OT: The dark side of environmental activism

The dark side of environmental activism
Hannes Zacher
In times of growing concerns about climate change, environmental activism is increasing. Whereas several studies have examined associations between environmental activism and the Big Five personality characteristics, the potential “dark side” of environmental activists’ personality has been neglected. Accordingly, this study examined associations between environmental activism, the dark triad traits (i.e., Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism) and left-wing authoritarianism (i.e., antihierarchical aggression, anticonventionalism, top-down censorship). Data came from 839 employed individuals in Germany. Results showed positive associations between environmental activism and Machiavellianism, narcissism, antihierarchical aggression, and anticonventionalism. Most of these associations remained significant after controlling for Big Five characteristics, demographic characteristics, political orientation, and right-wing authoritarianism. These findings suggest that environmental activism, in addition to its potential positive outcomes, may also have a dark side in terms of activists’ personality.


I think the same study could be on political activism as witnessed all over the world. The moral of the story, don’t go over board and stay in the middle lane.


1 Like

Yes, as I was reading I was thinking: This can be applied to anybody considered an activist, which for this purpose can operationally also be defined as an extremist. I need to “authort” myself by hurting and diminishing who I consider the Evil Other.