopaths end up costing the economy billions of dollars due to their unethical behaviors.
People with Dark Triad personality traits are more likely to believe fake news, especially when doing so promotes their own selfish desires. Even when presented with scientific facts, those with dark triad personalities bend reality to their own liking. The more pronounced traits associated with self-interest were, the more those with dark triad personalities doubted there was a difference between actual facts and mere opinions.