Project

Nomological network of dark traits

Goal: The goal of this project is to explore the core features of the dark traits, their main correlates, as well as to validate measures of various dark traits. The focus in on Dark Tetrad traits (psychopathy, Machiavellianism, narcissism, and sadism), but we expanded the dark traits network to other traits related to dark core, such as envy, selfishness, schadenfreude, spitefulness, vengefulness, and similar.

Updates
0 new
3
Recommendations
0 new
8
Followers
0 new
31
Reads
3 new
316

Project log

Bojana Dinić
added a research item
With the rise of “dark leaders“ among presidents, this research aimed to explore the effects of Dark Triad traits and political orientation on presidential leadership style preferences. Since political orientation is expected to be the main predictor, we explored the incremental contribution of dark traits over and above political orientation. Sample included 233 young voters (M = 21.95, SD = 3.10, 56.2% men). Data were collected on the eve of the parliamentary election in Serbia (June 21st, 2020). Presidential leadership preferences were measured using vignettes that described 4 styles: charismatic or coaching-inspirational, avoiding or distrustful-withdrawn, autocratic or directive-authoritarian, and democratic or yielding-participative leadership. For each vignette participants had to answer 5 questions related to their preference for that style (e.g., Would you want this person to be your president?). Political orientation was measured using 3 questions (economic left-right, progressive-conservative, importance of religious values in politics) with higher scores indicating a more right-wing orientation. Dark traits were measured using the Serbian adaptation of the Short Dark Triad. A hierarchical linear regression was conducted with age and gender (control variables; 1st block), political orientation (2nd block), and dark traits (3rd block). Results showed that dark traits explained 6% of the incremental variance of autocratic and 5% of charismatic style, with psychopathy showing a positive relation with the preference for an autocratic (β = .16, p = .04), and Machiavellianism a negative relation with the preference for a charismatic style (β = -.15, p = .05). Although right-wing political orientation was positively related to the preference for an autocratic style (β = .13, p = .04), with the addition of dark traits it became nonsignificant (β = .11, p = .09). The preference for an avoiding style was predicted by male gender (β = -.14, p = .05) and psychopathy (β = .16, p = .05), although the 3rd block did not show a significant contribution (2%). Finally, only left-wing political orientation (β = -.15, p = .03) showed a significant contribution in the explanation of the preference for a democratic style. Although narcissism had a significant positive correlation with the preference for an autocratic style, it did not show a significant contribution in the regression analysis. Results showed that among dark traits, psychopathy and Machiavellianism explained significant incremental variance in the explanation of leadership preferences. Book of abstracts: http://empirijskaistrazivanja.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/KNJIGA-REZIMEA-2022_FIN-sa-isbn_bez_linija-1.pdf
Bojana Dinić
added a research item
Subclinical sadism, characterized by infliction of cruelty, aggression, or humiliation on another for subjugation or pleasure, provides important information in the prediction of aversive behaviors that have implications for individuals’ and society’s well-being worldwide. Given sadism’s universal relevance, it is imperative that researchers ensure valid and reliable trait measurement not only among English-speaking individuals, but also cross-nationally among countries in which sadism remains relatively understudied. The objective of the current research was to validate the revised version of the Assessment of Sadistic Personality (ASP-8) (Plouffe et al., 2017) across samples of Russian (n = 1087, Mage = 37.36, SD = 10.36), Greek (n = 1195, Mage = 35.64, SDage = 13.08), Serbian (n = 443, Mage = 28.10, SDage = 6.60), and British (n = 511, Mage = 28.50, SDage = 11.62) adults. Overall, results supported the reliability, dimensionality, and scalar/partial scalar measurement invariance of the ASP-8 across cross-national samples. Convergent and discriminant validity were mostly supported through correlations with general personality traits, the Dark Triad, emotional intelligence, mental toughness, depression, anxiety, stress, satisfaction with life, aggression, and attitudes toward social groups. Based on our findings, we recommend the use of the ASP-8 in future investigations of aversive traits.
