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The Dark Triad Of Personality In Kindergarten, School And University Teachers

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https://dx.doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.11.02.39
ICPE 2018
International Conference on Psychology and Education
THE DARK TRIAD OF PERSONALITY IN KINDERGARTEN,
SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY TEACHERS
Sergey L. Lenkov (a)*, Nadezhda E. Rubtsova (b), Elena S. Nizamova (c)
*Corresponding author
(a)Institute for Childhood, Family and Education Studies of the Russian Academy of Education, 5/16, Makarenko
str., Moscow, 105062, Russia, new_psy@mail.ru
(b) Russian Academy of Education, 8, Pogodinskaya str., Moscow, 119121, Russia
(c) Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, 9/4, Mokhovaya str., Moscow, 125009, Russia
Abstract
The current study focuses on examining the Dark Triad of personality traits (Machiavellism,
narcissism, and psychopathy) in representatives of the professional community of teachers belonging to
three different levels of the education system. Accordingly, the participants represented three different
professional groups of educators: 154 kindergarten teachers, 147 school teachers and 101 university
teachers. The total sample comprised 402 participants including 372 women and 30 men aged from 19 to
84 years old (M = 32.40, SD = 10.30). The Russian-language adaptation of the Short questionnaire of the
Dark Triad (SD3) was used for measurements. The one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed
certain significant differences in the expression of the Dark Triad traits between these professional groups.
In addition, the results of the correlation analysis showed some differences in the structure of the Dark
Triad traits, which were typical for each group of teachers. These results are consistent with the ongoing
discussion about the contradictory conclusions of studies of the Dark triad of personality conducted on
various professional and social samples allowing us to assume (on the example of teachers types) that the
structure of the Dark Triad is profession-specific as it differs even among related professional groups, such
as kindergarten, school and university teachers.
© 2018 Published by Future Academy www.FutureAcademy.org.UK
Keywords: The Dark Triad of personality, educators, kindergarten teachers, school teachers, university teachers.
https://dx.doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.11.02.39
Corresponding Author: Sergey L. Lenkov
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of the conference
eISSN: 2357-1330
353
1. Introduction
The psychological study of such personal traits as Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy
(a complex of which is now called the Dark triad of personality) began in the late 19th century, although it
was preceded by a long period of contemplation about these traits in the framework of philosophy,
medicine, pedagogy, etc.
As a result, psychologists have come to the study of personal features of the Dark Triad based on
the significant experience of their predecessors. On this nutritious ground, in the late 19th and early 20th
century, many psychologists launched the study of dark personality traits. In particular, narcissism was
studied by H. Ellis, S. Freud, P. Nacke et al. (see, e.g., Freud, 1957), psychopathy (as borderline, subclinical
syndrome) by V.M. Bekhterev, S. Freud, Е. Kraepelin et al. (see, e.g., Litvintsev, 2017), and
Machiavellianism (as a tendency to manipulate people) by V.M. Bekhterev, S. Freud, C.G. Jung,
W. Stern et al. (see, e.g., Bekhterev, 1998, Bereczkei, 2017).
Throughout the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century (to date), each of the traits of the
future Dark Triad was widely studied and received many measuring tools (see, e.g., Chen, 2018, Muris,
Merckelbach, Otgaar, & Meijer, 2017).
Thus, individually Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy have been studied in psychology
for about a century and a half. At the same time, since the 1990s, a theoretical approach has been
developing, within which these personality traits are considered as interrelated manifestations of a common
generalized complex the Dark Triad of personality. In the framework of this study, we rely on the most
well-known approach suggested by Paulus and Williams (2002).
The studies of the Dark triad of personality over the past 20 years showed conflicting results. On the
one hand, the consideration of Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy within a single complex has
been quite productive: many studies have identified significant relationships between the Dark Triad traits,
and their joint determining or moderating influence on behaviour, occupational activities, psychological
well-being and other aspects of human life (see, e.g., Cohen, 2016). On the other hand, the concept of the
Dark Triad has been repeatedly questioned. For example, many authors note that the relationship between
psychopathy and Machiavellianism is much stronger than between narcissism and each of these traits; it
has been proposed to reduce the Dark Triad to a Dark Dyad (see, e.g., Persson, Kajonius, & Garcia 2017,
Rogoza & Cieciuch, 2018).
However, other authors provide a rationale for the need to expand the Dark Triad in particular, to
the Dark Tetrad (see, e.g., Thomaes, Brummelman, Miller, & Lilienfeld, 2017). Another point of view
suggests that the Dark side of the personality is extremely diverse and heterogeneous, so there are many
more of its manifestations (traits) than two, three or four (Thomaes et al., 2017, Zeigler-Hill, Besser, Morag,
& Campbell, 2016).
The current situation might be assessed as a state of unstable equilibrium: the proponents of each of
these positions cite convincing arguments to support it, but this is not enough to refute the competing
positions. Under these conditions, the concept of the Dark Triad seems to be the most balanced position
potentially allowing for its transformation in the direction of increasing as well as reducing the number of
basic traits of the Dark side of personality. At the same time, further development of the conceptual
foundations of the Dark side of personality should be based on evidence obtained from empirical studies
https://dx.doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.11.02.39
Corresponding Author: Sergey L. Lenkov
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of the conference
eISSN: 2357-1330
354
including various professional groups. However, the dominant trend in the Dark Triad research in recent
years has been the use of non-profession-specific samples:
student samples (see, e.g., Azizli et al., 2016, Dowgwillo & Pincus, 2017, Jonason, 2015a,
Schneider, McLarnon, & Carswell, 2017);
virtual samples recruited via Internet services such as МТurk, GoogleDocs etc. (see, e.g.,
Rogoza & Cieciuch, 2017, 2018, Jonason, 2015b);
population samples (see, e.g., Anderson, & Cheers, 2017, Malesza, Ostaszewski, Büchner, &
Kaczmarek, 2017, Vater, Moritz, & Roepke, 2018).
Nevertheless, profession-specific samples are used in few studies (e.g., Tijdink et al., 2016).
