Advertisement

The Dark Triad and facets of personality

  • Christopher Marcin KowalskiEmail author
  • Philip A. Vernon
  • Julie Aitken Schermer
Article

Abstract

This study investigates the Dark Triad in relation to the Big Five facets and the putative redundancy of Machiavellianism and psychopathy. A sample of 442 participants completed measures of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy, as well as the Big Five. Bivariate correlations and multivariate regression analyses with age, sex, and facets of the Big Five as predictors of each dark trait were examined. We found that 13 of the correlations between the Big Five facets and Machiavellianism and psychopathy differed significantly (p < .01; z values ranging from −3.61 to −3.77 and 2.36 to 4.99). Specifically, the relationships between Machiavellianism and anxiety, depression, self-consciousness, vulnerability, assertiveness, excitement-seeking, values, straightforwardness, compliance, modesty, dutifulness, and deliberation differed significantly from the relationships of psychopathy and these facets. Moreover, Machiavellianism and psychopathy differed in terms of their Big Five facet predictors. Of the Big Five facets, psychopathy was independently predicted by excitement-seeking, straightforwardness, altruism, and compliance, facets purported to underlie psychopathy (O’Boyle et al. Journal of Personality, 83, 644–664, 2015). Machiavellianism, on the other hand, was independently predicted by self-consciousness, fantasy, values, trust, and straightforwardness. Narcissism was independently predicted by assertiveness, fantasy, ideas, and modesty. Future research is needed to further clarify these differences, and future directions on how to further the Dark Triad redundancy debate are discussed.

Keywords

Dark triad Big five facets Narcissism Machiavellianism Psychopathy 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The present study was not preregistered. Data is available upon request.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Declaration of Conflicting Interests

