The concept also involves a negative view of human nature, that considers that people are inherently selfish and that cynical manipulation is an acceptable route to get ahead. The study team conducted a four-part survey study to better understand the personal characteristics underlying social Darwinism.
Each part of the study included 624 to 853 Polish participants. The characteristics such as the “Big Five” personality traits, the “Dark Triad” of personality, basic human values, and moral judgments were explored.
Social Darwinism and Personality
It was found that social Darwinists were more likely to display admiration for power, a desire to dominate, a desire to pursue their goals at all costs, and hostility – strong worship towards strength and power.
At the same time, these groups of people also had higher vulnerability to low self-esteem, low self-sufficiency, (that is, having a fragile self-image), and a fearful attachment style in their close relationships.
The study thereby depicts that that social Darwinists hold a “mental split,” and their beliefs conflict with the principles of liberal democracy, that is not conducive to foster a cooperative, egalitarian society.
Other dispositional characteristics and pessimistic views of the social world that underlie social Darwinism are still under further research.