However, the proportion of studies conducted on such samples in the total amount of Dark Triad research
remains small, and many professions have almost not been studied.
2. Problem Statement
In the Dark Triad studies, underinvestigated professional groups include teachers representing
different levels of education, in particular, kindergarten, school and university teachers.
On the one hand, personality and professional activity of teachers of each of these groups in recent
years has been intensively studied. In particular, research on school teachers is widely presented (see
reviews in Göncz, 2017, Klassen et al., 2018, Stronge, 2018). In recent years, research has been intensively
expanding both on samples of kindergarten teachers (e,g,, see review in Lenkov, Rubtsova, & Nizamova,
2017) and university teachers (see, e.g., Tan, Mansi, & Furnham, 2018).
On the other hand, empirical studies of the Dark triad of personality on these groups are rare. For
example, O'Boyle, Forsyth, Banks, and McDaniel (2012) performed a meta-analysis that included over 180
Dark Triad studies covering many professions (police officers, salesmen, etc.) but not educators (see
O'Boyle, Forsyth, Banks, & McDaniel, 2012).
This situation complicates the comparative analysis of these groups of teachers and the appropriate
evidence-based conceptual development of the Dark side of personality.
3. Research Questions
This study addresses the following research questions:
(1) To what extent the Dark triad personality traits are expressed in representatives of professional
groups consisting of kindergarten, school and university teachers?
(2) Are there any significant differences between these groups in the expression of the Dark Triad
personality traits?
(3) Can we say that the factor of the level of education system (with gradations "kindergarten",
"school" and "university") significantly affects the expression of the Dark Triad personality
traits among teachers?
(4) Is the structure of the Dark Triad traits the same for these three related professional groups, or
does each trait have a similar yet specific structure?
(5) How does the expression and structure of the Dark triad personality traits of teachers from
different groups correlate with similar results obtained in other social and professional groups?
https://dx.doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.11.02.39
Corresponding Author: Sergey L. Lenkov
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of the conference
eISSN: 2357-1330
355
4. Purpose of the Study
The aim of the study was to identify the degree of expression of the Dark Triad personality traits as
well as the possible specificity of their structure in the context of a comparative analysis of three related
professional groups of teachers: kindergarten teachers, school teachers and university teachers.
5. Research Methods
5.1. Conceptual framework
The Dark Triad of personality is considered in accordance with the conceptual notions suggesting
that Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy are three relatively independent personality traits,
which however have significant relationships and therefore can be considered as a single complex integral
substructure of the personality determining and mediating various negative manifestations of
consciousness, behavior, interpersonal and professional relationships (Paulhus & Williams, 2002; Jones &
Paulhus, 2014).
Professional groups of educators are considered in accordance with the Russian system of
education and professional activity of teachers representing different levels of the system: kindergarten,
school and university teachers.
5.2. Participants and procedure
Teachers from three different levels of education were invited to participate in the study.
Accordingly, the final sample of the study included three professional groups:
154 kindergarten teachers all females aged from 19 to 58 years old (M = 31.93, SD = 10.44),
with work experience ranging from 0.5 to 33 years (M = 7.90, SD = 8.83); this group is
supplemented by a sample of n = 129, which was used in our previous study (Lenkov,
Rubtsova, & Nizamova, 2017);
147 school teachers including 135 females (91.8%) and 12 males (8.2%), aged from 21 to 68
years old (M = 32.09, SD = 9.25), with work experience ranging from 0.5 to 40 years
(M = 10.01, SD = 9.40);
101 university teachers including 83 females (92.5%) and 18 males (7.5%) aged from 22 to 84
years old (M = 33.57, SD = 11.49), with work experience ranging from 0.5 to 57 years
(M = 10.27, SD = 11.20).
The characteristics of the overall sample were as follows: 402 teachers including 372 females
(82.2%) and 30 males (17.8%) aged from 19 to 84 years old (M = 32.40, SD = 10.30), with work experience
ranging from 0.5 to 57 years (M = 9.27, SD = 9.71).
Educational institutions (kindergartens, schools and universities) in which the participants worked
at the time of the study were located in several regions of Russia including the cities of Moscow, St.
Petersburg, Tver, Ulyanovsk and the corresponding districts.
All participants of the study were volunteers and gave informed consent. Participants filled out
questionnaires on general information and on the expression of the Dark Triad traits.
https://dx.doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.11.02.39
Corresponding Author: Sergey L. Lenkov
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eISSN: 2357-1330
356
5.3. The measured variables and the research design
We used three groups of measured variables:
independent variables represented by three levels of education system: preschool education
(kindergarten teachers), school education (school teachers), higher education (university
teachers);
dependent variables: three traits of the Dark triad of personality (Machiavellianism, narcissism
and psychopathy), and the overall score defined as the arithmetic mean of these three traits;
other controlled variables: age and work experience.
The design of the study included:
calculation of means and intercorrelations of the Dark Triad traits in each group of teachers;
inter-group comparisons between these groups using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA);
comparison of the results obtained on the expression and structural features of the Dark triad
traits in teachers with similar research results obtained by other authors on other social and
professional groups.
5.4. Measures
The Dark Triad. To measure the traits of the Dark Triad, we used the "Short Dark Triad (SD3)"
questionnaire (Jones & Paulhus, 2014) adapted in the Russian language (Egorova, Sitnikova, & Parshikova,
2015). This questionnaire consists of 27 items and includes three subscales Machiavellianism, narcissism,
and psychopathy (9 items per each). The statements are evaluated on a 5-point Likert scale with gradation
from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree. The questionnaire has satisfactory psychometric
properties: for Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy the Cronbach's alpha is equal to .74, .72,
.70, respectively (Egorova et al., 2015).
Age was determined as the number of full years at the time of the study.
Work experience was defined as the number of years of work in the profession, rounded to .5.
5.5. Data analysis
Statistical methods used to analyze the data included one-way analysis of variation (ANOVA),
supplemented by post hoc tests; correlation analysis (Pearson correlations); methods of testing statistical
hypotheses (Fisher criteria, Levene’s test, etc.).
