ArticlePDF Available

Abstract

Abstract Objectives: The Dark Triad traits (i.e., narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism) capture individual differences in aversive personality to complement work on other taxonomies, such as the Big Five traits. However, the literature on the Dark Triad traits relies mostly on samples from English-speaking (i.e., Westernized) countries. We broadened the scope of this literature by sampling from a wider array of countries. Method: We drew on data from 49 countries (N = 11,723; 65.8% female; AgeMean = 21.53) to examine how an extensive net of country-level variables in economic status (e.g., Human Development Index), social relations (e.g., gender equality), political orientations (e.g., democracy), and cultural values (e.g., embeddedness) relate to country-level rates of the Dark Triad traits, as well as variance in the magnitude of sex differences in them. Results: Narcissism was especially sensitive to country-level variables. Countries with more embedded and hierarchical cultural systems were more narcissistic. Also, sex differences in narcissism were larger in more developed societies: Women were less likely to be narcissistic in developed (vs. less developed) countries. Conclusions: We discuss the results based on evolutionary and social role models of personality and sex differences. That higher country-level narcissism was more common in less developed countries, whereas sex differences in narcissism were larger in more developed countries, is more consistent with evolutionary than social role models. Keywords: Narcissism; Psychopathy; Machiavellianism; Dark Triad; Cultural Values; Cross-cultural
Journal of Personality. 2020;00:1–16. wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/jopy
|
1
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Received: 3 January 2020
|
Revised: 27 May 2020
|
Accepted: 3 June 2020
DOI: 10.1111/jopy.12569
ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT
Country-level correlates of the Dark Triad traits in 49 countries
Peter K.Jonason1,2
|
MagdalenaŻemojtel-Piotrowska2
|
JarosławPiotrowski2
|
ConstantineSedikides3
|
W. KeithCampbell4
|
Jochen E.Gebauer5,6
|
JohnMaltby7
|
MladenAdamovic8
|
Byron G.Adams9,10,11
|
Anissa LestariKadiyono12
|
Kokou A.Atitsogbe13
|
Harshalini Y.Bundhoo14
|
SergiuBălțătescu15
|
SnežanaBilić16
|
Joel GruneauBrulin17
|
PhatthanakitChobthamkit18
|
AlejandraDel Carmen
Dominguez19
|
SonyaDragova-Koleva20
|
SofiánEl-Astal21
|
Carla SofiaEsteves22
|
WalaaLabib M. Eldesoki23,24
|
Valdiney V.Gouveia25
|
KatherineGundolf26
|
DzintraIlisko27
|
EmanuelJauk28,29
|
Shanmukh V.Kamble30
|
NarineKhachatryan31
|
MartinaKlicperova-Baker32
|
EmilKnezovic33
|
MonikaKovacs34
|
XuejunLei35
|
KadiLiik36
|
AgimMamuti37
|
Carlos RodrigoMoreta-Herrera38
|
Taciano L.Milfont39
|
ChinWei Ong40
|
EvgenyOsin41
|
JoonhaPark42
|
BobanPetrovic43*
|
JanoRamos-Diaz44
|
GoranRidic33
|
AbdulQadir45
|
AdilSamekin46
|
ArturSawicki47
|
HabibTiliouine48
|
RobertTomsik49
|
Charles S.Umeh50
|
Keesvan den Bos51
|
AlainVan Hiel10
|
OsmanUslu52
|
AnnaWlodarczyk53
|
IlliaYahiiaev54
1University of Padova, Padua, Italy
2Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw, Poland
3University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
4University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
5University of Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany
6University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
7University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
8Monash Business School, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
9Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands
10Ghent University, Gent, Belgium
11University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
12Padjadjaran University, Bandung, Indonesia
13University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
14University of Mauritius, Moka, Mauritius
15University of Oradea, Oradea, Romania
16International Balkan University, Skopje, North Macedonia
17Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
18Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand
19Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico, Mexico
20New Bulgarian University, Sofya, Bulgaria
21Al-Azhar University-Gaza, Gaza, Palestine
22Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), CIS-IUL, Lisboa, Portugal
Deceased
2
|
JONASON et Al.
23Menoufia University, Al-Minufya, Egypt
24Al-Jouf University in Saudi Arabia, Sakaka, Saudi Arabia
25Federal University of Paraiba, Paraiba, Brazil
26Montpelier Business School, Montpelier, France
27Daugavpils University, Daugavpils, Latvia
28Technische Universitat Dresden, Dresden, Germany
29University of Graz, Graz, Austria
30Karnatak University, Dharwad, Karnataka, India
31Yerevan State University, Yerevan, Armenia
32Czech Academy of Sciences, Praha, Czech Republic
33International University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
34ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
35Lingnan Normal University, Lingnan, China
36Tallinn University, Talinn, Estonia
37Mother Teresa University, Skopje, North Macedonia
38Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Ambato, Ecuador
39Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
40Bangor University, Bangor, UK
41National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
42Nagoya University of Commerce and Business School, Nagoya, Japan
43Institute for Criminological and Sociological Research, Belgrade, Serbia
44Universidad de Ciencias y Humanidades, Lima, Peru
45Independent Researcher, Islamabad, Pakistan
46S. Toraighyrov Pavlodar State University, Pavlodar, Kazakhstan
47University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
48University of Oran, Oran, Algeria
49Research Institute for Child Psychology and Pathopsychology, Nitra, Slovakia
50College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
51Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
52Sakarya University, Sakarya, Turkey
53Universidad Catolica del Norte, Antofagasta, Chile
54Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
Correspondence
Magdalena Żemojtel-Piotrowska, Institute
of Psychology, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński
University, Woycickiego 1/3 Street, 01-938
Warsaw, Poland.
Email: m.zemojtel-piotrowska@uksw.
edu.pl
Present address
Taciano L. Milfont, The University of
Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
Funding information
The Czech Academy of Sciences, Grant/
Award Number: RVO 68081740; Grantová
Agentura České Republiky, Grant/Award
Number: #15-11062S; John Templeton
Abstract
Objectives: The Dark Triad traits (i.e., narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism)
capture individual differences in aversive personality to complement work on other
taxonomies, such as the Big Five traits. However, the literature on the Dark Triad
traits relies mostly on samples from English-speaking (i.e., Westernized) countries.
We broadened the scope of this literature by sampling from a wider array of countries.
Method: We drew on data from 49 countries (N = 11,723; 65.8% female;
AgeMean=21.53) to examine how an extensive net of country-level variables in eco-
nomic status (e.g., Human Development Index), social relations (e.g., gender equal-
ity), political orientations (e.g., democracy), and cultural values (e.g., embeddedness)
relate to country-level rates of the Dark Triad traits, as well as variance in the magni-
tude of sex differences in them.
|
3
JONASON et Al.
1
|
INTRODUCTION
Over the last 15years, researchers have grown considerable
interest in understanding three aversive personality traits,
collectively known as the Dark Triad. The three traits are
narcissism (i.e., grandiosity and self-centeredness), psy-
chopathy (i.e., callous social attitudes and impulsivity),
and Machiavellianism (i.e., manipulation and cynicism).
However, most studies rely on relatively small samples from
W.E.I.R.D. cultures (i.e., Western, educated, industrialized,
rich, and democratic; Henrich, Heine, & Norenzayan,2010).
Multinational studies have been conducted (Jonason
etal.,2017; Jonason, Li, & Czarna,2013), but they sampled
people from few countries and thus were unable to examine
how country-level variance in the traits tracks with other
country-level indicators (e.g., Human Development Index,
Hierarchy values). In this study, we sampled people from 49
countries and examined mean-level differences as well as sex
differences in the traits.
1.1
|
Cultural differences in values
Our primary concern was how countries and cultures differ
in relation to the Dark Triad traits. They might differ in at
least two ways. The first one entails sociopolitical factors.
Countries vary in their development, corruption levels, free-
dom to engage in economic activities, adoption of democratic
values, amount of internal strife, and the gender distribution
of outcomes (Inglehart, Basanez, Diez-Madrano, Halman, &
Luijkx,2004; Inglehart & Norris,2009). These factors rep-
resent a cross section of indicators encompassing social de-
velopment, levels of political, and economic engagement, as
well as the degree to which the internal workings of the coun-
tries are corrupt and tumultuous. As societies “advance” they
create safer spaces, more equality, and less competition be-
tween citizens over scarce resources (Inglehart etal.,2004;
Różycka-Tran, Boski, & Wojciszke,2015).
The second way in which countries differ entails shared
values, with countries being loose approximations of cultures
(Inglehart etal.,2004; Leung & Bond, 2004; Schwartz,2008).
Countries differ in how much the collective population em-
phasizes values such as embeddedness, intellectual auton-
omy, affective autonomy, hierarchy, egalitarianism, mastery,
and harmony (Schwartz,2008). These cultural values may
be responses to three societal problems: (1) how to handle
relationships between individuals and the group, (2) how to
maintain social order and how much order is desirable, and
(3) how best to treat natural resources and the environment.
The first societal problem is addressed by embeddedness ver-
sus autonomy (i.e., intellectual and affective) values. Cultures
that value embeddedness emphasize collective identity, the
status quo, social order, tradition, security, and obedience.
Cultures that value intellectual autonomy emphasize broad-
mindedness, curiosity, and creativity in the guise of indi-
viduals pursuing their own ideas. Lastly, cultures that value
affective autonomy emphasize people to pursue hedonism in
the form of pleasure-seeking and having an exciting, varied
life.
The second societal problem is addressed by hierarchy
versus egalitarianism values. Cultures that can normatively
be described as valuing hierarchy emphasize the legitimacy
of asymmetries in power and the distribution of wealth, and
thus endorse social power, authority, humility, and wealth.
Cultures that value egalitarianism are socially progressive,
care about the welfare of others, emphasize transcendence of
Results: Narcissism was especially sensitive to country-level variables. Countries
with more embedded and hierarchical cultural systems were more narcissistic. Also,
sex differences in narcissism were larger in more developed societies: Women were
less likely to be narcissistic in developed (vs. less developed) countries.
Conclusions: We discuss the results based on evolutionary and social role models
of personality and sex differences. That higher country-level narcissism was more
common in less developed countries, whereas sex differences in narcissism were
larger in more developed countries, is more consistent with evolutionary than social
role models.
KEYWORDS
cross-cultural, cultural values, Dark Triad, Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy
Foundation, Grant/Award Number:
51897; National Council of Technological
and Scientific Development, Grant/
Award Number: n/a; Swiss Government
Excellence PhD Scholarship, Grant/
Award Number: 2015.0639; Narodowe
Centrum Nauki, Grant/Award Number:
2016/21/B/HS6/01069; Russian Academic
Excellence, Grant/Award Number: 5-100;
Polish National Agency for Academic
Exchange, Grant/Award Number: PPN/
ULM/2019/1/00019/U/00001
4
|
JONASON et Al.
individual or selfish interests, and underscore equality, social
justice, responsibility, as well as honesty.
The third societal problem is addressed by mastery ver-
sus harmony values. Cultures that normatively value mastery
emphasize getting ahead in the world by individual efforts
and ambitiousness; these cultures are success-focused and
daring. However, cultures that value harmony emphasize en-
vironmental concerns, a desire to live in-sync with nature as
opposed to changing it, peace and unity, and wanting no more
than one is owed from the world.