Bojana Dinić
added 3 research items
Previous research has shown that Dark Triad traits are tied to non-compliance, while there is not enough research regarding sadism. As dark traits are related to risk-taking behaviors, we hypothesized that proneness to risk-taking could be a mediating mechanism explaining the relation between dark traits and non-compliance with protective measures. Sample comprised of 348 participants (77% women) who completed the Hateful Eight (a multifaceted Short Dark Tetrad scale), DOSPERT for measuring different aspects of risk-taking tendencies, and questions regarding frequency of compliance with protection measures and vaccination. Results showed that recklessness (aspect of psychopathy) and violent voyeurism (aspect of sadism) had negative effects on compliance with protective measures. These relations were fully explained by health/safety risk tendency. Deviousness (aspect of Machiavellianism) contributed to unwillingness to vaccinate against COVID-19 independently of risk-taking tendencies. Furthermore, selection of particular vaccine was not associated with dark traits, but those who selected all vaccines (both EU-approved and non-approved) had higher scores on social risks compared to those who selected only non-approved vaccines. Additionally, those who selected only EU-approved vaccines showed lower scores on ethical risks compared to the rest of the participants who were vaccinated or applied for vaccination.
Osnovni cilj ovog istraživanja je utvrđivanje relacija između crta Mračne tetrade i faktora aleksitimije, uzimajući u obzir multidimenzionalnu prirodu mračnih crta, kao i njihove antagonističke (maladaptivne) aspekte i aspekte delotvornosti ili agensne aspekte (adaptivnije aspekte). Dodatno, ispitana je medijatorska uloga faktora aleksitimije u odnosu između mračnih crta i distresa. Na uzorku od 355 ispitanika (71.3% ženskog pola) iz opšte populacije, primenjeni su sledeći instrumenti: Toronto skala aleksitimije, Skala depresije, anksioznosti i stresa, Levensonova skala psihopatije, Petofaktorski inventar makijavelizma, Kratka verzija Petofaktorskog inventara narcizma, Procena sadističke ličnosti. Rezultati pokazuju da mračne crte i faktori aleksitimije dele 56% zajedničke varijanse, te da su dominantni prediktori aleksitimije sekundarna psihopatija u pozitivnom smeru i makijavelistička delotvornost u negativnom smeru, a potom i narcistički antagonizam i primarna psihopatija, oba u pozitivnom smeru. Rezultati pokazuju da faktor mračnih crta koji okuplja agensne karakteristike na pozitivnom polu ostvaruje veći i negativni doprinos u objašnjenju aleksitimije i distresa, u odnosu na faktor koji okuplja primarno antagonističke karakteristike. Mračnim crtama je najviše objašnjen faktor aleksitimije koji se odnosi na probleme u identifikaciji emocija, i ujedno je ovaj faktor značajan medijator u predikciji distresa na osnovu sekundarne psihopatije, makijavelističke delotvornosti ili oba faktora mračnih crta. Naime, ovaj kognitivni deficit u razumevanju emocija doprinosi povećanju distresa u slučaju primarno antagonističkih mračnih crta, dok faktor delotvornosti preko manjih problema u identifikaciji emocija doprinosi redukciji distresa.
The first aim of this study was to explore differences between male violent offenders and male community adults in Dark Tetrad traits and psychological distress. The second aim was to investigate moderation effects of dark traits in the prediction of psychological distress based on the membership of violent offenders or community adults. The sample included 142 male violent offenders (M = 40.73, SD = 11.43) convicted of murder, severe murder, or rape, and 573 men from the community population in Serbia without a history of criminal convictions (M = 41.71, SD = 15.11). Serbian adaptations of the Short Dark Triad (SD3), Comprehensive Assessment of Sadistic Tendencies (CAST), and Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation - Outcome Measure (CORE-OM) were used. Results showed that violent offenders had higher scores on psychopathy and problems in social and general functioning, while community adults had higher scores on narcissism. Furthermore, moderation analyses showed that physical sadism was significantly correlated with risk behaviors in the community adults, but not in violent offenders.