6. Findings
6.1. Comparison of the Dark Triad traits between groups of teachers
Table 01 shows descriptive statistics and correlations for Dark Triad traits, age and work experience
for groups of teachers and the overall sample.
Table 02 shows the results of ANOVA regarding the influence of the factor of the education level
(kindergarten, school and university) on the expression of the Dark triad personality traits in teachers.
Application of ANOVA in this study had the following features associated with the choice of post
hoc tests for multiple comparisons:
https://dx.doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.11.02.39
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eISSN: 2357-1330
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for Machiavellianism and the overall expression of the Dark Triad we used a post hoc Scheffe
test assuming equality of variances; in addition, due to differences in the groups size, we
additionally used a post hoc Games-Howell test allowing, in particular, for differences in the
group sizes (e.g., see Field, 2009); however, this test showed essentially the same results as the
Scheffe test, therefore in Table 02 its results for Machiavellianism and the overall score of the
Dark Triad are not shown;
in turn, for narcissism and psychopathy a number of post hoc tests involving inequality of
variances were used in ANOVA (Tamhane test etc.); in Table 02, only the results of the post
hoc Games-Howell test are shown, which allows for differences in both variance and group
size (see, e.g., Field, 2009) since other post hoc tests gave similar results.
As can be seen from Table 02, ANOVA revealed significant differences in the level of all Dark
Triad traits (Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy) as well as in the level of the overall expression
of the Dark Triad.
Comparison of the results presented in Tables 01 and 02 shows the following differences between
the groups of teachers (see also Figure 01):
the level of Machiavellianism does not differ statistically between kindergarten teachers and
school teachers but is significantly higher (p < .01) in university teachers than in the other two
groups;
the lowest level of narcissism is observed in school teachers differing significantly from
kindergarten (p < .05) and university teachers (p < .01), with university teachers showing the
highest level, which is significantly higher (p < .05) than in kindergarten teachers;
the level of psychopathy does not differ among kindergarten teachers and university teachers,
but is significantly higher for school teachers than for kindergarten teachers (p < .01) and
university teachers (p < .05);
the overall score of the Dark Triad does not differ for kindergarten teachers and school
teachers, but is significantly higher for university teachers than for kindergarten (p < .01) and
school teachers (p < .01).
Figure 01 illustrates the differences in the level of the Dark Triad traits between the groups of
teachers (Mac Machiavellianism, Nar narcissism, Psy psychopathy, D3T the total score of the Dark
Triad of personality).
Table 01. Descriptive statistics and correlations
Group
Variable
Descriptive statistics
Correlations
M (SD)
WE
Mac
Nar
Psy
D3T
1
(kindergarten
teachers,
n = 154)
Age
31.93 (10.44)
.84**
-.04
-.18*
-.16*
-.17*
WE
7.90 (8.83)
-.01
-.14
-.15
-.13
Mac
2.95 (.54)
.24**
.48**
.81**
Nar
2.87 (.51)
.14
.65**
Psy
1.97 (.46)
.72**
D3T
2.60 (.37)
2
(school
Age
32.09 (9.25)
.95**
-.03
-.07
-.16
-.14
WE
10.01 (9.40)
.00
-.03
-.15
-.10
https://dx.doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.11.02.39
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eISSN: 2357-1330
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teachers,
n = 147)
Mac
2.92 (.54)
.05
.21**
.68**
Nar
2.72 (.48)
.02
.51**
Psy
2.17 (.58)
.69**
D3T
2.60 (.34)
3
(university
teachers,
n = 101)
Age
33.57 (11.49)
.98**
.23*
-.24*
-.10
-.04
WE
10.27 (11.20)
.26**
-.18
-.07
.03
Mac
3.22 (.50)
-.10
.45**
.74**
Nar
3.03 (.42)
.01
.43**
Psy
2.00 (.42)
.75**
D3T
2.75 (.30)
Overall
sample
(teachers in
general,
N = 402)
Age
32.40 (10.30)
.91**
.05
-.14**
-.14**
-.11*
WE
9.27 (9.71)
.08
-.11*
-.11*
-.07
Mac
3.01 (.54)
.15**
.32**
.75**
Nar
2.86 (.49)
.02
.57**
Psy
2.05 (.50)
.67**
D3T
2.64 (.34)
Note. WE work experience, Mac Machiavellianism, Nar narcissism, Psy psychopathy, D3T the total score
of the Dark Triad of personality.
* p < 0.05 level (2-tailed). ** p < 0.01 level (2-tailed).
Table 02. [Results of one-way ANOVA and post hoc tests]
Dependent
variable
Levene’s
test p
ANOVA statistics
Post hoc tests
F(2, 399)
MSE
p
η2
test
Groups
p
Mac
.279
10.767
.282
.000
.051
Scheffe
1-2
.816
1-3
.001**
2-3
.000**
Nar
.032
13.405
.227
.000
.063
Games-
Howell
1-2
.017*
1-3
.019*
2-3
.000**
Psy
.003
6.793
.246
.001
.033
Games-
Howell
1-2
.005**
1-3
.919
2-3
.017*
D3T
.055
6.938
.114
.001
.034
Scheffe
1-2
1.000
1-3
.004**
2-3
.005**
Note. Mac Machiavellianism, Nar narcissism, Psy psychopathy, D3T the total score of the Dark Triad of
personality; Groups groups of teachers (1 kindergarten teachers, 2 school teachers, 3 university teachers),
Levene’s test Levene’s test of homogeneity of variances; p the significance level (2-tailed); F(2, 399) Fisher
statistics, where the number of degrees of freedom (df) between groups and within groups were 2 and 399,
respectively; Scheffe and Games-Howell Scheffe and Games-Howell post hoc tests (multiple comparisons),
respectively.
