In the study researchers focused on nearly 1,000 heterosexual men and women with a variety of pathological personality traits whose disorders ranged in severity from none to diagnosable. Participants were referred to the study by general practitioners or other medical professionals, says Fernando Gutiérrez at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, who led the research. Gutiérrez and his team inquired about participants’ lifetime numbers of mates and children, along with job level, income and other sociodemographic factors using a combination of self-reporting surveys and interviews.
Their results show that people with some pathological personality types, such as those considered neurotic and impulsive, had more mates and even more children than average, suggesting that such traits are not being weeded out by natural selection and actually may confer an evolutionary advantage.
The study results show both males and females who were pathologically reckless and impetuous attracted more short-term partners than participants with average personalities. And obsessive-compulsive males—but not females—were successful at securing long-lasting mates, an outcome strongly associated with this group’s high income (obsessive-compulsives made nearly twice as much as the less obsessive study participants), Gutiérrez says.
(So sane people make less money? Well that explains two things.)
It should be noted that the findings of this study are considered speculative since certain personality types tend to be less trustworthy.
But putting that aside for now, there IS a grain of truth here.
There IS something to be said for the fact that pathological personalities sometimes have over inflated egos, and lack the kinds of self doubt that trouble those who are more introspective or self aware.
And perhaps there is something to be said for the fact that it requires a certain level of self delusion or fear of being alone which helps a marriage last for decades. I am of course not saying it is true of all marriages, but the possibility certainly makes me feel better about my past relationships.
For instance I do not usually have trouble attracting female attention, but cannot make relationships last for the long haul. And I ALWAYS think after a few years into the relationship that my partner has gone a little crazy.
In fact an actual Thanksgiving conversation with my family centered around whether I only attract crazy women, or whether living with me DRIVES them crazy.
I for one chose the former. Sadly that was not the consensus.
So apparently I am crazy enough to attract a woman, but not crazy enough to keep a woman. Not sure how to feel about that.
I guess my only option is to sit here ensconced in my sanity and feel smugly superior.
Yeah, THAT should keep me warm at night.