For the most part, if you were to ask someone what they prefer in their perfect partner, they would say something along the lines of “good-looking,” “intelligent,” “funny” or even “career-oriented.” And while they likely mean those things, when you dive deeper, something darker is revealed.
First and foremost, online surveys report that out of hundreds of thousands of participants, 49% of the males surveyed said intelligence was their number one priority in a partner, with good looks following directly after. For women, humor was the most important, with a whopping 53% of women ranking it as the most important trait in their perfect partner.
I believe if you asked everyone you knew, you would find something that similarly aligns. However, when you dive deeper into the psychology of attraction, there is simply something about people who harbor darker traits that many individuals are attracted to.
In psychology, psychologists cluster some of the darkest traits into one persona, known as the dark triad. The dark triad personality includes Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism.
Most people when asked would say they wanted the complete opposite of someone who fits that description, but what is the reality of things?
In a study, psychologists had 257 men and women online with an average age of 34 to complete an assessment. For the purpose of the study, they were asked to describe their ideal partner.
Out of those surveyed, they found that the ones who matched the personality traits of someone who had emophilia (put simply, the ones who fall in love faster) tended to be more attracted to those who harbored dark triad traits.
In another study, 185 women were asked to evaluate the online profiles of men who varied in Dark Triad traits. According to the study, women found men who displayed dark triad traits to be much more attractive than the ones who had lower levels of these traits.
Because these findings are limited, more research needs to be done. However, it’s interesting how those with dark triad traits were viewed (at least at first sight) as more attractive. It could be that people who harbor these traits spend more time trying to appear charming and attractive, thus making themselves more able to thrive. Regardless, there’s something to be said of women especially being more drawn to bad boys.