Bojana Dinić
added a research item
The aim of this research (N = 268) was to explore several compelling candidates for the Dark Core of the broader set of dark and light traits by using network analysis and analyses of shared variance. Several previously proposed cores were tested: primary psychopathy, narcissistic rivalry, Honesty-Humility, Aggressiveness, Selfishness, Antagonism and its callousness facet as well as emotional competency, including its emotionality facet as negative aspect of callousness. The results showed that central elements in this network are primary psychopathy, callousness, pathological selfishness, Machiavellianism, and narcissistic rivalry. Furthermore, among basic traits, Antagonism shared the highest percentage with the dark traits, especially its facet callousness, which is the best candidate for the Dark Core. The combination of callousness, deceitfulness, and grandiosity shared 92% of the total common variance with dark traits and it could be seen as the Antagonistic Triad or alternative Dark Triad.
Bojana Dinić
added a research item
The aim of this research was to validate the dual conception of envy in Serbian culture, measured by the Benign and Malicious Envy Scale (BeMaS). In Study 1 (N = 404), the results confirmed cross-cultural invariance of the Malicious Envy scale across Serbian and US samples, with the US sample obtaining higher scores. However, two items in the Benign Envy scale showed significant differential item functioning across samples. Nonetheless, both scales in Serbian showed adequate measurement precision (information) and the expected distinction in relations with narcissistic admiration, narcissistic rivalry, and self-esteem, with more aversive characteristics associated with Malicious Envy. In Study 2 (N = 404), Malicious Envy showed a negative relation with Conscientiousness and Openness, as well as higher negative correlations with Honesty-Humility, Agreeableness, psychopathy, and sadism compared to Benign Envy. Furthermore, Malicious Envy showed higher positive correlations with psychological distress, while Benign Envy showed negative correlations with some aspects of distress. The results support good psychometric properties of BeMaS scores of the Serbian adaptation and add to the cross-cultural validity of the dual conception of envy.
Bojana Dinić
added an update
We’re excited to announce call for special issue “Dark Traits in Applied Context” in journal Primenjena psihologija (Applied Psychology). Your papers are welcomed and we hope that you will contribute to this issue.
Deadline for submission is September 1st.
More information about the call could be found at:
Kind regards,
Bojana M. Dinić and Peter K Jonason
Guest Editors
 
Bojana Dinić
added a research item
This study (N = 347) aimed to reconsider relations between narcissism and love styles by viewing narcissism as a multidimensional trait including narcissistic grandiosity, vulnerability, admiration, rivalry, and communal narcissism. The results showed that mania correlated with all narcissism dimensions and that mania and ludus were best explained by the combination of narcissistic vulnerability and rivalry. Furthermore, eros, agape, and pragma styles were the best explained by the combination of admiration and communal narcissism, highlighting different self-enhancing strategies that grandiose narcissists use in their relationships. The results shed light on the complexity of relations between love styles and narcissism when considering the multidimensionality of narcissism.
Aleksandar Tomasevic
added a research item
The aim of this research was to explore the underlying structural organization and centrality of narcissism features by using network analysis. The research was conducted on a sample from the general population using subscales of four narcissism instruments (Narcissism Personality Inventory, Grandiose Narcissism Scale, Pathological Narcissism Inventory, Five-Factor Narcissism Inventory Short Form). The results revealed detection of four communities, one of which was interpreted as vulnerable narcissism, while the remaining three were interpreted as aspects of grandiose narcissism (grandiose exhibitionism, narcissistic antagonism, and authority). The results suggested that although features of grandiose narcissism (grandiose exhibitionism and leadership/authority) show consistent higher strength centrality across networks, entitlement/exploitativeness, followed by grandiose fantasy, has a central role in bringing together maladaptive grandiose and vulnerable aspects of narcissism. In addition, leadership/authority brings together various aspects of grandiose narcissism. The results support the role of entitlement features as the core of narcissism.