* p < 0.05 (2-tailed). ** p < 0.01 (2-tailed).
https://dx.doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.11.02.39
Corresponding Author: Sergey L. Lenkov
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eISSN: 2357-1330
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Figure 01. Level of the Dark Triad traits for kindergarten, school and university teachers
Thus, the results of ANOVA suggest that the factor of the level of the education system at which a
teacher works affects the expression of the Dark Triad traits in an ambiguous way:
for Machiavellianism and the overall score for the Dark Triad, it leads to an increase in the
transition from the school level to the university level;
in contrast, there is a drop in the level of narcissism in school teachers with a subsequent
significant increase in university teachers;
finally, unlike the first two cases, for psychopathy there is a "peak" of the level in school
teachers with a subsequent decrease in university teachers almost to the lowest level of
kindergarten teachers.
The revealed empirical regularities allow us to assume that the structure of the Dark Triad of
personality changes non-linearly under the influence of the factor of the level of teachers’ professional
activity in the educational system.
Table 03 presents the results of comparisons of correlations of the Dark Triad between groups of
teachers using Fisher's criterion. As can be seen from Tables 01 and 03, the correlation between age and
Machiavelianism does not statistically differ between kindergarten teachers and school teachers, but in
university teachers it is significantly stronger (p < .05) and positive (r = .23, see Table 01). In other words,
in university teachers the expression of Machiavellianism increases with age. Perhaps this is due to the fact
that with age university teachers often get higher academic status (i.e., the share of associate professors or
full professor) (for examples of such academic gradations see, e.g., Tijdink et al., 2016).
Table 03. The comparison of correlations for the Dark Triad traits across groups of teachers
Correlation
Groups
p
Correlation
Groups
p
Age - Mac
1-2
.932
Age - Psy
1-2
1.000
1-3
.036*
1-3
.638
2-3
.045*
2-3
.642
Age - Nar
1-2
.338
Age D3T
1-2
.792
1-3
.629
1-3
.311
2-3
.017*
2-3
.442
WE - Mac
1-2
.932
WE - Psy
1-2
1.000
1-3
.034*
1-3
.533
0,0
0,5
1,0
1,5
2,0
2,5
3,0
3,5
Mac Nar Psy D3T
Kindergarten teachers
School teachers
University teachers
https://dx.doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.11.02.39
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2-3
.043*
2-3
.537
WE - Nar
1-2
.342
WE D3T
1-2
.794
1-3
.752
1-3
.216
2-3
.247
2-3
.321
Mac - Nar
1-2
.096
Nar - Psy
1-2
.300
1-3
.008**
1-3
.314
2-3
.252
2-3
.939
Mac - Psy
1-2
.008**
Nar - D3T
1-2
.063
1-3
.768
1-3
.016*
2-3
.039*
2-3
.433
Mac D3T
1-2
.011*
Psy - D3T
1-2
.609
1-3
.175
1-3
.615
2-3
.355
2-3
.341
Note: Groups groups for comparison of correlations (1 kindergarten teachers, 2 school teachers, 3 university
teachers), Mac Machiavellianism, Nar narcissism, Psy psychopathy, D3T the total expression of the Dark
Triad of personality, p the significance of differences between groups (2-tailed); * p < 0.05 (2-tailed). ** p < 0.01
(2-tailed).
Table 04 represents the Dark Triad studies selected for comparison with the current study. Table 05
shows the levels and intercorrelations of the Dark Triad traits identified in the concerned independent
studies. Based on the data presented in Tables 01 and 05, the level of the Dark Triad traits expression
obtained in our study was compared with the data of other studies using the Fisher criterion. We will specify
the sample code (SC) in accordance with Tables 04 and 05 for each comparison.
Table 04. The studies and sample codes for comparison of the Dark Triad traits level and structure
Study
Sample
n
Country
or region
Code
Egorova, Sitnikova,
and Parshikova (2015)
Group of female from Russian
populationa
334
Russia
C1
Sample from Russian populationb
571
Russia
C2
Jones and Paulhus
(2014)
Group of female from MTurk for
Study 1c
230
Canada and USA
C3
Sample from MTurk for Study 1d
489
Canada and USA
C4
Jonason, Wee, Li, and
Jackson (2014)
Group of female from MTurk for
Study 1e
182
USA
C5
Sample from MTurk for Study 1f
424
USA
С6
Rogoza and Cieciuch
(2017, 2018)
Sample formed via Facebookg
1012
Poland
C7
Egan, Hughes, and
Palmer (2015)
Sample for on-line study via
GoogleDocsh
380
United Kingdom
C8
Birkás, Gács, and
Csathó (2016)
under-, and postgraduate studentsi
200
Hungary
C9
Egan, Chan, and
Shorter (2014)
Sample formed via Facebook and
Internet-based research sitesj
840
USA, Canada,
Europe et al.
C10
Jonason (2015b)
Study 1: university students and
participants from MTurkk
1745
Canada and USA
C11
Tijdink et al. (2016)
biomedical university scientistsl
535
Netherlands
C12
Note. Code sample code to present research results (see Table 05). MTurk Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.
a 100% females; data for age is only provided for the whole sample (n = 571): age range 1684 years, M (SD) = 35.18 (14.10)
[Egorova, Sitnikova, &Parshikova, 2015]. b 41.5% males, 58.5% females; age range 1684 years, M (SD) = 35.18 (14.10)
https://dx.doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.11.02.39
Corresponding Author: Sergey L. Lenkov
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[Egorova et al., 2015]. c 100% females; data for age is only provided for the whole sample (n = 479): M (SD) = 30.72 (11.09)
[Jones & Paulhus, 2014]. d 53% males, 47% females; for age M (SD) = 30.72 (11.09) [Jones & Paulhus, 2014]. e 100% females;
from various jobs; data for age is only provided for the whole sample (n = 424): age range 1872 years, M (SD) = 32.27 (10.32)
[Jonason, Wee, Li, & Jackson, 2014]. f 53% males, 47% females; with various jobs (e.g., telecom, education, healthcare, non-
profit et al.); age range 1872 years, M (SD) = 32.27 (10.32) [Jonason et al., 2014]. g 20.0% males, 80.0% females (Rogoza &
Cieciuch, 2017, 2018); age information is calculated from the data presented in the original article by Rogoza and Cieciuch (2017,
2018) separately for males and females: age range 1735 years, M (SD) = 22.36 (3.44) [see Rogoza & Cieciuch, 2017, 2018].
