Kostas Papageorgiou


  • Room 02.517 - David Keir Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Dark Personalities (Machiavellianism, Narcissism, Psychopathy and Sadism) across cultures in the context of psychopathology, education, every-day life and performance in various contexts.


Research output per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at Queen’s University Belfast and an Associate Professor in Personality Psychology at Tomsk State University in Russia.


I lecture on postgraduate courses in the School of Psychology at Queen’s and I supervises BSc, MSc, PhD, and Post-Graduate students’ research. I am the Senior Tutor and a member of the School's Research Committee, Postgraduate Committe and Internalisation Committee. Furthermore, I have served as staff representative in the Management Board and as Advisor of International Studies. 


I am the Director of the InteRRaCt Lab and an International Associate Member of InLab at Goldsmiths, and the Russian-British Behavioural Genetics Laboratory at the Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education. I am also a member of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, a member of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology and member of the Editorial Board in the Journal Personality and Individual Differences. 


In 2011, I was awarded a European Marie Curie Fellowship to pursue a PhD (2011-2015) at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development at Birkbeck University of London. My doctoral thesis “Individual Differences in Infant Visual Attention: Links to Child Temperament, Behaviour and Genetic Variation” explored the genetics of visual attention in the first year of life; and the degree to which individual differences in newborns’ and infants’ visual attention predict variation in temperament, cognition and symptoms of psychopathology in childhood. I conducted my MSc thesis in the InLab, under the supervision of Professor Kovas, exploring social (e.g. stereotype threat) and biological (e.g. prenatal testosterone) factors that contribute to sex differences in spatial and mathematical ability across development. In 2011, I received an MSc degree in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience from Goldsmiths University of London, and a BSc degree in Psychology from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences in 2009.   

Research Focus

Through the last decade there has been an exponential increase in the number of publications on the “Dark Triad.” These are the three traits of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Individuals high on the spectrum of dark traits engage in risky behavior, hold a grandiose view of themselves, are overconfident, show little empathy for others, and have little shame or guilt. The literature so far indicates that this constellation of traits may have unfavorable consequences for other people, organizations, and societies.


My research stands in stark contrast to the popular work on positive personality traits and, is fueled by the desire to explain the following contradiction: If dark personality traits are indeed so socially toxic, why do they persist and are even on the rise, in modern societies.


My objective in this line of work, that is still in its infancy, is not to rehabilitate dark personalities, but rather to contextualize them in a complex web of societal costs and benefits. In that regard, my work has focused on narcissism, as a first step, in order to highlight some positive sides of this seemingly dark trait, such as showing resilience and increasing school performance. 


One of the most novel contribution of my work is to show evidence to propose that narcissism may act as a brinde between the prosocial and socially aversive side of human personality. In a nutshell, the role of narcissism in the network of human personality is to determine how personality traits connect.


My research work promotes diversity and inclusiveness of people and ideas by advocating that dark traits, such as narcissism, should not be seen as "either good or bad," but as products of evolution and expressions of human nature that may be beneficial or harmful depending on the context. This move forward may help to reduce the marginalization of individuals that score high on dark traits, thus offering research-informed suggestions on how best to cultivate some manifestations of these traits, while discouraging others, for the collective good.


I participate actively in dissemination of scientific findings in both academic audiences and the public with my research on narcissism to frequently attract media attention from the world's largest international broadcasters (e.g. BBC World Service) resulting so far in more than 250 pieces of coverage worldwide.


As a Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast (2016-) and London Metropolitan University (2014-2016), and an Associate Professor at Tomsk State University (2016-), I have had the opportunity to teach undergraduate, MSc, and doctoral students, a variety of subjects ranging from applied social and developmental psychology to biological and evolutionary psychology to interdisciplinary study of personality development.


The accumulation of experience and my reflection and evaluation of the educational practices both as a student and as a lecturer in higher education have led me to focus on three interconnected objectives, when preparing and delivering a course: (1) to support my students in learning the fundamental content of the course that I teach; (2) to facilitate the understanding of the processes through which my students achieve the learning objective; (3) to foster critical thinking around the societal and historical context that produced the knowledge shared in the class, as a means of communicating how collective intelligence is influenced--and influences--individuals, present and future societies. 


At Queen's University Belfast, I am the Senior Tutor of Undergrdaute students and I teach primarily on the MSc Childhood Adversity Course, where I serve as coordinator of the module Reseach Dissertations. 


At Tomsk State University, I am the Convener of the Interdisciplinary Study of Development module in the International MSc Human Development: Genetics, Neuroscience and Psychology.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Kostas Papageorgiou is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 47 Similar Profiles

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.


Research Output

  • 21 Article
  • 3 Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Ordinary extraordinary: elusive group differences in personality and psychological difficulties between STEM-gifted adolescents and their peers

Likhanov, M., Tsigeman, E., Papageorgiou, K. A., Akmalov, A. F., Sabitov, I. A. & Kovas, Y., 31 Mar 2020, (Accepted) In : British Journal of Educational Psychology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Personality, Behavioral Strengths and Difficulties and Performance of Adolescents with High Achievements in Science, Literature, Art and Sports

    Papageorgiou, K. A., Likhanov, M., Costantini, G., Tsigeman, E., Zaleshin, M., Budakova, A. & Kovas, Y., 21 Feb 2020, In : Personality and Individual Differences. 160, 109917.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Speed of Saccadic Responses and Intelligence: An Exponential-Gaussian Analysis

    Wilson, P., Papageorgiou, K. A. & Cooper, C., 01 May 2020, In : Personality and Individual Differences. 158, 109860.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Training attention control of very preterm infants: protocol for a feasibility study of the Attention Control Training (ACT)

    Perra, O., Wass, S., McNulty, A., Sweet, D., Papageorgiou, K., Johnston, M., Patterson, A., Bilello, D. & Alderdice, F., 10 Feb 2020, In : Pilot and Feasibility Studies. 6, 1, 11 p., 17.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 27 Downloads (Pure)

    Bridging the Gap: A Network Approach to Dark Triad, Mental Toughness, the Big Five and Perceived Stress

    Papageorgiou, K. A., Benini, E., Bilello, D., Gianniou, F-M., Clough, P. J. & Costantini, G., 10 Mar 2019, In : Journal of Personality. 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 4 Citations (Scopus)


    EC Marie Curie initial training networks doctoral fellowship

    Kostas Papageorgiou (Recipient), Sep 2011

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Greek state scholarships foundation award

    Kostas Papageorgiou (Recipient), 2007

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    Personality and Individual Differences (Journal)

    Kostas Papageorgiou (Editor)
    2019 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

    Networks of Dark Triad and Mental Toughness.

    Kostas Papageorgiou (Advisor)
    20 Jun 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference

    Pushing Boundaries, Opening New Frontiers.

    Kostas Papageorgiou (Advisor)
    20 Jun 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Press / Media

    Narcissism growth ‘linked to better school achievement’

    Kostas Papageorgiou


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    The Upside of Being a Narcissist Suggests it Might Not Be a 'Bad' Thing

    Kostas Papageorgiou


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Narcissistic teenagers get better grades

    Kostas Papageorgiou


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Narcissists 'irritating but successful'

    Kostas Papageorgiou


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities