The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 71: “The Terrible Trio”

They are Gotham’s elite! Or so they think.  They’re the “Terrible Trio,” a burgling threesome who target the rich–not because they need the money, but simply because they’re “bored.”  Dressed as a fox, shark and vulture, these guys break into people’s homes to steal for sport. As we see throughout this episode, these wealthy, privileged young men exhibit some concerning personality traits such as grandiosity, entitlement, and little respect for the rights and dignities of others. As far as Batman is concerned, these snobby thieves are “worse than the Joker — at least he has madness as an excuse!”

In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we discuss individuals with non-pathological, aversive personalities. We don’t mean the people in our lives who irritate or bother us; rather, we’re referring to people with offensive and highly off-putting personalities rooted in hostility, conceit, misogyny, racism, classism, and/or other forms of entitlement. Individuals with socially aversive personalities may not necessarily have a mental disorder, and as Batman points out quite astutely, simply being deviant and having a criminal tendency does not mean that a person has a mental illness. In fact, individuals with mental illness are more likely to be victims of crimes, not the perpetrators of violent crimes. As we discover with the Terrible Trio, no trauma, neurobiological injury, or other adverse event can account for their behavior. The Terrible Trio are, in fact, just terrible.

As such, we deconstruct the Terrible Trio, and introduce the concept of the “Dark Triad” of personality, which is a cluster of personality traits characterized by (1) sub-clinical narcissism, (2) psychopathy, and (3) Machiavellianism. The personalities composing this “Dark Triad” share a number of features: All three entail a socially malevolent character with behavior tendencies toward self-promotion, emotional coldness, duplicity, and aggressiveness. Finally, we implemented a brief “Psychological Entitlement Scale” that listeners can use as a self-administered measure of jerky-ness! Listen to the full analysis by clicking on the clip below:

The Arkham Sessions is a podcast dedicated to the psychology of the show, Batman: The Animated Series.  Have psychology related questions about Batman? Write to us via twitter @ArkhamSessions or on Facebook. Or visit our official website.

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