1.2
|
Personality×culture
There are two main perspectives on how traits may differ
across nations (Schmitt, Long, etal.,2017). First, personality
traits may motivate individuals to behave in trait-consistent
ways. Assuming many individuals in a culture have those
traits, there should be a ratcheting-up from person-level pat-
terns to country-level patterns. Social role theories (Eagly &
Wood,1999) suggest that traits are learned patterns of be-
havior that are reinforced over time (i.e., behaviorism). These
patterns would generalize out from person-level to country-
level effects. In reference to the Dark Triad traits, such envi-
ronmentally deterministic theories (e.g., social learning and
media exposure theories) suggest that people are rewarded
for being more aggressive and antisocial through modeling
(e.g., classic Bobo doll experiments), which will lead to more
negative externalities. However, such theories may overem-
phasize the role of learning, may only account for proximal
mechanisms, may struggle to incorporate behavioral genet-
ics or hormone research findings, and may view personality
traits as fixed phenomena.
Second, personality traits may be adaptive responses to
local contingencies (i.e., behavioral syndromes). Evolutionary
researchers suggest that, although the aforementioned learn-
ing effects may occur, the reasons they occur are because of
recurrent asymmetries in the payoffs for being socially an-
tagonistic and that ontological variables calibrate preexist-
ing mechanisms (Buss,2009). From this view, traits like the
Dark Triad might be adaptive responses to solve life history
trade-offs that are generated by the interaction of disposi-
tional biases and local contingencies (Figueredo etal.,2009).
Put another way, traits are the outputs of heuristic processes
that combine internal and external contingencies to optimize
solving mating and survival challenges for a specific envi-
ronment. Unlike social role theories, which view people as
“victims” of external forces, evolutionary theories suggest
that internal organizational (e.g., androgen during fetal devel-
opment) and pubertal timing may create, for instance, sex dif-
ferences in personality, or personality-environment matches
through the active structuring of one's environment to suit
their dispositions.
It is less clear, though, whether personality traits are cre-
ated by or create these conditions. For example, the fact that
beliefs in a zero-sum game (i.e., there are winners and los-
ers in the world) are associated with country-level military
expenditure in 30 countries (Różycka-Tran, Jurek, Olech,
Piotrowski, & Żemojtel-Piotrowska, 2019) could be inter-
preted as (1) people who hold those beliefs structure their
society consistent with their personality, or (2) more violent
societies elicit values as adaptive responses (i.e., in a dan-
gerous place, zero-sum attitudes might be adaptive). Of the
Dark Triad traits, narcissism is the most socially sensitive,
as it is characterized by a need for external validation of
one's identity through the attainment of status, dominance,
and attractiveness (Sedikides & Campbell, 2017). Therefore,
if (some) traits are responses to local conditions, only the
most socially sensitive traits should be correlated with coun-
try-level variance. Psychopathy, in particular, is relatively
insensitive to environmental variance in behavioral genetics
research (Vernon, Villani, Vickers, & Harris,2008). At the
same time, all three of the Dark Triad traits have undesirable
and antisocial implications (Muris, Merckelbach, Otgaar, &
Meijer,2017). So, if there were a simple ratcheting-up to
country-level detrimental effects, all three should be cor-
related with country-level factors such as less development,
more corruption, and more within-country violence.
To understand how rates of the Dark Triad traits vary
around the world, we gauged mean-level differences across
49 countries in relation to the aforementioned sociopoliti-
cal factors and the Schwartzian cultural values. At the per-
son-level, the Dark Triad traits are considered malevolent
(Muris et al., 2017), as they are associated with exploitive
tendencies (Thomaes, Brummelman, & Sedikides, 2018).
If the Dark Triad traits facilitate person-level interpersonal
strife, countries characterized by high levels of the Dark
Triad traits would be characterized by strife, such as more
internal conflicts and less gender equality.
Additionally, if personality traits are responses to local
conditions, how should a trait like narcissism respond to dif-
ferent conditions? One hypothesis suggests that narcissism is
created by a culture of indulgence or liberalization (Foster,
Campbell, & Twenge, 2003; Miller et al., 2015; Twenge
& Campbell, 2010), whereas an alternative view suggests
that it might be created by scarcity (Campbell & Żemojtel-
Piotrowska,2017; Papageorgiou etal.,2019). Regarding the
latter view, in countries that are less developed, more corrupt,
and have less economic freedom, peace, and gender equality,
there is likely a greater degree of scarcity increasing compe-
tition for resources. Narcissism, as an agentic trait (Gebauer
& Sedikides, 2018), would enable people to compete over
these scarce resources. That is, in “scarce” environments,
being narcissistic may be adaptive, because it allows people
to prioritize their own needs for facilitating their survival and
reproductive goals (Jonason, Okan, & Özsoy,2019). In this
|
5
JONASON et Al.
case, external, country-level factors may necessitate an adap-
tive response in the form of a shortened personal timeline,
limited investment in others, and general agentic behavior.
Similarly, the cultural milieu created by different value sys-
tems may encourage people to respond. A more competitive
value system (i.e., less egalitarianism and more hierarchy)
and one that emphasizes community-connectedness (i.e.,
embeddedness) may create a space in which narcissism is a
sensible response. Narcissistic individuals value social inter-
action and connection, but also status, prestige, and power
(Mahadevan, Gregg, & Sedikides,2019). In fact, they value
embeddedness as a means to gain status and power (i.e., to
climb the hierarchy). After all, if one desires adoration, one
needs to belong to an adoring group, and appear to promote
the values and interests of that group. Therefore, rates of nar-
cissism in countries should correlate with cultural emphasis
on embeddedness and hierarchy (Schwartz,2008).
1.3
|
Personality×culture ×sex
In North American, Western European, Eastern European,
and South American samples, men are more narcissistic,
psychopathic, and Machiavellian than women are, whereas in
Asian (i.e., Singaporean and Japanese) and Turkish samples
men are descriptively, but not statistically, better character-
ized by those traits as well (Jonason etal., 2013, 2017). As
with mean-level differences, social role theories (e.g., struc-
tural powerlessness theory) suggest that sex differences are
created by the presence of inequalities in one's local culture
(Eagly & Wood,1999). If true, societies with more gender
equality should have smaller sex differences. In contrast,
evolutionary theories (e.g., antagonistic co-evolution) pro-
pose that, because ancestral men have suffered fewer physi-
cal and social costs for being antisocial and may even have
gained positive fitness returns in the form of more sex part-
ners relative to women (Carter, Lyons, & Brewer,2018), the
sexes may have diverged accordingly. Evolutionary models
predict that more gender equality will be associated with
larger sex differences. The limited work on cross-cultural
variance in sex differences in the Dark Triad (Neumann,
Schmitt, Carter, Embley, & Hare, 2012; Schmitt, Alcalay,
etal.,2017) and the Big Five (i.e., Extraversion, Neuroticism,
Agreeableness, Openness, Conscientiousness) traits (Giolla
& Kajonius,2019) is more consistent with the latter class of
theories. In addition, sex differences in prioritizing risk, pa-
tience, altruism, positive and negative reciprocity, and trust
are larger in societies that are more liberal, are characterized
by higher income, and have greater gender equality (Falk &
Hermle,2018).
Women and men may be better able to maximize the ex-
pression of their personality in more advanced and liberal
(e.g., more democratic) cultures than in less liberal (e.g., low
gender equality) ones, because of social, legal, political, and
religious constraints (Inglehart & Norris,2009). In socio-po-
litically progressive and more advanced societies, the need
for women to engage in antisocial or selfish behavior and,
therefore, have the traits that would facilitate these behav-
iors, may be diminished. Although narcissism may help both
women and men to gain resources in competitive spaces, its
utility may be sensitive to local socioecological or cultural
conditions. In harsher cultures, women—who evolutionarily
need resources for themselves and their offspring more than
men do—may need to augment the investment they receive
from men to secure better provisions for themselves and their
offspring. It follows that narcissism in women may act as an
emergency system, whereas in men it may be a default system
given that men reliably need access to resources to attract a
partner, invest in offspring (albeit less so than women), and
provide for their own survival (Kenrick, Sadalla, Groth, &
Trost,1990). Therefore, whereas narcissism rates should be
lower in more socio-politically advanced cultures (consistent
with the scarcity hypothesis), it is women, more than men,
who will be lower in narcissism in these cultures.
1.4
|
Overview
In this multinational collaboration, we present the first large-
scale examination of cross-cultural variance in the Dark Triad
traits. We use country-level sociological, economic, political,
and cultural variables to account for variance in mean levels
of the traits along with sex differences. Specifically, in rela-
tion to distribution of three “dark” traits around the world,
we test whether they serve as adaptations to scarce resources,
conflicted and unstable societies, and cultural factors related
to competitiveness. We expect narcissism to be the most
sensitive to country-level effects, but also explore the sen-
sitivity of psychopathy and Machiavellianism. We compare
scarcity and liberalization hypotheses to account for variance
in the Dark Triad traits across countries. In relation to sex
differences, we similarly examine scarcity and liberalization
hypotheses, suggesting larger and smaller, respectively, sex
differences in more affluent and egalitarian societies.
2
|
METHOD
2.1
|
Participants and procedure
The reported data (N=11,723) were collected between April
2016 and October 2017 as part of the “Cross-Cultural Self-
Enhancement Project” (led by the second and third authors),1
which brought together over 70 academics from 56 coun-
tries. For reasons described next, we included data from only
49 countries in the present study. A researcher from each
6
|
JONASON et Al.
sampled country was asked to recruit at least 150 participants
(but ideally 250) for inclusion in the project so as to maximize
power for detecting the average effect in social-personality
psychology over the last 100years (i.e., r ≈ .20; Richard,
Bond, & Stokes-Zoota,2003). Additionally, we attempted to
include at least 50 participants per sex; we obtained a sample
that was 66% female. We excluded countries with fewer than
150 participants, and countries where we did not assess the
Dark Triad traits.
Table1 contains a summary of the samples and procedure
for each country. The sample consisted of moderately afflu-
ent (self-reported SES: 1 = poor, 7 = wealthy; M =4.47,
SD = 1.10) university students (MeanAge = 21.53 years,
SDAge=3.17years), 39% of whom took the survey in a pa-
per-and-pencil form. Participants completed the study in their
countries' official language. We used published translations
where available and, when such translations were not avail-
able, we implemented standard back-translation procedures.
We obtained informed consent in each country and debriefed
participants upon completion. The project was reviewed and
approved by the Ethics Committee of the former home insti-
tution of the first author (H14099) and the former home insti-
tution of the second and third authors (UG1/2016); reciprocal
approval was secured elsewhere.
We assessed the Dark Triad traits using the Dirty Dozen
(Jonason & Webster,2010). The 12 items were translated into
each language by two native speakers, back translated by a
third, and then, checked by the scale's first author. Particular
translations can be obtained online (https://tinyu rl.com/
wno77f2). Participants were asked how much they agreed
(1=not at all, 5 = very much) with statements such as “I
tend to want others to admire me” (i.e., narcissism), “I tend
to lack remorse,” (i.e., psychopathy) and “I have used deceit
or lied to get my way” (i.e., Machiavellianism). We averaged
responses to create indices of each trait. Overall, the traits
evinced adequate-to-good internal consistency for narcis-
sism (
𝛼=. 85
), Machiavellianism (
𝛼=. 84
), and psychopathy
(
𝛼=. 75
).2
2.2
|
Country-level indicators
All country-level sociopolitical indices that we report refer
to 2017, corresponding with the approximate time of data
collection. We used the Human Development Index (HDI),
which was created for the Human Development Report pre-
pared by the United Nations.3 HDI features three main com-
ponents: a decent standard of living (GNI per capita in U.S.
dollars; GNI index), knowledge (mean years of schooling;
expected years of schooling), and a long and healthy life (life
expectancy index; life expectancy at birth). The higher the
score (0–1), the greater level of human development a society
has.
