Human Nature

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 428–442

Living a Fast Life

The Dark Triad and Life History Theory

Authors

    • Psychology DepartmentUniversity of South Alabama
  • Bryan L. Koenig
    • Singapore Agency for Science, Technology, and Research
  • Jeremy Tost
    • Department of PsychologyNew Mexico State University
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12110-010-9102-4

Cite this article as:
Jonason, P.K., Koenig, B.L. & Tost, J. Hum Nat (2010) 21: 428. doi:10.1007/s12110-010-9102-4

Abstract

The current research applied a mid-level evolutionary theory that has been successfully employed across numerous animal species—life history theory—in an attempt to understand the Dark Triad personality trait cluster (narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism). In Study 1 (N = 246), a measure of life history strategy was correlated with psychopathy, but unexpectedly with neither Machiavellianism nor narcissism. Study 2 (N = 321) replicated this overall pattern of results using longer, traditional measures of the Dark Triad traits and alternative, future-discounting indicators of life history strategy (a smaller-sooner, larger-later monetary dilemma and self-reported risk-taking behaviors). Additional findings suggested two sources of shared variance across the Dark Triad traits: confidence in predicting future outcomes and openness to short-term mating.

Keywords

Dark triadLife history theoryFuture discountingSex differences

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010