Bojana Dinić
added a research item
The aim of this research was to examine the structure of the Dark Triad and Tetrad traits by answering the question whether a person-centered or a variable-centered approach is more suitable for their description, or its combination. Moreover, we examined whether the inclusion of sadism into the dark traits constellation would change the results. On a sample of 404 participants, both short and full-length measures of the Dark Triad were used, while sadism was assessed via Short Sadistic Impulse Scale. The results of the factor mixture analysis showed that the variable-centered approach is better at describing the Dark Triad, but the inclusion of sadism resulted in qualitatively different latent profiles, suggesting that the person-centered approach could serve in describing the Dark Tetrad. Inclusion of sadism led to the isolation of higher Dark Tetrad-sadism profile in both short and full-length measures and this profile showed the higher risk behaviors and interpersonal problems. Other isolated profiles could be interpreted as lower and higher Dark Tetrad profiles, with some specificities. Results showed that inclusion of sadism contributed to the isolation of profile more prone to sadism, but also to isolation of other profiles, suggesting that it could change the relations among dark traits.
Bojana Dinić
added a research item
The aim of this study was to reexamine relations between dark traits and utilitarian moral judgement in sacrificial moral dilemmas by taking into account two contextual characteristics of dilemmas: the actor's role in sacrificing (personal or impersonal involvement in inflicting harm) and the actor's familiarity with the victim (a known or an unknown person). Results showed that all dark traits, except for psychopathy, obtained significant main and positive effects on utilitarian moral judgement. However, psychopathy and sadism obtained interaction effects with dilemma type, indicating the importance of the specific context of moral judgement in individuals with these traits. Furthermore, among all dark traits, only sadism showed an incremental contribution to utilitarian judgement over empathy and HEXACO traits, with the highest contribution to dilemmas that include personal harm. Results highlighted the role of enjoyment of cruelty in utilitarian moral judgement.
Bojana Dinić
added a research item
The aim of this study was to evaluate psychometric properties of three sadism scales: Short Sadistic Impulse Scale (SSIS), Varieties of Sadistic Tendencies (VAST, which measures direct and vicarious sadism), and Assessment of Sadistic Personality (ASP). Sample included 443 participants (50.1% men) from the general population. Reliability based on internal consistency of all scales was good, and results of Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) showed that all three scales had acceptable fit indices for the proposed structure. Results of Item Response Theory (IRT) analysis showed that all three scales had higher measurement precision (information) in above-average scores. Validity of the scales was supported through moderate to high positive correlations with the Dark Triad traits, especially psychopathy, as well as positive correlations with aggressiveness and negative with Honesty-Humility. Moreover, results of hierarchical regression analysis showed that all three measures of direct, but not vicarious sadism, contributed significantly above and beyond other Dark Triad traits to the prediction of increased positive attitudes toward dangerous social groups. The profile similarity index showed that the SSIS and the ASP were highly overlapping, while vicarious sadism seems distinct from other sadism scales.
Bojana Dinić
added a research item
The aim of this study was to explore relations between two dark traits, psychopathy and sadism, and affective and cognitive empathy, as the moderation effect of both empathy components in the relations between these traits and antisocial behaviour. Data were obtained from 221 high school students (66.1% females). Four scales were used: Psychopathy scale from Short Dark Triad-SD3, Short Sadistic Impulse Scale-SSIS, Basic Empathy Scale-BES and Antisocial Behaviour Questionnaire-ABQ. Results showed that sadism was negatively related to both cognitive and affective empathy, while psychopathy was negatively related only to affective empathy. Furthermore, cognitive empathy had a moderation effect on relations between sadism and antisocial behaviour. Sadism had a positive effect on antisocial behaviour on all levels of cognitive empathy, indicating that those with high sadism and sufficiently cognitive empathy are more prone to antisocial behaviour. Although sadism was related to affective empathy, the interaction between them was not significant. On the other side, psychopathy obtained solely effect on antisocial behavior, with no significant moderation effects of empathy components. Results suggest that recognising and understanding another's suffering might be the feature that distinguishes sadism from psychopathy.