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee (University of Western Ontario Non-Medical Research Ethics Board) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. Abell, L., Brewer, G., Qualter, P., & Austin, E. (2016). Machiavellianism, emotional manipulation, and friendship functions in women's friendships. Personality and Individual Differences, 88, 108–113.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.09.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashton, M. C., Jackson, D. N., Paunonen, S. V., Helmes, E., & Rothstein, M. G. (1995). The criterion validity of broad factor scales versus specific facet scales. Journal of Research in Personality, 29, 432–442.  https://doi.org/10.1006/jrpe.1995.1025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baughman, H. M., Jonason, P. K., Lyons, M., & Vernon, P. A. (2014). Liar liar pants on fire: Cheater strategies linked to the dark triad. Personality and Individual Differences, 71, 35–38.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.07.019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bereczkei, T., Birkas, B., & Kerekes, Z. (2010). The presence of others, prosocial traits, Machiavellianism: A personality x situation approach. Social Psychology, 41, 238–245.  https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335/a000032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Book, A., Visser, B. A., & Volk, A. A. (2015). Unpacking “evil”: Claiming the core of the dark triad. Personality and Individual Differences, 73, 29–38.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.09.016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Buckels, E. E., Jones, D. N., & Paulhus, D. L. (2013). Behavioral confirmation if everyday sadism. Psychological Science, 24, 2201–2209.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797613490749.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Carre, J. R., & Jones, D. N. (2016). The impact of social support and coercion salience on Dark Triad decision making. Personality and Individual Differences, 94, 92–95.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.01.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Christie, R., & Geis, F. L. (1970). Studies in Machiavellianism. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  9. Cleckley, H. (1955). The mask of sanity: An attempt to clarify some issues about the so-called psychopathic personality (3rd ed.). St Louis: Mosby.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 155–159.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.112.1.155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Collision, K. L., Vize, C. E., Miller, J. D., & Lynam, D. R. (2018). Development and preliminary validation of a five factor model measure of Machiavellianism. Psychological Assessment, 30, 1401–1407.  https://doi.org/10.1037/pas0000637.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Costa Jr., P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). The NEO-PI-R professional manual. Odessa: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
  13. Crysel, L. C., Crosier, B. S., & Webster, G. D. (2013). The Dark Triad and risk behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 54, 35–40.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2012.07.029.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Czibor, A., Szabo, Z.P., Jones, D.N., Zsido, A.N., Paal, T., Szijjarto, L., …, Bereczkei, T. (2017). Male and female face of Machiavellianism: Opportunism or anxiety? Personality and Individual Differences, 117, 221-229.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2017.06.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Decuyper, M., De Pauw, S., De Fruyt, F., De Bolle, M., & De Clercq, B. J. (2009). A meta-analysis of psychopathy-, antisocial PD-, and FFM associations. European Journal of Personality, 23, 531–565.  https://doi.org/10.1002/per.729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. DeShong, H. L., Helle, A. C., Lengel, G. J., Meyer, N., & Mullins-Sweatt, S. N. (2017). Facets of the dark triad: Utilizing the five-factor model to describe Machiavellianism. Personality and Individual Differences, 105, 218–223.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.09.053.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. DeYoung, C. G., Quilty, L. C., & Peterson, J. B. (2007). Between facets and domains: 10 aspects of the big five. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 880–896.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.93.5.880.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. Douglas, H., Bore, M., & Munro, D. (2012). Distinguishing the dark triad: Evidence from the five-factor model and the Hogan development survey. Psychology, 3, 237–242.  https://doi.org/10.4236/psych.2012.33033.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Eid, M., Gollwitzer, M., & Schmitt, M. (2011). Statistik und Forschungmethoden Lehrbuch [statistics and research methods textbook]. Weinheim, Germany: Beltz.Google Scholar
  20. Furnham, A., & Crump, J. (2014). A big five facet analysis of sub-clinical narcissism: Understanding boldness in terms of well-known personality traits. Personality and Mental Health, 8, 209–217.  https://doi.org/10.1002/pmh.1262.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Glenn, A. L., & Sellbom, M. (2015). Theoretical and empirical concerns regarding the Dark Triad as a construct. Journal of Personality Disorders, 29, 360–377.  https://doi.org/10.1521/pedi_2014_28_162.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Gordts, S., Uzieblo, K., Neumann, C., Van den Bussche, E., & Rossi, G. (2017). Validity of the self-report psychopathy scales (SRP-III full and short versions) in a community sample. Assessment, 24, 308–325.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1073191115606205.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Hare, R. D. (1985). Comparison of procedures for the assessment of psychopathy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53, 7–16.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.53.1.7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Jonason, P. K., & Webster, G. D. (2010). The dirty dozen: A concise measure of the dark triad. Psychological Assessment, 22, 420–432.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019265.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Jonason, P. K., Kaufman, S. B., Webster, G. D., & Geher, G. (2013). What lies beneath the Dark Triad dirty dozen: Varied relations with the big five. Individual Differences Research, 11, 81–90.Google Scholar
  26. Jones, D. N. (2013). Psychopathy and Machiavellianism predict differences in racially motivated attitudes and their affiliations. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43, 367–378.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12035.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jones, D. N. (2014). Risk in the face of retribution: Psychopathic individuals persist in financial misbehavior among the dark triad. Personality and Individual Differences, 67, 109–113.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.01.030.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jones, D. N., & De Roos, M. S. (2017). Machiavellian flexibility in negative mate retention. Personal Relationships, 24, 265–279.  https://doi.org/10.1111/pere.12181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jones, D. N., & Paulhus, D. L. (2014). Introducing the short Dark Triad (SD3): A brief measure of dark personality traits. Assessment, 21, 28–41.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1073191113514105.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Jones, D. N., & Paulhus, D. L. (2017). Duplicity among the dark triad: Three faces of deceit. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 113, 329–342.  https://doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000139.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Jones, D. N., & Weiser, D. A. (2014). Differential infidelity patterns among the dark triad. Personality and Individual Differences, 57, 20–24.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2013.09.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kowalski, C. M., Vernon, P. A., & Schermer, J. A. (2016). The general factor of personality: The relationship between the big one and the dark triad. Personality and Individual Differences, 88, 256–260.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.09.028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kowalski, C. M., Kwiatkowska, K., Kwiatkowska, M. M., Ponikiewska, K., Rogoza, R., & Schermer, J. A. (2018). The Dark Triad and intelligence: Machiavellians are bright, and narcissists and psychopaths are ordinary. Personality and Individual Differences, 135, 1–6.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2018.06.049.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lee, K., & Ashton, M. C. (2005). Psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism in the five-factor model and HEXACO model of personality structure. Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 1571–1582.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2004.09.016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lee, K., & Ashton, M. C. (2014). The dark triad, the big five, and the HEXACO model. Personality and Individual Differences, 67, 2–5.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.01.048.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lenhard, W., & Lenhard, A. (2014). Hypothesis Tests for Comparing Correlations. Available: https://www.psychometrica.de/correlation.html. Bibergau (Germany): Psychometrica.  https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.1.2954.1267.
