Why am I so drawn to psychopaths

Where Love Falls: What It Says About You When You Love Psychopaths


Narcissistic, selfish, and without a conscience: psychopaths are not really personable. Nevertheless, there are people who find them attractive.

1 / 11

Opposites attract. This thesis is incorrect when it comes to love for a psychopath (see box). This is the conclusion of researchers from Emory University in the US state of Georgia in the "Journal of Personality".

In the study, the team led by psychologist Ashley L. Watts looked into the question of whether there are people who find psychopathic traits attractive. To do this, it asked over 700 people about their own personalities. In addition, the participants had to provide information about their ideal partner for a one-night stand, a short affair or a real relationship, based on 70 different personality traits.

Result: The non-psychopathic participants rated psychopaths as unattractive and only considered them for a one-off affair, but not for something long-term.

It was also shown that some psychopathic properties were rated more negatively than others. For example, innocence and high self-esteem were seen as less of a problem than egocentricity and impulsiveness.

Disguise psychopathic traits

It looked significantly different with those test subjects who, according to self-disclosure, show psychopathic traits themselves, according to the researchers. They would consistently prefer partners with a similar lack of empathy and would most likely fall in love with someone who scores equally high on psychopathic traits.

However, Watts and her colleagues point out that the results may not apply one-to-one to the real world. It could be that some participants were not completely honest when filling out the questionnaire and that their answers tried to cover up their own psychopathic traits, as Iflscience.com writes. Therefore, more research is needed on the subject.

Severe personality disorder

Psychopathy is defined as a severe personality disorder that is associated with the extensive or complete lack of empathy, social responsibility and conscience, as stated in the "Online Lexicon for Psychology and Education". Accordingly, psychopaths are considered fearless, impulsive, cold-hearted, and manipulative. (fairy)