We measured the functioning of democracy with The
Democracy Index created by The Economist Intelligence
Unit.4 It encompasses 60 indicators with five categories: elec-
toral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of
government, political participation, political culture. Based
on their scores on 60 indicators within these categories, each
country is classified as one of four types of regimes: full de-
mocracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime, authoritarian re-
gime. The higher the score (1–10), the more democratic the
society is.
We measured economic functioning with The Index of
Economic Freedom, developed by The Heritage Foundation.
It consists of 12 estimators of various fields of freedom, in-
cluding property rights and financial freedom.5 The higher
the score (0–100), the more economic freedom within a
society.
We measured the relative position of women and men in
society with The Gender Inequality Index. It is an assessment
of gender inequality developed by the United Nations as part
of the Human Development Report.6 The index is based on
three domains: (1) reproductive health, gauged by maternal
mortality ratio and adolescent birth rates, (2) empowerment,
gauged by the proportion of parliamentary seats occupied
by women and the proportion of adult women and men aged
25+ years with at least some secondary education, and (3)
economic status, gauged by labor force participation rates of
men and women aged 15+ years. The higher the value (0 to
1), the more gender inequality and disparities between the
sexes.
We measured number of conflicts within a given society
using The Global Peace Index.7 Created by The Institute for
Economics and Peace (IEP), it assesses global peace with 23
indicators constituting three domains: level of societal safety
and security, extent of ongoing domestic and international
conflict, and degree of militarization. The higher the value (1
to 5), the more conflict-ridden a country is.
We measured income inequalities within society with
The Gini Index from the C.I.A. World Factbook.8 A higher
Gini score indicates greater inequality, with high-income
individuals receiving a larger proportion of the country's
total income. The index represents economic discrepancies
among members of countries: 0=maximum equality (when
income is perfectly divided among all members of a country),
100=maximum inequality (when one individual possesses
all the money within a country).
We included Schwartz's (2008) cultural values of em-
beddedness, intellectual autonomy, affective autonomy,
egalitarianism, hierarchy, mastery, and harmony. We ob-
tained scores directly from Shalom Schwartz (personal
communication, April 6, 2014), and supplemented them by
data from Żemojtel-Piotrowska etal.(2014). We calculated
supplemented data based on student samples, where we
used the same methodology as for normative data
|
7
JONASON et Al.
TABLE 1 Sample characteristics, language sampled, and procedure used to collect the data
Country NFemale% MAge (SD) Language Procedure
Global 11,723 65.8 21.53 (3.17) Various Various
Algeria 213 64.8 20.03 (1.73) Arabic Paper-pencil
Armenia 266 55.3 19.26 (1.35) Armenian Paper-pencil
Australia 294 63.6 24.20 (5.16) English Online
Austria 269 77.7 24.35 (6.60) German Online
Belgium 223 83.0 18.93 (3.23) Flemish Online
Bosnia &
Herzegovina
226 73.0 25.72 (5.35) Bosnian Online
Brazil 246 62.1 22.37 (6.32) Portuguese Paper-pencil
Bulgaria 200 68.0 22.85 (5.37) Bulgarian Paper-pencil
Canada 319 69.6 20.29 (4.02) English Online
Chile 353 51.6 19.96 (3.80) Spanish Online
China 557 82.0 21.86 (1.14) Chinese Online
Croatia 200 61.5 23.13 (3.83) Croatian Online
Czech 232 65.9 22.96 (3.29) Czech Paper-pencil
Ecuador 244 65.2 22.89 (4.79) Spanish Online
Egypt 214 62.1 21.34 (2.35) Arabic Paper-pencil
Estonia 357 75.4 24.44 (6.38) Eesti Online
France 202 45.5 22.56 (1.56) French Online
Germany 221 83.7 21.53 (3.33) German Online
Hungary 152 79.6 22.83 (5.16) Hungarian Online
India 214 58.9 22.69 (1.45) English Paper-pencil
Indonesia 232 69.8 21.34 (2.22) Indonesian Online
Japan 282 33.3 19.65 (1.44) Japanese Paper-pencil
Kazakhstan 269 63.2 20.15 (2.20) Russian Online
Korea (South) 199 61.3 22.26 (1.82) Korean Paper-pencil
Latvia 260 71.2 27.65 (7.87) Russian Online
Macedonia 203 51.7 23.10 (2.94) Macedonian Online
Mauritius 178 75.3 20.38 (1.41) French Paper-pencil
Mexico 171 53.2 22.04 (3.33) Spanish Paper-pencil
Netherlands 255 79.2 19.39 (2.27) Flemish Paper-pencil
New Zealand 207 70.0 18.94 (2.34) English Online
Nigeria 200 50.0 21.52 (3.33) English Paper-pencil
Pakistan 200 45.8 22.54 (2.81) English Paper-pencil
Palestine 219 67.1 20.52 (1.82) Arabic Paper-pencil
Peru 210 76.2 21.52 (4.88) Spanish Online
Poland 341 78.3 20.56 (2.10) Polish Online
Portugal 199 66.8 20.01 (2.92) Portuguese Online
Romania 218 65.6 20.66 (2.11) Romanian Paper-pencil
Russia 216 84.7 20.51 (4.74) Russian Online
Serbia 326 72.1 20.88 (1.75) Serbian Online
Singapore 219 65.8 22.26 (2.58) English Online
Slovakia 202 74.8 21.66 (2.04) Slovak Paper-pencil
South Africa 224 71.4 20.47 (2.15) English Paper-pencil
(Continues)
8
|
JONASON et Al.
(i.e., Portrait Values Questionnaire or PVQ-40; Schwartz
etal.,2001). Our supplementation included only three coun-
tries (Algeria, Armenia, and Kazakhstan) for which cultural
values were unavailable. Although there is a notable time dif-
ference between the publication of normative cultural values
data and our calculations, we note that cultural values are sta-
ble over time (Schwartz,2008).
3
|
RESULTS
Prior to hypothesis testing, we assessed the measurement
invariance of the Dirty Dozen Scale across country and sex
using the traditional approach of Multi-Group Confirmatory
Factor Analysis (MGCFA). We found a scalar level of meas-
urement invariance across the sexes (Table 2, left panel),
allowing us to make between-sex comparisons. However,
we found only metric levels of invariance across countries
(Table2, right panel). Given that scalar levels of invariance
are hard to establish in large, multi-country comparisons
(Davidov, Meuleman, Cieciuch, Schmidt, & Billiet, 2014),
we complemented these analyses by examining measurement
invariance using the less conservative approach of alignment.
Alignment allows for testing MGCFA without assuming
exact measurement invariance and is based on the configu-
ral model and automatic process of detecting invariant pa-
rameters (Asparouhov & Muthén, 2014). The alignment
procedure indicated only 19% of non-invariant intercepts,
which are below the critical threshold of 25%.9
To ensure that we could make reasonable cross-national
comparisons, we tested cross-level isomorphism of the three
traits via an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) with a varimax
rotation. We used country-means for the Dirty Dozen items
and individual data from the pooled sample. We compared
country-level factor loadings to factor loadings obtained in
the EFA conducted on the pooled, international sample. We
obtained a three-factor solution, which explained 74.39% of
the variance. We also found congruence between individu-
al-level and country-level narcissism (Tucker's Ф = .96),
Machiavellianism (Ф= .94), and psychopathy (Ф= .88—
slightly lower than the cut-off of .90).
Using meta-regression (Lipsey & Wilson,2001), we ex-
amined how levels of the Dark Triad traits in each country
(Table3, left panel) were related to our country-level indi-
cators. In Table4 (left panel), we report the standardized
regression coefficients for those analyses. As expected, the
country-level effects were localized to narcissism, suggesting
that advanced, modern democracies had lower rates of narcis-
sism, whereas countries with less intellectual autonomy and
egalitarianism and with more hierarchy and embeddedness
values had higher rates of narcissism. Machiavellian coun-
tries were likely to be characterized by low rates of gender
inequality. We found no significant effects for psychopathy,
and the correlation coefficients observed were notably small
Country NFemale% MAge (SD) Language Procedure
Sweden 212 72.6 22.79 (4.36) Swedish Online
Thailand 177 76.8 19.61 (1.37) Thai Online
Togo 222 41.4 20.56 (2.84) French Online
Turkey 200 62.5 20.93 (2.43) Turkish Paper-pencil
Ukraine 283 72.4 20.09 (3.97) Russian Online
United
Kingdom
185 69.7 19.57 (1.74) English Online
United States 212 58.0 19.33 (1.44) English Online
TABLE 1 (Continued)
TABLE 2 Invariance testing by sex and country for the Dark Triad Dirty Dozen in 49 countries
Sex Country
χ2 (df) CFI RMSEA χ2 (df) CFI RMSEA
Configural 3,205.55 (102) .925 .071 5,845.16 (2,597) .933 .074
Metric 3,295.93 (111) .923 .069 7,047.43 (3,065) .918 .076
Scalar 3,512 (120) .918 .068 14,885.86 (3,533) .765 .119
Metric vs. configural 90.38 −.002 −.002 1,202.27 .015 .002
Scalar vs. metric 216.07 −.005 −.001 7,838.43 .153 .043
Note.: All χ2 tests were significant at p<.001.
|
9
JONASON et Al.