  37. Lenhard, W., & Lenhard, A. (2016). Calculation of Effect Sizes. Available: https://www.psychometrica.de/effect_size.html. Dettelbach (Germany): Psychometrica.  https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.1.3478.4245.
  38. Lynam, D. R., & Miller, J. D. (2015). Psychopathy from a basic trait perspective: The utility of a five-factor model approach. Journal of Personality, 83, 611–626.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12132.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Malesza, M., & Ostaszewski, P. (2016). Dark side of impulsivity – Associations between the dark triad, self-report and behavioral measures of impulsivity. Personality and Individual Differences, 88, 197–201.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.09.016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. McHoskey, J. W., Worzel, W., & Szyarto, C. (1998). Machiavellianism and psychopathy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 192–210.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.74.1.192.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Miller, J. D., Hyatt, C. S., Maples-Keller, J. L., Carter, N. T., & Lynam, D. R. (2017). Psychopathy and Machiavellianism: A distinction without a difference? Journal of Personality, 85, 439–453.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12251.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Muris, P., Merckelbach, H., Otgaar, H., & Meijer, E. (2017). The malevolent side of human nature: A meta-analysis and critical review of the literature on the Dark Triad (narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12, 183–204.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691616666070.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Musek, J. (2007). A general factor of personality: Evidence for the big one in the five-factor model. Journal of Research in Personality, 41, 1213–1233.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2007.02.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. O’Boyle, E. H., Forsyth, D. R., Banks, G. C., Story, P. A., & White, C. D. (2015). A meta-analytic test of redundancy and relative importance of the Dark Triad and five-factor model of personality. Journal of Personality, 83, 644–664.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12126.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Ones, D. Z., & Viswesvaran, C. (1996). Bandwidth-fidelity dilemma in personality measurement for personnel selection. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 17, 609–626.  https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-1379(199611)17:6<609::AID-JOB1828>3.0.CO;2-K.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Paulhus, D. L., & Williams, K. M. (2002). The Dark Triad of personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Journal of Research in Personality, 36, 556–563.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0092-6566(02)00505-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Paulhus, D. L., Neumann, C. S., & Hare, R. D. (2016). Manual for the Hare self-report psychopathy scale. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  48. Paunonen, S. V., & Ashton, M. C. (2001). Big five factors and facets and the prediction of behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 524–539.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.81.3.524.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Paunonen, S. V., Rothstein, M. G., & Jackson, D. N. (1999). Narrow reasoning about the use of broad personality measures for personnel selection. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 20, 389–405.  https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-1379(199905)20:3<389::AID-JOB917>3.0.CO;2-G.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Paunonen, S. V., Haddock, G., Forsterling, F., & Keinonen, M. (2003). Broad versus narrow personality measures of behavior across cultures. European Journal of Psychology, 17, 413–433.  https://doi.org/10.1002/per.496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Persson, B. N., Kajonius, P. J., & Garcia, D. (2017). Revisiting the structure of the short dark triad. Assessment, 26, 3–16.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1073191117701192.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Petrides, K. V., Vernon, P. A., Schermer, J. A., & Veselka, L. (2011). Trait emotional intelligence and the Dark Triad of personality. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 14, 35–41.  https://doi.org/10.1375/twin.14.1.35.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  53. Pilch, I., & Turska, E. (2015). Relationships between Machiavellianism, organizational culture, and workplace bullying: Emotional abuse from the target’s and the perpetrator’s perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 128, 83–93.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2081-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Raskin, R. N., & Hall, C. S. (1979). A narcissistic personality inventory. Psychological Reports, 45, 590.  https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.1979.45.2.590.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  55. Rauthmann, J. F. (2013). Investigating the Mach-IV with item response theory and proposing the trimmed MACH*. Journal of Personality Assessment, 95, 388–397.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2012.742905.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Reynolds, B., Ortengren, A., Richards, J. B., & de Wit, H. (2006). Dimensions of impulsive behavior: Personality and behavioral measures. Personality and Individual Differences, 40, 305–315.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2005.03.024.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rogoza, R., & Cieciuch, J. (2017). Structural investigation of the short Dark Triad questionnaire in polish population. Current Psychology.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-017-9653-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rogoza, R., & Cieciuch, J. (2018). Dark Triad traits and their structure: An empirical approach. Current Psychology, Advance online publication.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-018-9834-6.
  59. Rogoza, R., Kowalski, C. M., & Schermer, J. A. (2019). Dark Triad traits within the framework of the Circumplex Model of Personality Metatraits. Journal of Individual Differences, 40, 168–176.  https://doi.org/10.1027/1614-0001/a000289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Skinner, N. F. (1981). Personality correlates of Machiavellianism: II. Machiavellianism and achievement motivation in business. Social Behavior and Personality, 9, 155–157.  https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1981.9.2.155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Skinner, N. F. (1988). Personality correlates of Machiavellianism: VI Machiavellianism and the psychopath. Social Behavior and Personality, 16, 33–37.  https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1988.16.1.33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Smith, R. J. (1978). The psychopath in society. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  63. Smith, R. J., & Griffith, J. E. (1978). Psychopathy, the Machiavellian, and anomie. Psychological Reports, 42, 258.  https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.1978.42.1.258.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Strus, W., Cieciuch, J., & Rowinski, T. (2014). The Circumplex of personality Metatraits: A synthesizing model of personality based on the big five. Review of General Psychology, 18, 273–286.  https://doi.org/10.1037/gpr0000017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Vernon, P. A., Villani, V. C., Vickers, L. C., & Harris, J. A. (2008). A behavioral genetic investigation of the Dark Triad and the big 5. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 445–452.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2007.09.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Vize, C. E., Lynam, D. R., Collision, K. L., & Miller, J. D. (2018). Differences among Dark Triad components: A meta-analytic investigation. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 9, 101–111.  https://doi.org/10.1037/per0000222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Marcin Kowalski
    • 1
    Email author
  • Philip A. Vernon
    • 1
  • Julie Aitken Schermer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Management and Organizational Studies, Faculty of Social ScienceThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Personalised recommendations