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Posts Tagged ‘virtue signal’

Psychopaths and Narcissists More Likely to Virtue Signal

Monday, March 8th, 2021
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Dictionary.com defines virtue signaling as follows: “The sharing of one’s point of view on a social or political issue, often on social media, in order to garner praise or acknowledgment of one’s righteousness from others who share that point of view, or to passively rebuke those who do not: The virtue signaling of solidarity with the victims can be a comforting affirmation of community. Their outraged virtue signaling comes across as contrived.”

Social media is full of these types of attention-seeker phonies. One of the main problems with holier-than-thou virtue signaling is that it can overshadow the causes of those who are sincere and have actual legitimate claims of harm. 

You’ve probably suspected all along that psychopaths and narcissists are more likely to virtue signal. According to a recent study, that’s true. 

Adding thieves to the list of those who are more likely to virtue signal makes sense considering the above-linked study’s findings about virtue signaling as a means to steal funds and resources

“An emerging literature on competitive victimhood documents the prevalence of victim signaling by various social groups and provides evidence for its functionality as a resource extraction strategy. For instance, victim signaling justifies victim groups seeking retribution against alleged oppressors. Retribution often takes the form of demanding compensation through some kind of resource transfer from nonvictims to the alleged victim. Claiming victim status can also facilitate resource transfer by conferring moral immunity upon the claimant. Moral immunity shields the alleged victim from criticism about the means they might use to satisfy their demands. In other words, victim status can morally justify the use of deceit, intimidation, or even violence by alleged victims to achieve their goals. Relatedly, claiming victim status can lead observers to hold a person less blameworthy, excusing transgressions, such as the appropriation of private property or the infliction of pain upon others, that might otherwise bring condemnation or rebuke. Finally, claiming victim status elevates the claimant’s psychological standing, defined as a subjective sense of legitimacy or entitlement to speak up. A person who has the psychological standing can reject or ignore any objections by nonvictims to the unreasonableness of their demands. In contrast to victim signalers, people who do not publicly disclose their misfortune or disadvantage are less likely to reap the benefits of retributive compensation, moral immunity, deflection of blame, or psychological standing and would therefore find it difficult to initiate resource transfers.”

The study also links another trait, manipulation, with those who virtue signal. Manipulation comes in many forms, but some of the more prevalent include the following: conditional (vs. unconditional) behavior; passive-aggressive behavior; emotional exploitation; being excessively nice in an underhanded way; playing the poor me game; trying to make others feel guilty; and others.

Authentic victimhood is a serious matter, but it’s unfortunate so many vain, acquisitive, manipulative, and dishonest people get so much exposure.

You can try to go exclusively on gut instinct or word of mouth to avoid the bad apples in your personal and professional life, but it’s wise to consider multiple forms of assessment.

I readily and effectively identify severe forms of all the above red flag personality traits in my non-traditional security investigations, which include handwriting analysis, one of the most objective and non-discriminatory forms of personality analysis.

Copyright © 2021 Scott Petullo