TABLE 3 Mean-level scores for the Dark Triad Dirty Dozen traits and Cohen's d for sex differences in each trait across each country
Country
Mean (SD) Sex differences
N M P N M P
Global mean 3.63 (1.46) 3.00 (1.42) 2.63 (1.27) .25 (.21) .39 (.20) .47
(.25)
Algeria 4.11 (1.67) 2.33 (1.45) 2.39 (1.37) .14 .20 .24
Armenia 4.28 (1.60) 3.31 (1.62) 2.77 (1.44) −.10 .30 .67
Australia 3.67 (1.32) 3.38 (1.28) 2.99 (1.24) .34 .13 .28
Austria 3.27 (1.37) 3.23 (1.52) 2.63 (1.23) .27 .37 .75
Belgium 3.28 (1.23) 3.46 (1.19) 2.88 (1.00) .42 .53 .85
Bosnia &
Herzegovina
3.20 (1.53) 2.49 (1.42) 2.34 (1.34) .17 .37 .52
Brazil 2.68 (1.36) 2.00 (1.12) 2.12 (1.13) .31 .19 .40
Bulgaria 3.36 (1.49) 3.69 (1.61) 2.55 (1.33) .10 .14 .65
Canada 3.54 (1.40) 3.33 (1.34) 2.62 (1.28) .50 .45 .41
Chile 3.08 (1.54) 3.13 (1.45) 2.83 (1.34) .44 .43 .51
China 4.41 (.98) 2.83 (1.07) 2.55 (.86) .17 .35 .40
Croatia 3.71 (1.39) 3.42 (1.54) 3.21 (1.44) .38 .70 .85
Czech 3.99 (1.26) 3.66 (1.34) 2.51 (1.11) .05 .42 .71
Ecuador 3.58 (1.70) 3.55 (1.59) 2.94 (1.47) .42 .42 .47
Egypt 4.14 (1.52) 2.13 (1.23) 2.43 (1.13) .02 .31 .15
Estonia 3.30 (1.41) 3.57 (1.33) 2.39 (1.10) .20 .25 .59
France 3.83 (1.29) 3.73 (1.35) 3.12 (1.43) .33 .29 .32
Germany 3.58 (1.31) 2.84 (1.24) 2.02 (1.03) .48 .63 .75
Hungary 3.50 (1.16) 3.11 (1.38) 2.50 (.97) .37 .66 .64
India 4.14 (1.58) 2.88 (1.63) 3.19 (1.48) .33 .41 .32
Indonesia 3.72 (1.31) 2.66 (1.17) 2.80 (1.05) .19 .29 .46
Japan 3.16 (.97) 2.86 (.95) 2.69 (.82) .02 .15 −.10
Kazakhstan 3.88 (1.62) 3.11 (1.55) 2.83 (1.46) .13 .46 .30
Korea (South) 4.07 (1.08) 3.23 (1.14) 2.86 (1.14) −.11 .13 .08
Latvia 3.88 (1.44) 3.48 (1.45) 3.14 (1.47) .18 .43 .55
Macedonia 3.35 (1.53) 2.61 (1.46) 2.55 (1.45) .26 .53 .36
Mauritius 3.28 (1.52) 2.68 (1.33) 2.33 (1.21) .01 .32 .22
Mexico 3.72 (1.59) 3.42 (1.48) 2.72 (1.42) .35 .36 .57
Netherlands 3.51 (1.24) 3.12 (1.11) 3.02 (.94) .48 .69 .77
New Zealand 3.55 (1.22) 3.46 (1.26) 2.64 (1.22) .23 .53 .56
Nigeria 4.18 (1.73) 3.26 (1.59) 2.36 (1.33) .16 .39 .36
Pakistan 4.41 (1.25) 3.58 (1.46) 3.78 (1.44) .24 .38 .52
Palestine 4.21 (1.51) 2.41 (1.36) 2.48 (1.09) .13 .56 .33
Peru 2.97 (1.60) 2.44 (1.45) 2.27 (1.25) .31 .36 .57
Poland 3.44 (1.38) 2.96 (1.48) 2.67 (1.44) .38 .26 .11
Portugal 3.03 (1.14) 2.06 (1.02) 2.07 (.91) .40 .46 .44
Romania 3.29 (1.45) 2.94 (1.48) 2.64 (1.32) .06 .39 .44
Russia 4.00 (1.59) 3.63 (1.46) 2.72 (1.41) .08 .39 .16
Serbia 3.59 (1.31) 2.64 (1.44) 2.78 (1.37) .26 .33 .68
Singapore 3.76 (1.18) 3.45 (1.20) 3.04 (1.07) .09 .36 .48
(Continues)
10
|
JONASON et Al.
enough to suggest that insufficient power was not a funda-
mental concern.
In Table 3 (right panel), we report Cohen's d for sex
differences in each country based on mean comparisons.
Globally, men were better characterized by the Dark Triad
traits than women were, with the sex difference (i.e., Cohen's
d) being small for narcissism (d= 0.25), a little larger for
Machiavellianism (d = 0.39), and largest for psychopa-
thy (d = 0.47). Despite this, there was substantial vari-
ability in sex differences around the world. In narcissism,
Country
Mean (SD) Sex differences
N M P N M P
Slovakia 3.07 (1.62) 3.30 (1.58) 2.74 (1.60) .44 .36 .64
South Africa 3.35 (1.50) 2.95 (1.50) 2.50 (1.28) 1.15 1.09 1.22
Sweden 3.53 (1.35) 3.26 (1.37) 2.29 (1.20) .17 .20 .55
Thailand 3.89 (1.37) 2.69 (1.14) 2.42 (1.06) −.01 .51 .70
Togo 4.41 (1.35) 2.76 (1.50) 2.94 (1.40) −.05 −.05 −.01
Turkey 3.33 (1.50) 2.19 (1.22) 2.07 (1.19) .26 .31 .30
Ukraine 3.91 (1.40) 3.37 (1.48) 2.89 (1.32) .62 .67 .51
United Kingdom 2.76 (1.30) 2.73 (1.23) 2.27 (1.17) −.13 .33 .56
United States 3.75 (1.28) 3.31 (1.37) 2.55 (1.19) .35 .45 .54
Note.: N=narcissism, M=Machiavellianism, P=psychopathy. Sex scored: 1=male, 2=female.
TABLE 3 (Continued)
Sociopolitical
indicators N
Mean-levels Sex differences
N M P N M P
Human development
index
49 −.45** .26 −.14 .36** .22 .31*
Freedom from
corruption index
48 −.39** .20 −.09 .38** .17 .16
Economic freedom
index
48 −.33*.27 −.11 .20 .15 .19
Democracy index 49 −.52** .24 −.07 .35** .16 .20
Global peace indexa 49 .46** −.13 .09 −.28*−.11 −.15
Gini indexb 48 .09 −.17 −.15 −.13 −.24 −.28*
Gender inequality
indexc
47 .29*−.31*−.13 −.28*−.25 −.30*
Values
Embeddedness 45 .42** −.15 .17 −.30*−.15 −.23
Intellectual autonomy 45 −.35*.10 −.16 .17 .12 .17
Affective autonomy 45 −.11 .18 .04 .04 .06 .10
Egalitarianism 45 −.45** −.07 −.18 .49** .23 .22
Hierarchy 45 .39** −.03 .09 −.31*−.20 −.29*
Mastery 45 .05 −.03 .11 −.06 .00 −.16
Harmony 45 −.19 .11 −.10 .25 .21 .33*
Note.: N=narcissism, M=Machiavellianism, P=psychopathy.
aLower scores reflect more peaceful countries.
bLower scores represent more equality.
cLower scores reflect less inequality.
*p<.05;
**p<.01.
TABLE 4 The standardized regression
coefficients between mean-level Dark Triad
traits and the magnitude of sex differences
and country-level factors
|
11
JONASON et Al.
the sex difference was slightly negative in South Korea
(d=−0.11), and largest and positive in Germany (d=0.48).
In Machiavellianism, the sex difference was slightly negative
in Togo (d=−0.05), and largest and positive in South Africa
(d= 1.09). In psychopathy, the sex difference was slightly
negative in Japan (d= −0.10), and largest and positive in
South Africa (d=1.22).
To understand how these sex differences systematically
waxed or waned with the corresponding country-level indi-
cators (e.g., HDI or democracy level), we again used me-
ta-regression. Specifically, we regressed the sex differences
on each country-level indicator separately with a random
effects model (full information maximum likelihood esti-
mation; Wilson,2005). In Table4 (right panel), we report
the associations between effects for sex differences in the
Dark Triad traits and our aforementioned country-level in-
dicators. Sex differences in narcissism were larger in more
affluent, stable, and democratic societies, larger in relation
to sex-related egalitarianism, and larger in countries that
valued embeddedness and hierarchy less and egalitarianism
more. Sex differences in psychopathy were positively related
to living in more gender egalitarian cultures, more devel-
oped countries, and ones characterized by less hierarchy and
more harmony.
We followed up by testing the simple slopes using meta-re-
gression in each sex to find out which sex “changed” the most
in relation to the sociopolitical and cultural values (Table5).
For narcissism, the slopes (βs) were larger for women, sug-
gesting that, as societies advance, women become especially
low on narcissism; this change was weaker in men. In con-
trast, the correlations for Machiavellianism were similar for
women and men. For psychopathy, greater inequality was
linked to psychopathy in men but not in women.
4
|
DISCUSSION
The dark side of personality has captured the interest of re-
searchers and lay-people alike (Muris etal.,2017). Much of
this work, however, is limited by within-country analyses and
relies on relatively (by modern standards) small (Ns<300),
W.E.I.R.D. samples. We present here the first assessment
of how all three of the traits may differ in expression across
49 countries (N = 11,723). We attempted to understand
mean-level differences and variance in sex differences as a
function of a wide range of economic, political, and social
factors around the world. We tested scarcity and liberaliza-
tion hypotheses (Campbell & Żemojtel-Piotrowska, 2017;
Sociopolitical
indicators
Narcissism Machiavellianism Psychopathy
M W M W M W
Human development
index
−.33** −.45** .34*.33*.05 −.13
Freedom from
corruption index
−.24 −.38** .26 .28*<.01 −.04
Economic freedom
index
−.27 −.31*.32*.32*<.01 −.09
Democracy Index −.42** −.54** .30*.28*.04 −.07
Global peace indexa .38** .45** −.18 −.18 <.01 .06
Gini indexb .03 .11 −.24 −.13 −.29*−.08
Gender inequality
indexc
.18 .29*−.39** −.36** −.05 .14
Values
Embeddedness .32*.40** −.20 −.22 .04 .16
Intellectual autonomy −.29*−.32*.15 .15 −.04 −.17
Affective autonomy −.12 −.08 .19 .23 .08 .08
Egalitarianism −.25 −.50** .02 −.05 −.09 −.24
Hierarchy .25 .39** −.12 −.05 −.08 .16
Mastery .03 .07 −.04 −.04 .02 .15
aLower scores reflect more peaceful countries.
bLower scores represent more equality.
cLower scores reflect less inequality.
*p<.05;
**p<.01.
TABLE 5 Simple-slopes from meta-
regression between country-level rates of
the dark triad traits and sociopolitical and
cultural values in men (M) and women (W)
12
|
JONASON et Al.
Papageorgiou et al., 2019; Twenge & Campbell, 2010) in
relation to country-levels of the Dark Triad traits along with
variance in the sex differences from country-to-country. The
results were more consistent with the scarcity hypothesis.
As such, the results differ from those of a previous study
(Foster etal., 2003). That study, however, was based on a
very small and selective number of cultures, using the forced-
choice Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI; Raskin &
Terry,1988) as a measure of narcissism. Also, these authors
did not report scalar measurement invariance. However,
recent work suggests caution against comparison on the
forced-choice NPI that involves a few countries (Żemojtel-
Piotrowska et al., 2018). Here, we used a different measure of
grandiose narcissism (with responses ranging on a continuum
rather than being forced-choice), sampled a wide array of
cultures, and obtained scalar measurement invariance. Thus,
we have confidence in the validity of our findings.
Of course, countries are likely to differ in how narcissistic,
psychopathic, and Machiavellian their populations are. But,
is this variability meaningful or just noise created by psy-
chometric issues in cross-cultural psychology? Our findings
point to systematic trends in how country-level rates of the
Dark Triad traits—narcissism in particular—are sensitive to
country-level features around social, political, and economic
development as well as cultural values. The less developed,
less free, more corrupt, less peaceful, and more sex-asym-
metrical a country is, the more narcissistic its population is.
These results converge on the scarcity hypothesis and align
with predictions from evolutionary psychology. Narcissism is
likely an adaptation to enable people to compete for limited
resources in competitive environments (Jonason etal.,2019).
Narcissism is reliably linked to competitiveness, agency,
and individualism (Jonason etal.,2017; Roberts, Woodman,
& Sedikides,2018). These dispositional features are typically
considered evidence of the pathological nature of narcissism.
