Men with dark personality traits are more likely to repeatedly cheat

Are you a serial cheater? You might be a NARCISSIST! Men with dark personality traits are more likely to be repeatedly unfaithful, study reveals

  • In the new study, researchers surveyed 308 participants aged 18-25
  • They were quizzed on personality traits, sexual practices and tendency to cheat
  • Overall, men were much more likely than women to have dark personality traits
  • Men with these traits were also much more likely to cheat, especially repeatedly 

If your boyfriend is always talking about how great he is, a new study may encouarge you to be wary.

Researchers have revealed that men with dark personality traits – including Machiavellianism, narcissism and sadism – are more likely to be repeated cheaters.

In psychology, narcissism is generally characterised by grandiosity, pride, egotism and a lack of empathy for others. 

‘People with dark personality traits can establish short-term relationships more easily because they generally have low expectations about their future partners, especially in the case of men,’ said researchers Laura Ferreiros and Miguel Clemente from Universidade da Coruna.

‘Additionally, even if their initial expectations are high, they are willing to reduce them to have more partner options.’ 

Researchers have revealed that men with dark personality traits – including Machiavellianism, narcissism and sadism – are more likely to be repeated cheaters (stock image)


Narcissism is characterised by grandiosity, pride, egotism and a lack of empathy. 

Symptoms include an excessive need for admiration, disregard for others’ feelings, an inability to handle any criticism and a sense of entitlement.

Extreme narcissism can cross over into a mental illness called narcissistic personality disorder, found more commonly in men. 

The cause is unknown but likely involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors. 

Previous research has shown that people with dark personality traits tend to be unsympathetic, manipulative and violent.

However, until now, little research has looked at a link between dark personality traits and young people’s intimate couple relationships.

In their new study, the team set out to explore this link by surveying 308 participants aged 18-25, 78.3 per cent of who were women and 21.2 per cent of who were men.

Participants were quizzed on their sexual practices and tendencies towards partners, as well as their moral disengagement and dark personality traits.

The ‘dark’ traits the researchers assessed were Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, moral justification, euphemistic labelling, advantageous comparison, displacement of responsibility, diffusion of responsibility, distortion of consequences, dehumanization, and attribution of blame.

The survey results revealed that men obtained higher scores than women both in moral disengagement and dark personality traits.

People who were unfaithful or who consumed pornographic content also scored more highly for these traits, except psychopathy. 

Meanwhile, men with higher levels of dark personality traits were also more likely to cheat on their partner – especially repeatedly.

‘Infidelity is highly related to the presence of dark personality traits, unrestricted socio-sexuality, and having more sexual partners,’ the researchers added.

The study comes shortly after research revealed that highly narcissistic individuals climb the career ladder to become head of their company 29 per cent faster.

Researchers compared levels of narcissism in 241 CEOs around Italy, as determined by questionnaires, with their employment history.   

The academics found that the executives with the highest scores for narcissism got promoted quicker, regardless of whether their firm was a family business or not. 

This suggests narcissistic individuals benefit from the toxic personality flaw when they’re aiming at becoming head of their company as fast as possible – although the experts don’t know why this is.   


Psychopaths display different traits depending on their disorder.

Common signs include superficial charm, a grandiose notion of self-worth, the need for stimulation and impulsiveness, pathological lying, the ability to manipulate others and a lack of remorse and empathy.

But despite the popular association, not all psychopaths become killers.

Experts claim people usually find psychopaths intriguing, but can’t put their finger on why. 

This is down to incongruous behaviour because psychopaths tend to do a lot of acting to deceive, or mimic normal reactions, sometimes changing their views and reactions quickly.

For example, Self-professed psychopath Jacob Wells said that upon meeting someone, he tries to become ‘the most interesting person they know’ and presumably adopts suitable interests and responses to do this.

His response also gives away another common trait – a grandiose notion of self-worth – in that he can be the most interesting person in the room.

Psychopaths occasionally tend to exhibit unconvincing emotional responses, with slip-ups including tone of voice or body language.

This may be because they are unable to understand emotions such as fear and love, but can mimic them.

Psychopaths display different traits depending on their disorder, but common signs include superficial charm and the ability to manipulate others. Despite the popular association, not all psychopaths become killers (stock image)

Generally psychopaths’ ’emotions’ are shallow and short-lived and there is a manipulative ulterior motive to showing them.

For example, Mr Wells said he offers to do favours and tells false secrets to people to gain their complete trust.

He also displays insincere charm – another trait associated with psychopaths.

He says: ‘I keep secrets, and tell them fake secrets to further gain their trust, and once they trust me enough, I ask for favours, reminding them of the favours I did them. I can get literally anything from them, which is incredibly useful.’

Psychopaths typically display an incredible ability to manipulate others and sometimes take pleasure in doing so. 

Psychopaths often have an air of superiority about them, perhaps shown by Mr Wells’ belief he can spot other psychopaths

Even expert Dr Hare, who came up with the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) used as a diagnostic tool to determine where someone lies on the psychopathy spectrum, warns that anyone can be duped during a short interaction with a psychopath.

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