h 28.7% males, 71.3% females; age range 1883 years, M (SD) = 37.99 (16.50) [Egan, Hughes, & Palmer, 2015]. i 41.0% males,
59.0% females; age range 1838 years, M (SD) = 26.43 (5.78) [Birkás, Gács, & Csathó, 2016]. j 29.3% males, 70.7% females;
for age M (SD) = 30.1 (12.7); the mean years of education for the sample was 15.0 (SD = 3.8) [Egan, Chan, & Shorter, 2014].
k 33.0% males, 67.0% females (Jonason, 2015b); age information is calculated from the data presented in the original article by
Jonason (2015b) separately for a group of students (n = 941) and a group from MTurk (n = 804): age range 1676 years, M (SD)
= 25.07 (10.59) [see Jonason, 2015b]. l 42.8% males, 57.2% females; for age 74% less 40 years, 26% more 40 years; years
working as a scientist: 04 41.1%, 510 29.5%, 1115 8.6%, 1620 6.7%, 2125 4.7%, >25 9.2% (Tijdink et al., 2016, p. 6).
Kindergarten teacher. The level of Machiavellianism among kindergarten teachers obtained in this
study is consistent with the results reported by Jonason, Wee, Li and Jackson (2014) [SС = C5, p = .247]
but significantly lower than the level reported for women groups by Egorova, Sitnikov, and Parshikova
(2015) [SC = C1, p = .005] and Jones and Paulhus (2014) [SC = C3, p = .000]. The level of narcissism in
kindergarten teachers obtained in this study does not statistically differ from the result, which was reported
by Jones and Paulhus (2014) [p = .080] but significantly higher than the results by Jonason et al. (2014) [p
= .000] and the results on a group of women reported by Egorova et al. (2015)
[p = .038]. The level of psychopathy among kindergarten teachers obtained in this study is consistent with
the results for groups of women reported by Egorova et al. (p = .860) and Jones and Paulhus (2014)
[p = .856] but significantly higher than the levels reported by Jonason et al. (p = .029).
Table 05. Levels and intercorrelations of the Dark Triad traits in studies
Sample
code
M (SD)
Intercorrelations
Mac
Nar
Psy
Mac -
Nar
Mac -
Psy
Nar -
Psy
C1a
3.13 (0.70)
2.73 (0.76)
1.96 (0.63)
-
-
-
C2a
3.27 (0.70)
2.78 (0.73)
2.11 (0.66)
.31**
.35**
.42**
C3b
3.27 (0.56)
2.78 (0.48)
1.96 (0.57)
-
-
-
C4b
3.34 (0.54)j
2.85 (0.47)j
2.12 (0.61)j
.18**
.50**
.34**
C5c
2.88 (0.56)
2.60 (0.57)
1.84 (0.60)
-
-
-
C6c
3.03 (.57)
2.70 (0.63)
2.05 (.64)
.16**n
.47**n
.32**n
C7d
3.08 (0.61)
2.85 (0.57)
2.14 (0.54)
.25**
.57**
.28**
C8e
3.04 (0.58)k
2.67 (0.59)k
1.96 (0.54)k
-
-
-
C9f
3.03 (0.69)l
2.73 (0.67)l
2.32 (0.68)l
-
-
-
C10g
2.83 (0.58)
2.70 (0.63)
3.27 (0.70)
-
-
-
C11h
-
-
-
.38**
.27**
.51**
C12i
2.77 (.47)m
2.80 (.45)m
2.02 (.45)m
.24**m
.42**m
.37**m
Note. Sample code code of the sample according to Table 04. Mac Machiavellianism, Nar narcissism, Psy psychopathy.
* Correlation is significant at the level of p < .05 (2-tailed). ** Correlation is significant at the level of p < .01 (2-tailed).
a data by Egorova, Sitnikova, and Parshikova (2015), see Table 04. b data by Jones and Paulhus (2014), see Table 04. c data by
Jonason, Wee, Li, and Jackson (2014), see Table 04. d data by Rogoza and Cieciuch (2017, 2018), see Table 04. e data by Egan,
Hughes, and Palmer (2015), see Table 04. f data by Birkás, Gács, and Csathó (2016), see Table 04. g data by Egan, Chan, and
Shorter (2014), see Table 04. h data by Jonason (2015b), see Table 04. i data by Tijdink et al. (2016), see Table 04. j calculated
from the data provided in the original article separately for males and females (see Jones & Paulhus, 2014, p. 33). k calculated
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with the data and the method provided in the original article, the sum of points on a subscale is not divided by the number of
points (i.e., 9) [see Egan, Hughes, & Palmer, 2015]. l calculated with the data and the method provided in the original article, the
sum of points on a subscale is not divided by the number of points (i.e., 9) [see Birkás, Gács, & Csathó, 2016, p. 135]. m calculated
from the primary data provided in the S1 Dataset file (retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0163251.s002) in
Supporting Information for the original article by Tijdink et al. (2016). n n = 422 (see Jonason, Wee, Li, & Jackson, 2014, , p.
120).
School teachers. The level of Machiavellianism among school teachers obtained in the present study
is significantly lower than the results reported by Egorova, Sitnikova, and Parshikova (2015)
[SC = C2, p = .000], Jones and Paulhus (2014) [SC = C4, p = .000], Jonason, Wee, Lee and Jackson (2014)
[SC = C6, p = .042], Egan, Hughes, and Palmer (2015) [SC = C8, p = .030] and Egan, Chan, and Shorter
(2014) [SC = C9, p = .080]. The level of narcissism among school teachers is not statistically different from
the results reported by Egorova et al. (2015) [p = .345], Jonason et al. (2014) [p = .726], Egan et al. (2015)
[p = .360] and Egan et al. (2014) [p = .714], but is significantly lower than the levels reported by Jones and
Paulhus (2014) [p = .004]. The level of psychopathy among school teachers in this study is consistent with
the results reported by Egorova et al. (p = .315), Jones and Paulhus (2014) [p = .380] and Egan et al. (2014)
[p = .069], but it is significantly higher than in the results reported by Jonason et al. (p = .045) and Egan et
al. (2015) [p = .000].
