The Many Faces of Dark Personalities: An Examination of the Dark Triad Structure using Psychometric Network Analysis

Tayler Truhan*, Paul Wilson, René Mõttus, Kostas A. Papageorgiou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although the Dark Triad (DT) of personality has been studied for almost two decades, research regarding its structure is lacking, which is pertinent to understanding personality-outcome associations. This study examined the structure of the DT domains, both independently and as a cluster. Initial results were replicated with a validation sample. Participants (Study 1: N = 301; Study 2: N = 224) completed six self-report questionnaires that assess DT domains. Exploratory Graph Analysis (EGA) was used in a two-step process to identify lower order facets and higher order factors of the DT. EGAs suggested eight facets of Narcissism, six facets of Psychopathy, four facets of Machiavellianism, and four DT factors, as grandiose and vulnerable narcissism formed two separate factors. Network analyses highlighted the central role that Antagonism occupied in the DT network. This study provides support for the feasibility of EGA, especially with traits that may be highly correlated, such as personality components. Results highlight the multidimensionality of the DT domains that existing personality measures fail to comprehensively capture, and the need for further research to refine measurement of the DT domains and Machiavellianism in particular.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusAccepted - 04 Nov 2020

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