Instead, narcissism may be a pseudo-pathology, whereby it
benefits the individual at the cost of the group, and is only
called a pathology because of the externalities imposed on
the group (Crawford & Anderson,1989). In accord with that
view, countries that value embeddedness and hierarchy, but
do not value egalitarianism and intellectual autonomy, had
a more narcissistic population. That is, countries that value
social connection, competitiveness, and status differences
have citizens who are more narcissistic. These cultural values
resemble a ratcheting-up of individual values to the coun-
try-level. For example, narcissism, unlike the other Dark
Triad traits, is correlated with a desire for social connection
(Twenge & Campbell, 2010). Given so, we expected and
found that narcissism was the most sensitive of the three Dark
Triad traits to socioecological variance at the country-level.
Machiavellianism and psychopathy rates at the coun-
try-level were rather insensitive to the country features
and values that we chose to examine, with one exception.
Countries that were more Machiavellian were also more ad-
vanced on gender equality. In the case of Machiavellianism
(not psychopathy), several correlations with sociopolitical
factors (but not values) were larger than the average cor-
relation in social and personality psychology over the last
100years (i.e., r≈.20; Richard etal.,2003). This suggests
that limited statistical power in the cross-national tests might
have obscured associations for Machiavellianism (but not
psychopathy). Indeed, the pattern indicates something dis-
tinct from narcissism. As societies become more advanced,
citizens become more Machiavellian. In countries farther
from the equator—countries that are typically more socio-
politically advanced like Sweden or Norway—there are
higher rates of Machiavellianism and lower rates of narcis-
sism (Jonason & Schmitt,2017). We conjecture that more
advanced societies have more “checks” on people's anti-
social behavior, which forces those intent on deception to
adopt subtler and longer-term forms of manipulation. Indeed,
NiccolòMachiavelli (2010) wrote during a time of relative
political and economic sophistication and was focused on
mentoring young nobles on maneuvering the complicated
political landscape to achieve lasting power (Jones,2016).10
We also documented substantial variance in the magni-
tude of sex differences in the Dark Triad traits. Superficially,
this might appear to refute evolutionary models of sex dif-
ferences. That is, some critics of evolutionary psychology
might contend that sex differences must be the same from
country-to-country (i.e., universally invariant) for them to be
evidence of a species-level adaptation. However, if one con-
siders evolutionary psychology an interactionist paradigm, it
suggests that differences in the sexes in personality are facul-
tatively calibrated to local conditions (Buss,2009; Crawford
& Anderson,1989). We found that sex differences in narcis-
sism were larger in “safer” (e.g., affluent, stable), westernized
(i.e., democratic), and liberal (i.e., egalitarianism) countries.
Importantly, this general pattern hints that in more mod-
ern societies, sex differences are larger, as women in such
societies were especially low in narcissism. Keeping in mind
the scarcity hypothesis, this might be because women in
modern societies are freed from the need to be highly selfish
and agentic. Narcissism, in women living in harsher cultures,
may help to augment access to resources that their mates and
societies fail to provide. Modern women need more resources
than men do, given the role they play as child-bearers and
child-rearers—a pattern that is likely phylogenetic inertia
from ancestral women facing such challenges. Our results
are consistent with work on the Big Five traits (Giolla &
Kajonius, 2019), narcissism as measured with the NPI-40
(Schmitt, Alcalay, etal.,2017), and preferences for risk (Falk
& Hermle,2018).
These sex difference patterns are more consistent with
evolutionary models of personality than social role theories.
Social role theories predict the opposite pattern than the one
|
13
JONASON et Al.
we obtained (i.e., that sex differences in narcissism would
be larger in countries that are less, not more advanced). In
addition, there were no sex differences in Machiavellianism
and several for psychopathy. Sex differences in psychopathy
were larger in countries that had less gender inequality, more
equality overall, a greater focus on hierarchy, and more har-
mony. For example, in the case of general inequality, men
were more psychopathic in countries that were more equal.
Collectively, this might imply a specific niche that best al-
lows psychopaths—who tend to be men—to exploit others, a
niche that is competitive economically, but also values people
getting along. In more advanced societies, with weaker ties
among people, psychopathy in men might be able to flour-
ish. However, in less advanced societies, people know each
other and have more face-to-face interactions allowing for
the detection of men who engage in psychopathic behaviors.
Indeed, psychopathy is linked to preferences for the relatively
impersonal living conditions where competition is strong in
the form of modern cities (Jonason,2018).
4.1
|
Limitations
Despite the novelty, the large, multinational sample, and the
integration of country-level and individual-level data, our
study has several limitations. To begin, although our data are
not strictly W.E.I.R.D. (Henrich etal.,2010), they may still
be subject to sampling biases, given our reliance on conveni-
ence samples of students living in relatively stable environ-
ments. Future research should expand the socioeconomic and
linguistic range of the data we collected to verify that these
effects generalize more widely, ideally with representative
samples in each country.
Also, we acknowledge the subjectivity involved in the
selection of cultural and economic indices that we used to
test our hypotheses. Although there are other prominent
cross-cultural theories, such as the GLOBE project (House,
Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman, & Gupta,2004) and Hofstede,
Hofstede, and Minkov (2010) cultural dimensions, we opted
for Schwartzian cultural values. These are correlated with
individual-level values (Smith, Peterson, & Schwartz,2002),
which in turn are correlated with the Dark Triad traits
(Kajonius, Persson, & Jonason,2015). However, further re-
search could extend our findings by searching for additional
cultural factors responsible for cultural variance of the Dark
Triad. Indeed, we have reported a substantial array of basic
details here, allowing the interested researcher to take these
details, pair them with the country-level factors in which they
are interested and conduct relevant analyses. We encourage
such work whether it be independent or in collaboration with
us.
Moreover, our study was cross-sectional. Hence, we can-
not track changes over time in the Dark Triad traits, claim that
the country-level effects cause the traits or the sex differences
to vary, or there is not a mere scaling-up from individual to
country in the effects. Future work could manipulate cues to
the liberalization and scarcity to provide a more refined test
of our hypotheses.
Furthermore, there is no shortage of criticism for the Dirty
Dozen as a measure of the Dark Triad traits (Maples, Lamkin,
& Miller,2014). Our adoption of this measure was guided
by an objective for measurement efficiency and for minimiz-
ing translation efforts in this large, multi-lab, multi-country
project. In related research, drawing on these data, we found
satisfactory levels of measurement invariance, allowing us
to make reliable cross-cultural comparisons (Rogoza et al.,
2020), and our isomorphism tests support this conclusion.
The Dirty Dozen measure of narcissism, for example, may
capture better vulnerable than grandiose narcissism, but the
current results are consistent with work using other mea-
sures of narcissism (Jonason etal.,2019; Schmitt, Alcalay,
etal.,2017). Above measurement concerns, there are doubts
about whether Machiavellianism is redundant to psychopathy
(Miller, Hyatt, Maples-Keller, Carter, & Lynam,2017; see
also: Vize, Collison, Miller, & Lynam,2018; Vize, Lynam,
Collison, & Miller,2018). Our results suggest different ef-
fects for these two traits. Nevertheless, follow-up investiga-
tions could use lengthier assessments of the three traits to
capture a more nuanced and potentially accurate view of
cross-cultural variance in the Dark Triad traits.
Lastly, we failed to incorporate other potentially inter-
esting “dark” personality traits, like sadism or spitefulness
(Buckels, Jones, & Paulhus, 2013; Marcus, Zeigler-Hill,
Mercer, & Norris, 2014). However, there is some doubt
about the utility—incremental validity—of their inclusion.
Nevertheless, we encourage future research to capture a
wider array of “dark” personality traits, given the deleterious
externalities these traits have on the world.
5
|
CONCLUSION
We provided the first systematic and wide-scale ex-
amination of cross-cultural variance in the Dark Triad
traits. Narcissistic countries (if there is such a thing;
Johnson,2020) appear to be less advanced, consistent with
the scarcity hypothesis, and sex differences in narcissism
appear larger in more advanced places, mostly as a function
of a diminishing return on being narcissistic provided for
women in these modern places. Although sex differences
in Machiavellianism rates were insensitive to country-level
factors, there were hints that more advanced places were
more Machiavellian, a finding that supports a liberalization
hypothesis. Also, although psychopathy rates were insen-
sitive to country-level, sex differences were larger where
there was more inequality. In closing, we offered a robust
14
|
JONASON et Al.
accounting of how countries differ in how much their pop-
ulations—women and men—are characterized by the Dark
Triad traits.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
We thank Jeremy Frimer for providing the Canadian sam-
ple, Shalom H. Schwartz for commenting our paper prior to
submission, and Radosław Rogoza for statistical consultation
regarding cross-cultural invariance.
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial
support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of
this article: Peter Jonason was partially funded by a grant
from the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange
(PPN/ULM/2019/1/00019/U/00001). Magdalena Żemojtel-
Piotrowska and Jarosław Piotrowski were supported by a
grant from the Polish National Science Centre (2016/21/B/
HS6/01069). Kokou A. Atitsogbe was supported by a Swiss
Government Excellence PhD Scholarship no. 2015.0639/
Togo/OP. Valdiney V. Gouveia was supported by the
Brazilian National Council of Technological and Scientific
Development. Joel Gruneau Brulin was supported by a John
Templeton Foundation grant (51897). Martina Klicperova-
Baker was supported by grants from the Grant Agency of the
Czech Republic (#15-11062S) and the Czech Academy of
Sciences (RVO 68081740). Evgeny Osin was supported by a
grant from the Russian Academic Excellence (5-100).
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with
respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this
article.
ORCID
Peter K. Jonason https://orcid.
org/0000-0002-8833-048X
Magdalena Żemojtel-Piotrowska https://orcid.
org/0000-0002-8017-8014
John Maltby https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0621-9359
ENDNOTES
1 A full list of scales included in this larger project can be found at
www.cross cultu ralps ychlab.com.
2 In all 49 countries, Machiavellianism was correlated with psychop-
athy (ranging from r[231]= .37, p < .001 in Czech Republic to
r[202]=.80, p<.001 in North Macedonia) and narcissism (rang-
ing from r[221]=.18, p<.05 in Togo to r[201]=.66, p<.001
in Slovakia), and psychopathy was correlated with narcissism
(ranging from r[556] = .13, p< .05 in China to r[201] = .69,
p < .001 in Slovakia). Country-level narcissism was correlated
with country-level Machiavellianism (r[48] = .25, p < .05) and
with country-level psychopathy (r[48]= .45, p< .01). Country-
level Machiavellianism and country-level psychopathy were also
correlated (r[48]=.58, p<.01).
3 hdr.undp.org/en/conte nt/human -devel opmen t-index -hdi
4 www.eiu.com/topic /democ racy-index
5 www.herit age.org/index /
6 hdr.undp.org/en/conte nt/gende r-inequ ality -index -gii
7 relie fweb.int/repor t/world /globa l-peace -index -2018
8 https://www.cia.gov/libra ry/publi catio ns/the-world -factbook
9 If less than 25% of the intercepts are non-invariant, there is sufficient
scalar invariance to consider cross-cultural comparisons as trust-
worthy (Asparouhov & Muthén, 2014).
10 NiccolòMachiavelli may also intended to warn subtly the populace
about the dangers associated with a Machiavellian leader.
