Exploring the Dark Side: Relationships between the Dark Triad Traits and Cluster B Personality Disorder Features

Author(s): Taylor J. Vossen, Frederick L. Coolidge, Daniel L. Segal and Jennifer J. Muehlenkamp

The present study explored relationships between the Dark Triad (Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy) and cluster B personality disorder (antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic) features. A sample of 661 participants were recruited from a Midwestern university and Amazon Mechanical Turk. A series of t-tests were conducted to examine sex differences in the Dark Triad and cluster B personality disorders. Sex differences were found on all traits and disorders, with men significantly higher than women on Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and antisocial personality disorder, and women higher than men on borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorders. Zero-order correlations and linear regression analyses were conducted to examine the contribution of each Dark Triad trait to each personality disorder. Significant associations were found for all personality disorders, with at least one Dark Triad trait making a significant contribution to each disorder. The relevance of the present study to the workplace and politics was discussed.

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