University teachers. The level of Machiavellianism in university teachers in this study does not
differ from the results reported by Egorova, Sitnikova, and Parshikova (2015) [SC = C2, p = .492] but is
significantly higher than the results reported by Jonason, Wee, Lee and Jackson (2014) [SC = C6, p = .002],
Egan, Hughes, and Palmer (2015) [SC = C8, p = .005], Egan, Chan, and Shorter (2014) [SC = C10, p =
.000] and Tijdink et al. (2016) [SC = C12, p = .000] and significantly lower than the results reported by
Jones and Paulhus (2014) [SC = C4, p = .040]. The level of narcissism among university teachers in this
study is significantly higher than the results of all studies selected for comparison: Egorova et al. (2015) [p
= .001], Jones and Paulhus (2014) [p = .000], Jonason et al. (2014) [p = .000], Egan et al. (2015) [p = .000],
Egan et al. (2014) [p = .000] and Tijdink et al. (2016) [p = .000]. The level of psychopathy among university
teachers in this study is consistent with the results of all studies used for comparison: Egorova et al. (p =
.492), Jones and Paulhus (2014) [p = .060], Jonason et al. (p = .455), Egan et al. (2015) [p = .490], Egan et
al. (2014) [p = .270] and Tijdink et al. (2016) [p = .679].
Teachers from all three groups. The level of Machiavellianism in all teachers in this study is
consistent with the results reported by Jonason, Wee, Li, and Jackson (2014) [SC = C6, p = .605], Egan,
Hughes, and Palmer (2015) [SC = C8, p = .454] and Birkás, Gács, and Csathó (2016) [SC = C9, p = .697],
but is significantly higher than the results reported by Egan, Chan, and Shorter (2014) [SC = C10, p = .000]
and lower than the results reported by Egorova, Sitnikova, and Parshikova (2015) [SC = C2, p = .000],
Jones and Paulhus (2014) [SC = C4, p = .000], Rogoza and Cieciuch (2018) [SC = C7, p = .045]. The level
of narcissism among teachers from all groups in this study does not differ from the results reported by
Egorova et al. (2015) [p = .056], Jones and Paulhus (2014) [p = .758], Rogoza and Cieciuch (2018) [p =
.757] but is significantly higher than the results reported by Jonason et al. (2014) [p = .000], Egan et al.
(2015) [p = .000], Birkás et al. (2016) [p = .007], Egan et al. (2014) [p = .000]. The level of psychopathy
among teachers in this study is consistent with the results reported by Egorova et al. (p = .124), Jones and
Paulhus (2014) [p = .066], Jonason et al. (2014) [p = 1.000], Egan et al. (2014) [p = .572] but is significantly
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higher than the results reported by Egan et al. (2015) [p = .016] and is significantly lower than the results
reported by Rogoza and Cieciuch (2018) [p = .004] and Birkás et al. (p = .000).
Thus, the expression of Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy among teachers in general
and different groups has its specifics professional, on the one hand, and cross-cultural on the other hand.
6.2. Comparison of the Dark Triad traits correlations across studies
For the comparison of correlations in the structure of the Dark Triad traits, we only used those
studies presented in Table 04 which reported the required correlations (see Table 05).
Based on the data presented in Tables 01 and 05, the intercorrelations of the Dark Triad traits
obtained in our study for different groups of teachers were compared with the data of other studies using
the Fisher criterion. We specify the SC sample code in accordance with Tables 04 and 05 for the compared
samples.
Kindergarten teachers. The correlation between Machiavellianism and narcissism among
kindergarten teachers in this study corresponds to the result by Egorova, Sitnikova, and Parshikova (2015)
[SC = C2, p = .408], as does the correlation between Machiavellianism and psychopathy (p = .086). At the
same time, the correlation between narcissism and psychopathy in kindergarten teachers obtained in this
study is significantly higher than the results reported by Egorova et al. (2015) [p = .001].
School teachers. The correlation between Machiavellianism and narcissism among school teachers
in this study is consistent with the results reported by Jones and Paulhus (2014) [SC = C4, p = .165] and
Jonason, Wee, Lee and Jackson (2014) [SC = C6, p = .250], significantly less strong than the obtained by
Egorova, Sitnikova, and Parshikova (2015) [SC = C2, p = .004]. The correlation between Machiavellianism
and psychopathy among school teachers obtained in this study does not statistically differ from the results
reported by Egorova et al. (2015) [p = .103] but it is significantly weaker than those obtained by Jones and
Paulhus (2014) [p = .000] and Jonason et al. (2014) [p = .002]. The correlation between narcissism and
psychopathy among school teachers obtained in this study is less strong than that reported by Egorova et
al. (p = .000), Jones and Paulhus (2014) [p = .000], Jonason et al. (p = .001).
University teachers. The correlation between Machiavellianism and narcissism among university
teachers obtained in this study is weaker than the ones obtained by Egorova, Sitnikov, and Parshikova
(2015) [SC = C2, p = .000], Jones and Paulhus (2014) [SC = C4, p = .011], Jonason, Wee, Lee and Jackson
(2014) [SC = C6, p = .020] and Tijdink et al. (2016) [SC = C12, p = .002]. The correlation between
Machiavellianism and psychopathy among university teachers in this study does not differ from the results
obtained by Egorova et al. (2015) [p = .276], Jones and Paulhus (2014) [p = .560], Jonason et al. (2014) [p
= .821] and Tijdink et al. (2016) [p = .737]. The correlation between narcissism and psychopathy among
university teachers obtained in this study is weaker than those reported by Egorova et al. (p = .000), Jones
and Paulhus (2014) [p = .002], Jonason et al. (p = .004) and Tijdink et al. (2016) [p = .001].
