"The foundations of the study of dark psychology are not modern. The models of classical comedy and tragedy during the height of the Greek Empire illustrate an understanding of this uniquely human capacity even during ancient times. The comedies and tragedies of ancient Greek theater were used as a means for society to experience catharsis—a collective exercise in which social bonding occurred by the creation and release of social tensions as a means of resolving societal conflicts.
But what is at the heart of this classical method of employing art as a means of regulating society is society’s need to be regulated because of the unique capacity of human beings to act in ways that are destructive and harmful without any apparent practical purpose or necessity. This capacity is what clinical psychologists refer to as dark psychology.
Consider that species other than humans, such as lions, wolves, bears, or birds of prey, may track, target, hunt, and kill smaller, less powerful animals, such as deer, cattle, sheep, rabbits, and rodents. Yet, the reason for this predatory behavior is necessity, not cruelty or malevolence. In addition, when predatory animals hunt, they are likely to target the most vulnerable and the weakest, not out of any sense of meanness or malice, but because engaging with a weaker opponent involves less risk and less effort. Thus, the violence and destruction of natural predators serves practical needs—to feed themselves and their young in an effort to propagate their species."