Do you prefer city living? You might be a PSYCHOPATH: People who feel less connected to nature tend to have ‘dark’ personality traits, study finds
- City lovers score highly for Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy
- People who feel only a weak connection with nature have psychopathic traits
- Mental health charity Mind says time in nature can ease the symptoms such as anxiety and depression
City-dwellers who prefer a bustling concrete jungle to the tranquility of the countryside score highly for psychopathic personality traits, a study shows.
Scientists also found people who feel no connection with nature are more likely to have ‘dark’ personality traits.
Being in and around nature has long been anecdotally linked with improved mental health, and recent studies now back this up.
Mental health charity Mind says spending time in nature can ease problems such as anxiety and depression.
City-dwellers who prefer a bustling concrete jungle to the tranquility of the countryside score highly for psychopathic personality traits, a study shows (stock)
Forensic psychologists at the University of Derby assessed data from two different studies of a total of 500 Britons.
People were asked to answer where they preferred to live — urban, suburbs, or rural areas.
They also completed questionnaires to determine their personality type and traits, as well as their connectedness with nature.
Data showed individuals who have a personality ruled by the so-called ‘dark triad’ of Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy have few dealings with nature.
Dr Dean Fido at the University of Derby, author of the study, told PsyPost: ‘Across our studies, we evidenced a relationship between a connection with nature and psychopathy.’
He adds that everyonehas psychopathic tendencies to some degree, but the level varies from person-to-person.
‘Uunlike damning media representations, is not always deviant and dangerous in nature,’ Dr Fido said.
Scientists also found people who feel no connection with nature are more likely to have ‘dark’ personality traits (stock)
‘Indeed, many people who exhibit high degrees of psychopathic traits take up work in areas of medicine (e.g., surgeons) and the army owing to their ability to stay cool and calm under pressure and to make judgements that are not based on emotion.’
But while the research reveals and proves a preference of people with psychopathic traits for cities over rural areas, the reason for this remains unknown.
‘Given interventions have shown that nature connectedness can be improved, particularly in those with lower connectedness and in urban environments, the potential role of nature connectedness interventions in forensic populations should be explored,’ the researchers write in their paper, published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.
WHAT IS THE ‘DARK TRIAD’?
The dark triad is a name given to three personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism.
When all three traits are found in a single person, it implies a malevolent personality.
All three dark triad traits are conceptually distinct, but have been shown to have an overlap.
Narcissism is characterised by grandiosity, pride, egotism, and a lack of empathy.
Machiavellianism is characterised by manipulation and exploitation of others. It is also often linked to a cynical disregard for morality, and a focus on self-interest and deception.
Psychopathy is characterised by continuing antisocial behaviour, impulsivity, selfishness, callousness, and remorselessness.