REFERENCES
Asparouhov, T., & Muthén, B. O. (2014). Multi-group factor analysis
alignment. Structural Equation Modeling, 21, 1–14. https://doi.
org/10.1080/10705 511.2014.919210
Buckels, E. E., Jones, D. N., & Paulhus, D. L. (2013). Behavioral confir-
mation of everyday sadism. Psychological Science, 24, 2201–2209.
https://doi.org/10.1177/09567 97613 490749
Buss, D. M. (2009). How can evolutionary psychology explain personality
and individual differences? Perspectives on Psychological Science,
4, 359–366. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6924.2009.01138.x
Campbell, W. K., & Żemojtel-Piotrowska, M. (2017). Psychological
entitlement across 50 countries: Invariance, isomorphism and theo-
retically relevant correlates. Paper presented at the regional meeting
of International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Warsaw.
Carter, G. L., Lyons, M., & Brewer, G. (2018). Lifetime offspring and
the Dark Triad. Personality and Individual Differences, 132, 79–83.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2018.05.017
Crawford, C. B., & Anderson, J. L. (1989). Sociobiology: An environ-
mentalist discipline. American Psychologist, 44, 1449–1459. https://
doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.44.12.1449
Davidov, E., Meuleman, B., Cieciuch, J., Schmidt, P., & Billiet, J.
(2014). Measurement equivalence in cross-national research.
Annual Review of Sociology, 40, 55–75. https://doi.org/10.1146/
annur ev-soc-07191 3-043137
Eagly, A. H., & Wood, W. (1999). The origins of sex differ-
ences in human behavior: Evolved dispositions versus so-
cial roles. American Psychologist, 54, 408–423. https://doi.
org/10.1037//0003-066x.54.6.408
Falk, A., & Hermle, J. (2018). Relationship of gender differences in
preferences to economic development and gender equality. Science,
362, eaas9899. https://doi.org/10.1126/scien ce.aas9899
Figueredo, A. J., Wolf, P. S. A., Gladden, P. R., Olderbak, S. D.,
Andrzejczak, D. J., & Jacobs, W. J. (2009). Ecological approaches
to personality. In D. M. Buss & P. Hawley (Eds.), The evolution
of personality and individual differences. New York, NY: Oxford
University Press.
Foster, J. D., Campbell, W. K., & Twenge, J. M. (2003). Individual dif-
ferences in narcissism: Inflated self-views across the lifespan and
around the world. Journal of Research in Personality, 37(6), 469–
486. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0092 -6566(03)00026 -6
Gebauer, J. E., & Sedikides, C. (2018). Agency and communion in
grandiose narcissism. In A. E. Abele & B. Wojciszke (Eds.), Agency
and communion in social psychology (pp. 90–102). Abingdon-on-
Thames, UK: Routledge.
Giolla, E. M., & Kajonius, P. J. (2019). Sex differences in personality
are larger in gender equal countries: Replicating and extending a
|
15
JONASON et Al.
surprising finding. International Journal of Psychology, 54, 705–
711. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijop.12529
Henrich, J., Heine, S., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). The WEIRDest people
of the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33, 61–135. https://
doi.org/10.1017/S0140 525X0 999152X
Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and or-
ganizations: Software of the mind. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
House, R. J., Hanges, P. J., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P. W., & Gupta, V.
(2004). Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study
of 62 societies. New York, NY: Sage.
Inglehart, R., Basanez, M., Diez-Madrano, J., Halman, L., & Luijkx,
R. (2004). Human beliefs and values: A cross cultural source
book based on the 1999–2002 values surveys. Mexico: Siglio XXI
Editores.
Inglehart, R., & Norris, P. (2009). Rising tide: Gender equality and cul-
tural change across world. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University
Press.
Johnson, L. K. (2020). Narcissistic people, not narcissistic nations:
Using multilevel modelling to explore narcissism across countries.
Personality and Individual Differences, 163, 110079. https://doi.
org/10.1016/j.paid.2020.110079
Jonason, P. K. (2018). Bright lights, big city: The Dark Triad traits and
geographical preferences. Personality and Individual Differences,
132, 66–73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2018.05.024
Jonason, P. K., Foster, J. D., Oshio, A., Sitnikova, M., Birkas, B., &
Gouveia, V. V. (2017). Self-construals and the Dark Triad traits in
six countries. Personality and Individual Differences, 113, 120–124.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2017.02.053
Jonason, P. K., Li, N. P., & Czarna, A. Z. (2013). Quick and Dirty:
Some psychosocial costs associated with the Dark Triad in three
countries. Evolutionary Psychology, 11, 172–185. https://doi.
org/10.1177/14747 04913 01100116
Jonason, P. K., Okan, C., & Özsoy, E. (2019). The Dark Triad traits in
Australia and Turkey. Personality and Individual Differences, 149,
123–127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.058
Jonason, P. K., & Schmitt, D. P. (2017). Where the psychological adap-
tations hit the ecological road. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40,
23–25. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140 525X1 6001199
Jonason, P. K., & Webster, G. D. (2010). The Dirty Dozen: A concise
measure of the Dark Triad. Psychological Assessment, 22, 420–432.
https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019265
Jones, D. N. (2016). The nature of Machiavellianism: Distinct patterns
of misbehavior. In V. Zeigler-Hill & D. K. Marcus (Eds.), The dark
side of personality: Science and practice in social, personality,
and clinical psychology (pp. 87–107). Washington, DC: American
Psychological Association.
Kajonius, P., Persson, B., & Jonason, P. K. (2015). Hedonism, achieve-
ment, and power: Universal values that characterize the Dark Triad.
Personality and Individual Differences, 77, 173–178. https://doi.
org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.12.055
Kenrick, D. T., Sadalla, E. K., Groth, G., & Trost, M. R. (1990).
Evolution, traits, and the stages of human courtship: Qualifying
the parental investment model. Journal of Personality, 58, 97–116.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1990.tb009 09.x
Leung, K., & Bond, M. H. (2004). Social axioms: A model for social
beliefs in multi-cultural perspective. Advances in Experimental
Social Psychology, 36, 122–197. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065
-2601(04)36003 -X
Lipsey, M. W., & Wilson, D. B. (2001). Practical meta-analysis.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Machiavelli, N. (2010). The prince (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: University of
Chicago Press. (Original work published 1532)
Mahadevan, N., Gregg, A. P., & Sedikides, C. (2019). Is self-regard
a sociometer or a hierometer? Self-esteem tracks status and inclu-
sion, narcissism tracks status. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 116, 444–466. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspp0 000189
Maples, J. L., Lamkin, J., & Miller, J. D. (2014). A test of two brief
measures of the Dark Triad: The Dirty Dozen and Short Dark Triad.
Psychological Assessment, 26, 326–331. https://doi.org/10.1037/
a0035084
Marcus, D. K., Zeigler-Hill, V., Mercer, S. H., & Norris, A. L. (2014).
The psychology of spite and the measurement of spitefulness.
Psychological Assessment, 26, 563–574. https://doi.org/10.1037/
a0036039
Miller, J. D., Hyatt, C. S., Maples-Keller, J. L., Carter, N. T., & Lynam,
D. R. (2017). Psychopathy and Machiavellianism: A distinction
without a difference? Journal of Personality, 85(638), 439–453.
https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12251
Miller, J. D., Maples, J. L., Buffardi, L., Cai, H., Gentile, B., Kisbu-
Sakarya, Y., … Campbell, W. K. (2015). Narcissism and United
States' culture: The view from home and around the world. Journal
of Personality and Social Psychology, 109, 1068–1089. https://doi.
org/10.1037/a0039543
Muris, P., Merckelbach, H., Otgaar, H., & Meijer, E. (2017). The malev-
olent side of human nature: A meta-analysis and critical review of
the literature on the Dark Triad (narcissism, Machiavellianism, and
psychopathy). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12, 183–204.
https://doi.org/10.1177/17456 91616 666070
Neumann, C., Schmitt, D. P., Carter, R., Embley, I., & Hare, R.
D. (2012). Psychopathic traits in males and females across the
globe. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 30, 557–574. https://doi.
org/10.1037/ebs00 00065
Papageorgiou, K. A., Gianniou, F.-M., Wilson, P., Moneta, G. B., Bilello,
D., & Clough, P. J. (2019). The bright side of dark: Exploring the
positive effect of narcissism on perceived stress through mental
toughness. Personality and Individual Differences, 139, 116–124.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2018.11.004
Raskin, R., & Terry, H. (1988). A principal-components analysis of the
Narcissistic Personality Inventory and further evidence of its con-
struct validity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54,
890–902. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.54.5.890
Richard, F. D., Bond, C. F., Jr., & Stokes-Zoota, J. J. (2003).
One hundred years of social psychology quantitatively de-
scribed. Review of General Psychology, 7, 331–363. https://doi.
org/10.1037/1089-2680.7.4.331
Roberts, T., Woodman, T., & Sedikides, C. (2018). Pass me the
ball: Narcissism in performance settings. International Review
of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 11, 190–213. https://doi.
org/10.1080/17509 84X.2017.1290815
Rogoza, R., Żemojtel-Piotrowska, M., Jonason, P. K., Piotrowski, J.,
Campbell, W. K., Gebauer, J. E., … Wlodarczyk, A. (2020). Structure
of the Dark Triad: Evidence from 49 countries. Assessment. Advance
online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/10731 91120 922611
Różycka-Tran, J., Boski, P., & Wojciszke, B. (2015). Belief in zero-sum
game as social axiom: A 37-nation study. Journal of Cross-Cultural
Psychology, 46, 525–548. https://doi.org/10.1177/00220 22115
572226
Różycka-Tran, J., Jurek, P., Olech, M., Piotrowski, J., & Żemojtel-
Piotrowska, M. (2019). A warrior society: Data from 30 countries
show that belief in life as a zero-sum game is related to military
16
|
JONASON et Al.
expenditure and low civic liberties. Frontiers in Psychology, 9,
2645. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02645
Schmitt, D. P., Alcalay, L., Allik, J., Alves, I. C. B., Anderson, C. A.,
Angelini, A. L., … Kökény, T. (2017). Narcissism and the strategic
pursuit of short-term mating: Universal links across 11 world regions
of the International Sexuality Description Project-2. Psihologijske
Teme, 26, 89–137.
Schmitt, D. P., Long, A. E., McPhearson, A., O'Brien, K., Remmert, B.,
& Shah, S. H. (2017). Personality and gender differences in global
perspective. International Journal of Psychology, 52(Suppl. 1), 45–
56. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijop.12265
Schwartz, S. H. (2008). Cultural value orientations: Nature and impli-
cations of national differences. Moscow, Russia: State University
Higher School of Economics Press.
Schwartz, S. H., Melech, G., Lehmann, A., Burgess, S., Harris, M., &
Owens, V. (2001). Extending the cross-cultural validity of the the-
ory of basic human values with a different method of measurement.
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 32(5), 519–542. https://doi.
org/10.1177/00220 22101 03200 5001
Sedikides, C., & Campbell, W. K. (2017). Narcissistic force meets
systemic resistance: The Energy Clash Model. Perspectives on
Psychological Science, 12, 400–421. https://doi.org/10.1177/17456
91617 692105
Smith, P. B., Peterson, M. F., & Schwartz, S. H. (2002). Cultural val-
ues, sources of guidance, and their relevance to managerial behav-
ior: A 47-nation study. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 33,
188–208. https://doi.org/10.1177/00220 22102 03300 2005
Thomaes, S., Brummelman, E., & Sedikides, C. (2018). Narcissism:
A social-developmental perspective. In V. Zeigler-Hill & T. K.