Teachers from all three groups. The correlation between Machiavellianism and narcissism among
teachers in general in this study does not differ from the results obtained by Jones and Paulhus (2014) [SC
= C4, p = .648], Jonason, Wee, Li and Jackson (2014) [SC = C6, p = .884], Rogoza and Cieciuch (2017)
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[SC = C7, p = .078] but is significantly weaker than those obtained by Egorova, Sitnikova, and Parshikova
(2015) [SC = C2, p = .0096] and Jonason (2015b) [SC = C11, p = .000]. The correlation between
Machiavellianism and psychopathy among teachers in this study is consistent with the results obtained by
Egorova et al. (2015) [p = .605], Jonason (2015b) [p = .315] but is weaker than those obtained by Jones
and Paulhus (2014) [p = .001], Jonason et al. (2014) [p = .011] and Rogoza and Cieciuch (2017) [p = .000].
The correlation between narcissism and psychopathy among teachers in this study is weaker than those
obtained by Egorova et al. (p = .000), Jones and Paulhus (2014) [p = .000], Jonason et al. (2014) [p = .000],
Rogoza and Cieciuch (2017) [p = .000] and Jonason (2015b) [p = .000].
Thus, some results of our study are in good agreement with the results of other studies, while others
are significantly different, which makes them most interesting as it is possible to identify the professional
and cross-cultural specificity of the concerned groups of teachers.
6.3. The types of the Dark Triad traits structure
The comparison of the results of our study with many other studies on the Dark Triad of personality
measured with the same tool, the short Dark Triad (SD3), has allowed us to conclude that there are at least
three qualitatively different types of structure of the Dark Triad traits from in terms of intercorrelations
between the Dark Triad traits.
Conventionally and schematically, these types can be designated as follows:
Type 1 can be called a "full triad", with strong associations between all the traits of the triad;
this type is the most common and is found in studies conducted on samples of students,
population samples, random MTurk samples et al. (see, e.g., Rogoza & Cieciuch, 2017,
Jonason, 2015b); this type is also revealed for some professional samples (e.g., Tijdink et al.,
2016);
Type 2 can be called a "weakened triad", with two of the three intercorrelations of the Dark
Triad traits being sufficiently strong, among which there is necessarily a correlation of
Machiavellianism with psychopathy, but one of the correlations is much weaker than the other
two, or completely disappears (becomes non-significant); therefore, this weakened correlation
might be the correlation of narcissism with either Machiavellianism or psychopathy: the first
case was identified, for example, in the studies of Jones and Paulhus (2014), Jonason, Wee,
Lee, and Jackson (2014), as well as in this study for kindergarten teachers and teachers in
general (see Table 01); the second type was identified, for example, in a study by Jonason,
Baughman, Carter, and Parker (2015);
Type 3 (Dyad) describes the situation when the correlation of Machiavellianism and
psychopathy is quite high, while the correlations of narcissism with Machiavellianism and
psychopathy are significantly weaker or absent (non-significant); this type was identified in
this study for school and university teachers (see Table 01).
For type 3 (Dyad) identified in our study, we did not find any cases of its manifestation in the results
of other studies conducted using the questionnaire "Short Dark Triad (SD3)" (Jones & Paulhus, 2014).
However, this type is similar to the above-mentioned version of the structure of the Dark Triad, which
includes two elements: one is narcissism, and the second one is a factor formed by the joint influence of
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Machiavellianism and psychopathy (see, e.g., Rogoza & Cieciuch, 2018). At the same time, complex,
changeable associations among the Dark Triad traits support the idea that Machiavellianism, psychopathy
and narcissism are complex systems consisting of many separate personality traits, and therefore should be
viewed as multidimensional configurations of traits (e,g, Thomaes, Brummelman, Miller, & Lilienfeld,
2017, p. 835).
7. Conclusion
In general, the results obtained in this study provide confirmation of the following regularities:
for different professional groups of teachers the expression of the Dark Triad traits changes
non-linearly under the influence of the factor of the level of teachers’ professional activity in
the education system;
the effect of the level of professional activity differs for different traits of the Dark Triad;
there are different types of the structure of the Dark Triad traits manifested in certain social or
professional groups;
school teachers are characterized by the highest (among all examined groups of teachers) levels
of psychopathy; this fact should be taken into account in the organization of work on the
preservation of mental health and prevention of professional deformations in the personality;
university teachers are characterized by the highest (among all the examined groups of
teachers) levels of Machiavellianism; this fact should be taken into consideration in the context
of the universities functioning and development of productive organizational culture.
The lack of data of independent studies conducted on the same groups of teachers makes it difficult
to assess the reliability (non-randomness) of the identified effects; accordingly, it is necessary to reproduce
the identified patterns on new independent samples of teachers of different levels of the education system.
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... In their work, Adams and Maykut (2015) discussed the potential dangers of inappropriate care of nurses and other medical staff if they would have dark features. Lenkov, Rubtsova and Nizamova (2018) recorded the highest incidence of dark personality traits among university teachers. More detailed results showed a significantly higher level of psychopathy among elementary and secondary school teachers. ...
... Studies where students from different directions would be compared in this way are not known. However, there are studies that point to a higher rate of aversive traits in healthcare professionals (Admas & Maykut, 2015; Bakir et al., 2003;Bratek et al., 2015;Bucknall et al., 2015;Pegrum & Pearce, 2015), pedagogical workers (Lenkov et al., 2018) and social workers (Babiak, 1995;Selingson, 1992). ...
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The aim of present study was to examine the relationships between Dark Triad traits - Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy with internal and external motivation to study the on a sample of university students studying in the field of helping professions. The research sample consisted of 118 university students from different study fields of helping professions (M = 22.34; SD = 1.62). Females represented 89,8% of all respondents (M = 22.10; SD = 1.4), males represented 10.2% (M = 22.9; SD = 1.6). Slovak version of Short Dark Triad (Čopková & Šafár, in review) and Work Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation Scale (WEIMS) (Tremblay et al., 2009) were administred. The results indicated significant relationships between Machiavellianism with identified and integrated motivation; narcissism with external, introjected, identified and intrinsic motivation, psychopathy with identified motivation.
