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Machiavellian romance shrouded in the Veil of Darkness

You suspect you’re in for a jolly read —a jolly ride, really, through the realm of romantic evil! — when a scholarly report begins with the words:

When are women drawn to shady, self-centered, sly, cunning, and manipulative men? … In this work, we postulate in our novel Veil of Darkness hypothesis that men with “dark” personality traits fare particularly well in contexts of less illumination. We test this hypothesis in the mating/courtship domain with the example of dark/cloudy vs. bright/sunny weather. Specifically, we examine whether weather conditions may function as a moderator of beneficial courtship outcomes of male dark personalities.

There is now a published paper that begins with those very words. The paper is:

Shrouded in the Veil of Darkness: Machiavellians but not narcissists and psychopaths profit from darker weather in courtship,” John F. Rauthmann [pictured here], Marlit Kappes, Johannes Lanzinger, Personality and Individual Differences, epub February 7, 2014.

[NOTE: The authors, at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany and Leopold-Franzens Universität Innsbruck, Austria, are seeking single persons to be “participants” in a study of “online attraction”.]

Here’s detail from the newly published study. The caption says “Fig. 4. Process model of men’s Machiavellianism leading to beneficial courtship outcomes under dark weather conditions. Note: Only significant paths are included. The dotted lines represent the direct effect of Machiavellianism on smiling (p > .05). ⁄⁄⁄p < .001 ⁄⁄p < .01, ⁄p < .05.:

(Thanks to investigator Neil Martin for bringing this to our attention.)

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