Shackelford (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of personality and individ-
ual differences (pp. 377–396). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Twenge, J., & Campbell, W. K. (2010). Narcissistic epidemic: Living in
the age of entitlement. New York, NY: ATRIA books.
Vernon, P. A., Villani, V. C., Vickers, L. C., & Harris, J. A. (2008).
A behavioral genetics investigation of the Dark Triad and the Big
5. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 445–452. https://doi.
org/10.1016/j.paid.2007.09.007
Vize, C. E., Collison, K. L., Miller, J. D., & Lynam, D. R. (2018). Examining
the effects of controlling for shared variance among the Dark Triad
using meta-analytic structural equation modelling. European Journal of
Personality, 32(1), 46–61. https://doi.org/10.1002/per.2137
Vize, C. E., Lynam, D. R., Collison, K. L., & Miller, J. D. (2018).
Differences among Dark Triad components: A meta-analytic inves-
tigation. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment,
9(2), 101–111. https://doi.org/10.1037/per00 00222
Wilson, D. B. (2005). Meta-analysis macros for SAS, SPSS, and Stata.
Retrieved from http://mason.gmu.edu/~dwils onb/ma.html
Żemojtel-Piotrowska, M., Piotrowski, J., Cieciuch, J., Chargazia, M.,
Halik, M. J., Ilisko, D., …Truong, K. H. (2014). The structure and
measurement equivalence for new Schwartz`s values measured by
classic PVQ-40 in 28 Nations. Congress of International Cross-
Cultural Psychology Association, Reims, France, 16–21 July 2014.
Żemojtel-Piotrowska, M., Piotrowski, J., Rogoza, R., Hitokoto, H.,
Baran, T., & Maltby, J. (2018). Cross-cultural invariance of NPI-13:
Entitlement as culturally specific, leadership and grandiosity as cul-
turally universal. International Journal of Psychology, 54, 439–447.
https://doi.org/10.1002/ijop.12487
How to cite this article: Jonason PK, Żemojtel-
Piotrowska M, Piotrowski J, et al. Country-level
correlates of the Dark Triad traits in 49 countries.
J Pers. 2020;00:1–16. https://doi.org/10.1111/
jopy.12569
... 1. men to score higher on the Dark Triad traits than women do [32], and: ...
... Beyond the central role of neuroticism and religiousness, there were smaller and less systematic effects for the Dark Triad traits and the remaining Big Five traits along with countrylevel effects. We generally replicated sex differences in the traits like men scored higher on the Dark Triad traits than women did [32] and replicated various sex differences with the Big Five traits [33]. We found that the people with risk-prone traits of the Dark Triad traits were associated with less fear and less reliance on prayer, luck, and others. ...
... Future research may-if the virus continues or returns-replicate our findings with "superior" measures. Nevertheless, the measures are not terribly problematic given (as reported on the OSF site) its alignment with prior research about, for instance, the Dirty Dozen measure [32,58] which has been validated in, for instance, Spanish [59]. Second, our sample in Portugal was four times larger than the sample in Spain which could mean that our results were more about the former than the latter but given the lack of moderation and the fact that the Spanish sample is similar in size to most single-country research on personality psychology, we are confident in our results. ...
Article
Full-text available
In the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we collected data (N = 1,420) from Portugal and Spain in relation to personality (i.e., Dark Triad traits, Big Five traits, religiousness, and negative affect) and attitudes related to COVID-19 about its origins, opinions on how to deal with it, and fear of it. The most pervasive patterns we found were: (1) neurotic-type dispositions were associated with stronger opinions about the origins of the virus and leave people to have more fear of the virus but also more trust in tested establishments to provide help. (2): religious people were less trusting of science, thought prayer was answer, and attributed the existence of the virus to an act of God. We also found that sex differences and country differences in attitudes towards COVID-19 were mediate by sex/country differences in personality traits like emotional stability, religiousness, and negative affect. For instance, women reported more fear of COVID-19 than men did, and this was verified by women’s greater tendency to have negative affect and low emotional stability relative to men. Results point to the central role of neuroticism in accounting for variance in broad-spectrum attitudes towards COVID-19.
... Individual-level and local approaches are limited: They do not capture the role larger patterns in society have in personality development, and self-reports about childhood experiences may be tainted by response biases. As an alternative, researchers might address what we will call milieu 2 effects or the examination of country-level contextual differences (Berry, 2004;Jonason et al., 2020;Schmitt et al., 2017). ...
... Second, we aimed to understand how sex differences at the countrylevel might be sensitive to milieu variance. There is substantial evidence for sex differences in personality (Del Giudice, 2009, 2013, including the Dark Triad traits (Jonason et al., 2019;Jonason et al., 2020;Neumann et al., 2012). Sex differences in those traits may result from learning mechanisms (Eagly & Wood, 1999) or ancestral patterns in costs and benefits for engaging in way of solving adaptive tasks like survival and reproduction (Buss, 2009). ...
... However, evolutionary models propose that, as society's hold on people's behaviors and attitudes (and therefore personality) lessens, people will be freed up to better maximize their preferences, thereby creating larger sex differences. To date, evidence is more consistent with the latter approach (Giolla & Kajonius, 2019;Jonason et al., 2019Jonason et al., , 2020Neumann et al., 2012;Schmitt et al., 2017), but these studies focused on present, not past, milieu effects. Therefore, we replicate and extend work showing that in countries with larger sex differences are more common in "Westernized" (e.g., gender equality) and safe (e.g., homicide rates) places. ...
Article
Most research on the development of personality traits like the Dark Triad (i.e., narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy) focuses on local effects like parenting style or attachment, but people live in a larger society that may set the stage for any local effects. Here we paired nation-level data on the traits from 49 nations with several milieu indicators (e.g., life expectancy, homicide rates) from three timepoints (and change among them) where the average participant (≈ 22yo) would have been a child (≈ 6yo), a pre-teen (≈ 11yo), and a teenager (≈ 16yo). Congruent with previous research, variance in narcissism was far more sensitive to variance in milieu conditions in general and across all three time points than variance in Machiavellianism or psychopathy. The milieu conditions differentiated the traits somewhat with income and education revealing negative correlations with narcissism, positive correlations with Machiavellianism, and null correlations with psychopathy. Sex differences in Machiavellianism and narcissism were correlated with homicide rates across the three timepoints. The evidence that changes in milieu conditions in ones' past predicts the traits was erratic, but larger sex differences in the traits were associated with decreased life expectancies and homicide rates between childhood and pre-teens.
... In order to adequately diagnose and employ corrective individual and group treatment, it is important to undertake exploratory research to identify the psychological attributes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, research to develop, adapt and validate instruments that can measure these attributes is necessary (Jonason et al., 2020;Li, 2016;Moreta-Herrera et al., 2020;Mueller & Hancock, 2018). ...
Article
The aims of the research are to evaluate the factorial validity, internal consistency, measurement invariance, discrimination, and difficulty of the Covid-19 Anxiety Scale (CAS) applied to a sample of Ecuadorian adults (N = 451). The study is based on an instrumental design with Classical Test Theory (CTT) and Item Response Theory (IRT) technics. The results confirmed the validity of the CAS single-factor structure, with measurement invariance across gender and high internal consistency. Additionally, all CAS items displayed adequate discrimination indexes and proper ordering of the difficulty thresholds. In a conclusion, the CAS is a valid measurement scale for Ecuadorian adults.
... Previous studies confirm an orthogonal two-factor model (Abler & Kessler, 2009;Balzarotti et al., 2010;cabello et al., 2013;Preece et al., 2021;rodríguez-carvajal et al., 2006;spaapen et al., 2014;teixeira et al., 2015) of the erQ (Gross & Jhon, 2003), although an alternative configuration of an oblique two-factor model is also proposed (enebrink et al., 2013;Gargurevich & matos, 2010;moreta-herrera et al., 2018;Preece et al., 2020). The different configurations of the models in these studies are probably due to particular characteristics of the reference samples, differences in language, and the estimators used in factor analysis (mL estimation is predominant in validation studies, which induces a greater measurement bias) (caycho-rodríguez et al., 2021;Jonason et al., 2020;moreta-herrera et al., 2021b). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background. emotion regulation comprises a set of strategies (cognitive, emotional , and physiological) that allow individuals faced with internal or external stimuli to manage their emotional response, to adapt to the environment, and to achieve goals. The emotion regulation Questionnaire (erQ) is used to assess emotion regulation. it has been translated into several languages (including spanish) and has been adapted around the world, but its psychometric properties have not been tested in ecuador. Objective. to confirm the bifactor structure of the emotion regulation Questionnaire and its reliability in a sample of ecuadorian college students. Design. A quantitative and instrumental study using confirmatory Factor Analysis with robust maximum Likelihood estimation. The sample consisted of 400 participants (62.5% women), aged 18 to 25 (M = 21.1; SD = 1.95) from two universities in ecuador and seven different undergraduate courses. Results. The bifactor model of the test is confirmed with an adequate adjustment ꭓ 2 = 35.99; p > .001; ꭓ 2 /df = 1.43; cFi = .98; tLi = .96; srmr = .034; and rmseA = .033 ci 95% : [.033-.052]; ω h = .70; ω hs1 = .23; ω hs2 = .35. reliability is high with ω = .86 ci 95% : [.81-.88]. Conclusion. The bifactor model of the erQ is an adequate and reliable test to assess emotion regulation among ecuadorian college students.
Article
Zusammenfassung. Die „Niederträchtigen Neun“ ist eine psychometrisch optimierte deutsche Version des „Dreckigen Dutzends“ zur Erfassung der Dunklen Triade. In dieser Studie betrachten wir diverse psychometrische Eigenschaften der Niederträchtigen Neun mit einer repräsentativen deutschen Stichprobe. Es wurden verschiedene Faktorstrukturen miteinander verglichen sowie Messinvarianzanalysen über das Geschlecht und über das Alter anhand von konfirmatorischen Faktoranalysen und lokal gewichteten Strukturgleichungsmodellen durchgeführt. Außerdem stellen wir Normwerte zur individualdiagnostischen Interpretation von Rohwerten zur Verfügung. Ergebnisse zeigen, dass die Niederträchtigen Neun durch Bifaktor-Modelle mit Machiavellismus als inhaltlicher Anker des allgemeinen Faktors (dem „dunklen Kern“) am besten repräsentiert wird. Über das Geschlecht ergaben sich Einschränkungen der metrischen Invarianz, die hauptsächlich auf Indikatoren von Psychopathie zurückzuführen sind. Partielle metrische Invarianz konnte jedoch belegt werden. Über das Alter konnte metrische Invarianz belegt werden, jedoch ergaben sich Einschränkungen der skalaren und strikten Invarianz. Implikationen für die Erfassung der Dunklen Triade mit der Niederträchtigen Neun oder dem Dreckigen Dutzend werden diskutiert.
