Dark Triad traits, learning styles, and symptoms of depression: Assessing the contribution of mental toughness longitudinally

Andrew Denovan, Neil Dagnall, Elena Artamonova, Kostas A. Papageorgiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study, using a semi-longitudinal design, explored the extent to which Dark Triad traits indirectly (through mental toughness) predicted learning styles (i.e., deep, strategic, and surface learning) and depression symptoms. First year undergraduates (N = 100 matched at two-time intervals; 17 males, 83 females; mean age = 19.02, range = 18 to 24) completed self-report questionnaires at the beginning of the academic year and the start of the second term. Mediation analysis revealed that narcissism contributed indirectly to reduced surface learning, increased strategic learning, and lower symptoms of depression. Psychopathy and Machiavellianism were neither indirectly associated with learning styles nor depression symptoms. These findings have important applied implications. Specifically, they indicate that features of narcissism are beneficial to mental health and learning outcomes. These results also highlight the need for further research to identify ways to promote the adaptive vs. maladaptive features of Dark Triad traits in education.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102053
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Volume91
Early online date13 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2021

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