What intense dreams about violence and sex could mean for your waking life


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Last week, a series of studies found that truly bad people tend to share a “dark core” or “D-factor” of personality traits including narcissism, psychopathy, egoism, and spitefulness. And now, newly published research suggests that similar dark traits may seep into dreaming as well.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool and the University of Turku in Finland conducted the small study on about 300 people. First, they tested to what extent the participants presented the criteria for the “Dark Triad” personality traits: Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy. Then, they asked everyone to quantify how often their dreams included various violent behaviors, like hitting or killing someone; and sexual dreams that included their acquaintances or groups of people, reports The Cut.

Those presenting psychopathic and Machiavellianism traits reported having aggressive dreams more frequently than the rest of the group.

After reviewing the data, researchers discovered a positive correlation between the traits and the number of aggressive and sexual dreams participants had—suggesting that these undesirable attributes play out even while Dark Triad individuals were logging some shut-eye. An even closer look revealed that those presenting psychopathic and Machiavellianism traits reported having aggressive dreams more frequently than the rest of the group, and those considered psychopathic and narcissistic tended to have more sexual dreams instead.

While the study findings offer an interesting peek into the oh-so-mysterious dream world, it’s important to note that this preliminary work is based on a small sample size and was focused only on women, who have been found to have less of these types of dreams than men. And thus, future studies conducted on the opposite sex could present a different relationship between the waking and sleeping egomaniac. I can think of a few contenders in DC who might make good test subjects…

Speaking of personality types, here’s how to decode your numerology, and why whether or not you make your bed says something about you

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