Table of Contents
The Dark Triad of Personality is a group of three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. These traits are often associated with negative outcomes, such as aggression, deception, and exploitation.
History of the Dark Triad
The Dark Triad was first conceptualized by Paulhus and Williams in 2002. They proposed that these three traits are distinct from each other, but they also share some common malevolent features. Each of these traits operates on a continuum, with some people scoring high on all three traits, while others score low on all three traits.
Characteristics of the Dark Triad
- Narcissism is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. Narcissists often believe that they are superior to others and that they deserve special treatment. They may be boastful, arrogant, and demanding.
- Machiavellianism is characterized by a manipulative and cynical view of the world. Machiavellians are skilled at deception and manipulation, and they often use these skills to achieve their own goals. They may be ruthless, cunning, and exploitative.
- Psychopathy is characterized by a lack of empathy, remorse, and guilt. Psychopaths may be charming and superficially charming, but they lack genuine concern for others. They may be impulsive, reckless, and violent.
Other related terms
- Antisocial personality disorder is a mental disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others. People with antisocial personality disorder may be aggressive, deceitful, and impulsive.
- Borderline personality disorder is a mental disorder characterized by a pattern of unstable interpersonal relationships, unstable self-image, and impulsive and self-destructive behaviors. People with borderline personality disorder may be emotionally unstable, needy, and demanding.
- Histrionic personality disorder is a mental disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention-seeking behavior. People with histrionic personality disorder may be dramatic, shallow, and self-centered.
- Paulhus, D. L., & Williams, K. M. (2002). The dark triad of personality. Journal of Research in Personality, 36, 556-563.
- Miller, J. D., Lynam, D. R., & Lynam, M. R. (2017). The Dark Triad of personality: A meta-analytic review of common and discriminant validity. Psychological Assessment, 29, 176-196.
- Jonason, P. K., & Webster, G. D. (2010). The Dark Triad: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. In The handbook of personality and individual differences (pp. 497-510). Guilford Press.
- Patrick, C. J. (2006). Understanding the Dark Triad: Three faces of evil. Guilford Press.
dark triad test
Original 41-Item Set
- Machiavellianism (alpha .78)‚
- Narcissism (alpha .77)‚
- Psychopathy (alpha .80)
- 1- Strongly Disagree‚
- 3- Neither Agree nor Disagree‚
- 4- Agree Strongly‚
Paulhus‚ D. L.‚ & Williams‚ K. M. (2002). The dark triad of personality: Narcissism‚ Machiavellianism‚ and psychopathy. Journal of Research in Personality‚ 36‚ 556–563.
Paulhus‚ D. L.‚ & Jones‚ D. N. (2011). Introducing a short measure of the Dark Triad. Poster presented at the meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology‚ San Antonio.
Jones‚ D. N.‚ & Paulhus‚ D. L. (2011). The role of impulsivity in the Dark Triad of personality.Personality and Individual Differences‚ 51‚ 679–682.
Furnham‚ A.; S. C. Richards & D. L. Paulhus (2013)‚ “The Dark Triad of Personality: A 10 Year Review”‚ Social and Personality Psychology Compass‚7(3): 199-216.
Paulhus‚ D. L. (2013). Dark Triad of Personality (D3-Short). Measurement Instrument Database for the Social Science. Retrieved from www.midss.ie
Jones‚ D. N.‚ & Paulhus‚ D. L. (2014). Introducing the Short Dark Triad (SD3): A brief measure of dark personality traits. Assessment.‚ 21(1); 28–41