... In their work, Adams and Maykut (2015) discussed the potential dangers of inappropriate care of nurses and other medical staff if they had dark features. Lenkov, Rubtsova, and Nizamova (2018) recorded the highest incidence of dark personality traits among university teachers. More detailed results showed a significantly higher level of psychopathy among elementary and secondary school teachers. ...
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Background: While the personality of helping professionals has been the subject of research for quite some time, the approach towards this has changed over this period. While most research (e.g. Bakker et al., 2006; Mlcák & Záskodná, 2008) focuses more on adaptive personality traits-the so called "bright side" (Oluf & Furnham, 2015)-, less attention was paid to the fact that, as with every person, a helping professional possesses, to some degree , maladaptive personality traits, or a "dark side". The job attitude of the helping professional results from two motivating factors detected in the workers in human services; one is perceived satisfaction and a positive feeling from helping others (Kopřiva, 1997); the other is a desire for power and control over the client (Guggenbuhl-Craig, 2007). The question that naturally arises is whether the helping profession can satisfy even the darker needs of the worker if it follows that perceived job satisfaction does not necessarily have to be related only to the granting of aid, but may also be due to such darker motivation. Aim: The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship of three aversive personality traits: Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy-nowadays known by experts as the Dark Triad (Paulhus & Williams, 2002)-; with work satisfaction on a sample of helping professionals-pedagogical workers, healthcare workers, rescue workers and social workers. Method: The study was conducted on a sample of 151 participants from different sectors of the helping professions (Mage = 37.13; SD = 11.83). Females represented 71.5% of all respondents (N = 108), aged 19 to 65 (Mage = 38; SD = 12.6). Males represented the remaining 28.5% of respondents (N = 43), aged 20 to 62 (Mage = 34.9; SD = 9.5). Four groups of helping professionals were identified: pedagogical workers (PG)-kindergarten teachers, elementary school teachers, secondary school teachers (47.7%); healthcare workers (HC)-doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, sanitary workers, dental technicians (21.9%); rescue workers (RS)-policemen, firemen, rescuers, soldiers (23.8%); social workers (SW)-social workers, psychologists, special pedagogues (6.6%). A convenience and purposive sampling method was used. The Slovak version of Short Dark Triad-SD3 (Jones & Paulhus, 2014; Čopková, in review) and the Slovak version of Job Satisfaction Survey (Spector, 1985; Mesárošová, 2016) were administered. The Slovak version of Short Dark Triad consists of 27 items that saturate three subscales-Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy. Each dimension consists of 9 items. The respondent responds to a 5-point likert scale (1 = strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree). The indicators of the internal consistency of the scales expressed by the McDonald´s omega coefficient were as follows-ωm = 0.745; ωn = 0.619; ωp = 0.792. Slovak version of Job satisfaction survey is based on the original Job satisfaction survey (Spector, 1985; Mesárošová, 2016)), which is aimed at capturing job satisfaction in the humanitarian sectors, so its use is suitable for a sample of helping professionals. It contains 36 items. The respondent answers on a 6-point scale (1 = strongly disagree; 6 = strongly agree). Nine factors of job satisfaction are saturated with four items in the questionnaire, and these are distributed across the-pay, promotion, supervision, benefits, rewards, conditions, co-workers, nature of work, and communication. The indicators of internal consistency of the scales expressed by Človek a spoločnosť [Individual and Society], 2020, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 18-33. The Relationship of Dark Triad and Job Satisfaction among Helping Professionals 19 the McDonald´s omega coefficient were satisfactory-ωf1 = 0.807; ωf2 = 0.629; ωf3 = 0.826; ωf4 = 0.659; ωf5 = 0.713; ωf6 = 0.602; ωf7 = 0.722; ωf8 = 0.791; ωf9 = 0.776; ωjss = 0.899. Results: Significant negative relationships were identified between Machiavellianism and satisfaction with co-workers (r =-0.342 **), nature of work (r =-0.162 *), communication (r =-0.343 **). Narcissism had a significant positive relationship with the satisfaction with promotion (r = 0.224 **), but had a negative significant relationship with satisfaction with co-workers (r =-0.262 **) and communication (r =-0.173 *). Psychopathy had negative significant relationships with satisfaction with supervision (r =-0.224 **), co-workers (r =-0.296 **), the nature of work (r =-0.306 **) and communication (r =-0.236 **). Machiavellianism (r =-0.227 **) and psychopathy (r =-0.173 *) have a significant negative relationship with overall job satisfaction. The Dark Triad had only very weak relationships with those elements of work related to financial and non-financial remuneration, such as pay, benefits and rewards. The analysis of the relationship between the Dark Triad and working conditions led to the same results. The Dark Triad concept predicted a 38.2% variation in job satisfaction among helping professionals. The regression analysis indicated that the Dark Triad significantly predicted overall job satisfaction (F(3/147) = 3.013; p = 0.032; R 2 = 0.058), satisfaction with co-workers (F(3/147) = 8.093; p <0.001; R 2 = 0.142), communication (F(3/147) = 6.842; p <0.001; R 2 = 0,123), promotion (F(3/147) = 3.437; p = 0.019; R 2 = 0.066) and the nature of work (F(3/147) = 5.438; p = 0.001; R 2 = 0.100). Conclusion: In spite of some limits, we consider the results of our study to be beneficial as they have shown that helping professionals, who are automatically expected to be selfless and prosocial, also have some aversive personality traits, which may be a significant element in how helping professional consider individual elements of their work satisfaction. Therefore, it is equally important and interesting to consider how the aversive traits of helping professionals are related to their job satisfaction. In particular, the clarification of the predictive strength of the Dark Triad traits in relation to helping professionals' job satisfaction is a valuable finding of our research.
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