200911 Does Self-Control Increase Your Psychopathic Tendencies?

I always thought the opposite but then I read this article from the BBC.

How self-control can actually unleash your dark side

On reflection, I still think the opposite.  In 2017 I presented I formally presented the 7MTF model at the Sixth International Congress for Emotional Intelligence held in Oporto.  You can read the paper here.  While developing the 7MTF I realised that what best corresponded to Regulator EQ component was low levels of Neuroticism in the Five-Factor Model (FFM).  If your Neuroticism is high you lack emotional self-control.  That is the definition of neuroticism.

In the article Self-Control is defined by high levels of Conscientiousness which I believe is incorrect.  Another explanation of the results in the La Zone Extreme is people with high Conscientiousness saw the game as a project.  And in the 7MTF high Conscientiousness is linked to the Engineer EQ component.  The individuals are dominated by the desire to complete projects.

The other problem with the article (and the FFM) is it does not cover people who are actually high in psychopathic tendencies.  In the 7MTF there is a separate EQ component, the GoGetter.  These people lack sympathy for their fellow man and if their GoGetter is high and Regulator is low they are genetically driven to anti-social behaviour.  This can be compounded if in their youth they are raised in a dysfunction home and poor economic environment.

On the other hand, if you have an individual with high GoGetter and high Regulator he or she can be quite successful.  The focus will still be on financial success, but the strategies employed will be within acceptable business practices. They can create a very good first impression, but friendship does not necessarily go deep, for their prime loyalty is to themselves and family. They remain highly alert to opportunities for material gain, but are also prepared to put in the effort needed for success.  The Regulator provides self-management, good direction, and a constructive use of whatever talent is available.

Such individuals are friendly entrepreneurs who value both financial success and social popularity.  They will often work as sales people and eventually start their own business.  You also find them in politics – indeed President Trump is a wonderful example of a person with high GoGetter and reasonable Regulator levels.  But he does not walk alone.  Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush would also fit this profile.

This blog was first published on LinkedIn on 11 September 2020.




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Chris Golis - Author


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