Bojana Dinić
added an update
At the ISSID 2019 (July 29 - August 2, Florence) Bojana Dinić as the winner of the Young Career Research Award, had lecture "The exploration of socially toxic traits and behaviors" in which she presented her two main related research interests - an exploration of aggressiveness and dark traits. In the end, she demonstrated that the Dark Core could be seen as aggressiveness, capturing more common variance compared to other candidates (e.g., Honesty-Humility, selfishness).
Furthermore, the research "The dark side of narcissism: Relations between the Dark Triad traits and psychological distress" (Dinić & Žemojtel-Piotrowska, 2019) was presented in which relations between dimensions of Circumflex Narcissism Model and domains of psychological distress were explored. The main results was that specific dimensions, referring to passivity/vulnerability from both communion and agency domain, are associated with psychological distress.
Finally, in presentation "Dark Tetrad profiles in violent offenders" (Dinić, Branovački, Sadiković, Oljača, & Baić, 2019) was demonstrated that variable-centered approach should be preferred in explanation of covariance among dark traits in population which is more prone to interpersonal violence.
 
Bojana Dinić
added a research item
The aim of this research was to explore measurement invariance across samples from Serbia and the USA (Study 1) and to further validate the Serbian adaptation of the Pathological Narcissism Inventory – PNI (Study 2). The results supported the original seven-factor first-order structure as well as the hierarchical structure of the PNI with Narcissistic grandiosity and vulnerability as the second-order factors. Further, scalar invariance between the two versions of the PNI was achieved. Relations between Narcissistic grandiosity and vulnerability and other measures of grandiose and hypersensitive narcissism supported the validity of their scores. Among HEXACO traits, both Narcissistic grandiosity and vulnerability showed substantial negative correlations with Honesty-Humility. The main distinctions between the two aspects of narcissism lie in the positive relations with Neuroticism and negative relations with self-esteem, both of which are higher for Narcissistic vulnerability. The results support good psychometric properties of the PNI scores and add to the PNI’s cross-cultural validity.
Aleksandar Tomasevic
added a research item
The aim of this research was to examine centrality and redundancy of the Dark Tetrad traits (psychopathy, Machiavellianism, narcissism, and sadism) using network analysis. The first sample (N = 546) was assessed using a short instrument, the second (N = 404) and the third (N = 410) samples were assessed with full instruments for the first three dark traits, while for sadism the same instrument was used in all three studies. The results showed that psychopathy is the central feature across all networks, especially its facets which correspond to primary psychopathy or interpersonal manipulation and callousness. Narcissism seemed redundant when total scores of the dark traits were analyzed, but these results should be interpreted with caution given the small number of variables in the network. However, on the facet level, some 2 facets of psychopathy were redundant (secondary psychopathy or lack of cognitive responsiveness). These results reiterate the importance of psychopathy in the core of the dark traits and provide a deeper insight into the relations between the Dark Tetrad traits.
Bojana Dinić
added an update
At the XVI ECP (2-5 July 2019, Moscow) we presented research "Selfish personality – relations between HEAXCO and the Dark Triad" (Dinić & Wertag, 2019) in which we propose that the selfishness could be seen as the Dark Core.
Main results were:
1) Selfishness and Dark Triad traits shared 70% of common variance (for comparison, Honesty-Humility and Dark Triad traits shared 62%).
2) Among three forms of selfishness, pathological selfishness is explained the most (60%) by HEXACO and Dark Triad traits. All three Dark Triad traits significantly contributed to the explanation.
3) Adaptive selfishness was predicted by Machiavellianism and egocentric selfishness by both Machiavellianism and narcissism.
4) Among HEXACO traits, Honest-Humility significantly explained all three forms of selfishness .
 
Bojana Dinić
added a research item
The aim of this research was to determine whether the person-centered or the variable-centered approach is better at describing the covariance between the Dark Triad and Dark Tetrad traits in the community sample. On the sample of 624 participants (48.2% males), the Dark Triad Dirty Dozen (DTDD), the Short Sadistic Impulse Scale (SSIS) and the Varieties of Sadistic Tendencies Scale (VAST) were used for measuring the dark traits, while the Reactive Proactive Questionnaire (RPQ) and the questions about alcohol use were applied for criteria validation. In order to test whether the variable– or the person-centered approach better described covariance among the dark traits, the latent profile analysis was used. The results revealed one profile or two quantitatively different profiles (low and high dark traits), suggesting that the variable-centered approach is more appropriate than the person-centered for describing the dark traits. In the case of the Dark Tetrad, profile membership largely depended on the used sadism measure, i.e. profile agreement was moderate. High dark traits profile based on the combination with the SSIS sadism scale was characterized by both higher aggression and alcohol use, while the same profile based on the combination with the VAST sadism measure was characterized only by higher aggression.
Bojana Dinić
added a research item
The aim of this study was to investigate trends in research related to the Dark Triad using a bibliometric analysis. Four main clusters were recognized on author keywords: Dark Triad traits (Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy, along with terms such are life history theory, mating, and morality), measurement (short Dark Triad measures and terms related to psychometrics), personality models (Big Five, Five Factor Model, HEXACO, and terms related to sadism and aggression), and mainly gender differences cluster. The measurement and personality models clusters gathered the latest research, but specifically studies containing terms related to short Dark Triad measures and sadism. Analysis of the indexed keywords revealed a similar organization of the clusters, but with a great prominence of clinical studies and methodological terms. The map of bibliographic coupling showed several relatively separated groups of authors with different focus in cited references, with Jonason, P.K. in the central position. However, a map of co-citation of authors revealed closeness of these separated groups, with Jonason, P.K. and Paulhus, D.L. with nearly equal number of citations.
Bojana Dinić
added 7 research items
We conducted three studies to examine the psychometric properties of the Serbian translations of the Dark Triad Dirty Dozen (Study 1, N = 364) and the Short Dark Triad (Study 2, N = 409), as well as their convergent and discriminant validity in relation to basic HEXACO personality traits and empathy (Study 3, N = 443). The three-factor structure, convergent validity, and discriminant validity were confirmed for both instruments. The main correlates of the traits, from both instruments, were low Honesty-Humility and lack of affective empathy. Also, alpha coefficients for scale scores were satisfactory and scale information was good, with more precision in above-average levels of trait for some of the scales (e.g., psychopathy). Both instruments are recommended to be used in further research.
The objective of this research was to validate the Narcissistic Personality Inventory across different response formats, given that several factor structures were proposed, ranging from two to seven factors. The original forced-choice format of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory was given to 410 participants and a modified, i.e., Likert format was given to 423 participants from the general population, along with personality and other narcissism measures. The results showed that the five-factor model proposed by Ackerman et al. had the best model fit in both response formats and that a distinction between adaptive (Leadership, Vanity, and Superiority) and some aspects of maladaptive (Manipulativeness and Exhibitionism) narcissism factors could be established. However, the redundancy of items in certain factors could be problematic and further improvements of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory should include more indicators of some proposed factors, especially of Vanity.
Bojana Dinić
added a project goal
The goal of this project is to explore the core features of the dark traits, their main correlates, as well as to validate measures of various dark traits. The focus in on Dark Tetrad traits (psychopathy, Machiavellianism, narcissism, and sadism), but we expanded the dark traits network to other traits related to dark core, such as envy, selfishness, schadenfreude, spitefulness, vengefulness, and similar.