Article
Prior studies have examined effectuation and causation as alternative behavioural logics used by entrepreneurs to manage uncertainty, noting a number of antecedents of the tendency to rely on a given logic at different levels of analysis. This study aims to broaden the understanding of individual‐level antecedents by examining the role of the so‐called dark side of the CEO personality on decision‐making processes within small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). Using the lens of upper echelons theory and trait‐activation theory, we focus on three personality characteristics: narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. The impact of dark triad traits on the behavioural logic employed by the CEO is argued to be moderated by the perceived level of uncertainty experienced by the firm. A set of hypotheses regarding these relationships are tested with a random sample of CEOs of Russian SMEs. The findings suggest that CEOs scoring higher in psychopathy tend to adopt a causal logic, while Machiavellians rely on an effectual logic. The level of uncertainty shapes these relationships by weakening the links between dark triad traits and behavioural logics.
Article
Decision making (DM) generally assumes that the person is performing a choice between a multitude of alternatives under uncertainty and possible risk. According to the concept of dynamic regulative systems (Kornilova, 2016), preferred or most relied on DM strategies are linked in an integrative way with a variety of personality traits that can be at the top of the hierarchy. These include risk readiness, rationality, and Dark Triad traits as reflective of a generally unstable personality core. Decision-Making Tendency Inventory (DMTI; Misuraca et al., 2015) defined DM characteristics via maximization, satisficing and minimization. However, the relationships between DM characteristics captured by DMTI and the listed personality traits have not been explored before. The goal of the current study was establishing latent personality profiles in a person-centered approach that integrates DM “tendencies” and the listed personality traits by identifying relatively homogenous subgroups of individuals with similar profiles. Methods. 625 individuals in the age from 17 to 39 years (М = 20,17, SD = 3,02; 84% females) participated in the study. We used DMTI, Dirty Dozen, and LFR questionnaires to measure DM tendencies, Dark Triad traits, and risk readiness/rationality, respectively. Latent profile analysis was performed in VarSelLCM for R. Results. The results indicated the presence of three latent profiles in the data after adjustments for age and sex. Risk readiness and Dark Triad traits were positively related with maximizing and satisficing, forming one latent class. In another class lower rationality, on the other hand, was linked with minimization. In the third class higher rationality accompanied lower Dark Triad traits. Conclusions. The results provide evidence in favor of the general hypothesis that latent profiles of personality traits are associated with distinct preferences for specific DM tendencies. Higher levels of maximizing, satisficing, and minimizing were not related to subclinical psychopathy or Machiavellianism. Higher narcissism and risk readiness, generally unrelated, are nonetheless characteristic of the latent class that prefers maximizing and satisficing. Preference for minimization of effort during DM was associated with lower rationality. Latent class or latent profile analysis is a powerful technique that sheds new light on the relationships between personality and DM, beyond the contributions of variable-centered approaches such as correlational analysis.
Article
Over 5 days at the Nag’s Head Conference Center, USA in 1987, social and cross-cultural psychologists discussed what would be required if research relating to culture were to gain greater attention from psychology in general, and in particular from what was perceived at the time as its mainstream. The criteria for gaining greater credibility laid down by three leading social psychologists proved daunting in relation to the cross-cultural work presented at the meeting but subsequently inspired cross-culturalists to “raise their game.” In this paper, we describe these crucial challenges and how they have been addressed more recently by cross-cultural psychologists. We assess the extent to which studies focused on cultural differences are now thoughtfully represented in social, personality, and organizational psychology by briefly surveying the content of a single year’s issues of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of International Business Studies, and the Journal of Personality in relation to the concurrent content of the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. We identify the perils of assimilation to psychology in general by diluting the concept of culture and by tyrannizing research with over-specified criteria of statistical rectitude. We also identify studies published in top-rated journals that have nonetheless advanced our field. We reiterate the need for defensible measures of cultural difference and methods for identifying and examining them as a basis for multi-level explanations of cultural effects and cultural change. We conclude by proposing a gold standard for assaying cross-cultural studies of psychological processes and outcomes.
Article
To evaluate how selected cognitive styles (i.e., ideas of reference and fantasy proneness), dispositional aggression and social deviance, and personality traits could help understanding similarities and differences among vulnerable narcissism (VN), grandiose narcissism (GN), Machiavellianism, and psychopathy in women, 986 Italian community-dwelling participants were administered the Italian translations of the Revised Green et al., Paranoid Thoughts Scale Part A (R-GPTS-A), Creative Experience Questionnaire (CEQ), Aggression Questionnaire (AQ), Self-Report Delinquency Scale (SRDS), and Big Five Inventory (BFI). Participants received also the Five Factor Narcissism Inventory-Short Form (FFNI-SF), MACH-IV, and Expanded-Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (E-LSRP) to assess VN and GN, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy, respectively. Multiple regression analyses showed that R-GPTS-A, CEQ, AQ, SRDS, and BFI trait scale scores explained a substantial amount of variance in the FFNI-SF VN (R² = 0.62) and GN (R² = 0.49) scale scores, MACH-IV scores (R² = 0.29), and E-LSRP scores (R² = 0.51). Dispositional aggression (i.e., AQ total score) represented a feature common to VN, GN, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy, whereas ideas of reference, fantasy proneness, social deviance, and personality traits yielded differential relationships with the dependent variables.
Article
Full-text available
Research has shown that levels of the Dark Triad (i.e., traits of Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy) vary across sex and age, with males and younger people reporting higher scores. The Dark Triad has also been found to be associated with personal economic status. We investigated whether sex and age differences in the Dark Triad varied across countries of different socioeconomic conditions. We further explored whether the dark traits predicted personal income to different extent across countries. We utilized three samples from the UK, Greece, and China (total N = 5,854), whose socioeconomic status varied from more to less developed according to the Human Development Index. Men scored higher than women on the Dark Triad, with the magnitude of sex differences being largest in the UK, followed by Greece and China. Younger people scored higher than older people on the Dark Triad, with the effect of age varying across countries. Narcissism positively predicted income, with its predictive power being significant in China and Greece but null in the UK. The results are consistent with the view that Dark Triad traits may be adaptive responses to environmental challenges. Specifically, the results suggest that sex differences in the Dark Triad and the relation between narcissism and personal income are responsive to socioeconomic conditions at the country level.
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this paper was to investigate the relationship between a perceived antagonisticviewofsocialrelations(asastruggleforlimitedresources),measuredbythe BeliefinaZero-SumGame(BZSG)Scale,nationalmilitaryexpenditure,andcivilliberties. We used multi-level modeling to analyze data on 5,520 participants from 30 countries, testing the hypothesis that a country’s level of militarization and civil liberties would be associated with its people’s belief in a zero-sum game. We hypothesized that BZSG is more typical of countries that try to gain more resources or defend their interests and thus have high military expenditure but low civil liberties. The results confirmed the stated hypothesis and showed that a country’s high military expenditure and low level of civil liberties correlates positively with citizens’ BZSG. The use of multi-level modelingtoaccountforwithin-andacross-countryvariationisamaincontributionofthe study. In conclusion, the reported triad of individual beliefs, military expenditure, and civil liberties seems to be beneficial in linking individual-level data with national-level indices that have major importance for the wellbeing of the world.
Article
Narcissism has received considerable research attention as an individual difference variable. The current study broadened the scope of the literature on narcissism by examining differences in scores on narcissism between countries, whether country-level variables could account for those differences, and if there was a cross-level interaction between country-level political corruption and gender. Drawing on a large sample of Internet users from 53 different countries (N = 31,391, 35% female, Mage = 28.64, SD = 10.98), multilevel modelling was used to examine whether there was significant between-country variability on grandiose narcissism. Political corruption, social progress, economic prosperity, and individualism were included as between-country predictors. Most of the variance in narcissism scores occurred at the individual level. Within countries, younger individuals, as well as men, were more narcissistic. Between countries, those with better social progress (e.g., meeting basic human needs) had lower aggregate narcissism scores. The other predictors correlated strongly with social progress and did not account for unique variance. Overall, these results suggest that while some variance in narcissism scores occurs between countries, more variance occurs at the individual level. As such, it is less meaningful to call countries “narcissistic,” and more meaningful to apply this label to individuals.
Article
The Dark Triad (i.e., narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism) has garnered intense attention over the last 15 years. We examined the structure of these traits’ measure—the Dark Triad Dirty Dozen (DTDD)—in a sample of 11,488 participants from three W.E.I.R.D. (i.e., North America, Australia & Oceania, Western Europe) and five non-W.E.I.R.D. (i.e., Asia, Middle East, non-Western Europe, South America, Sub-Saharan Africa) world regions. The results confirmed the measurement invariance of the DTDD across participants’ sex in all world regions, with men scoring higher than women on all traits (except for psychopathy in Asia, where the difference was not significant). We found evidence for metric (and partial scalar) measurement invariance within and between W.E.I.R.D. and non-W.E.I.R.D. world regions.The results generally support the structure of the DTDD.
Article
A primary contention of evolutionary models of the Dark Triad traits (i.e., narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism) is that they are adaptations for dealing with adverse socioecological circumstances. In this study (N = 557), we collected data from two countries that differ in socioecological conditions (i.e., Turkey and Australia). We measured perceptions of a dangerous and competitive world and individual differences in the Dark Triad traits. Turkish participants were higher in the Dark Triad traits than Australian participants were. All the Dark Triad traits were correlated with a competitive but not a dangerous worldview. Country-level differences in the Dark Triad traits were mediated by competitive worldviews, but not dangerous worldviews, and those effects were similar in each sex. And rates of narcissism depended on participant's sex and country. This study provided the first attempt to understand country-level differences in the Dark Triad traits using a life history framework.
Article
Previous research reported that Subclinical Narcissism (SN) may increase Mental Toughness (MT) resulting in positive outcomes such as lower psychopathy, higher school grades and lower symptoms of depression. We conducted three studies (N = 364, 240 and 144 for studies 1, 2 and 3, respectively) to test a mediation model, which suggests that SN may increase MT predicting lower Perceived Stress (PS). The participants were drawn from the general population in studies 1 and 2; and were undergraduate students in study 3. SN exerted a negative indirect effect on PS, through MT across all three studies: β = −0.26, SE = 0.039, 95% CI [−0.338, −0.187]; β = −0.25, SE = 0.050, 95% CI [−0.358, −0.160]; β = −0.31, SE = 0.078, 95% CI [−0.473, −0.168]. The results were replicated in the combined dataset. In study 3, we extended the sensitivity of the model showing that, it is the Grandiose SN that decreases PS, through MT; Vulnerable SN exhibited the reverse pattern. The findings indicate that the model, from SN to MT, may predict positive outcomes in various domains (e.g. in education and psychopathology) suggesting that inclusion of SN in the dark triad of personality may need to be reconsidered.
Article
Preferences concerning time, risk, and social interactions systematically shape human behavior and contribute to differential economic and social outcomes between women and men. We present a global investigation of gender differences in six fundamental preferences. Our data consist of measures of willingness to take risks, patience, altruism, positive and negative reciprocity, and trust for 80,000 individuals in 76 representative country samples. Gender differences in preferences were positively related to economic development and gender equality. This finding suggests that greater availability of and gender-equal access to material and social resources favor the manifestation of gender-differentiated preferences across countries.
Article
There are many niches people can occupy and some people may fit better in certain niches than others as a function of their personality. Two simple questions were considered presently. Are people characterized by the Dark Triad traits also characterized by a bias towards living in the city and if so as they are, what features of the city-living draw them towards such geographical preferences? Study 1 (N = 753, students) assessed the correlations between population density and size and the Dark Triad traits. Study 2 (N = 270, MTurk) asked participant's where they lived and compared rates of the Dark Triad traits. Study 3 (N = 273, MTurk) assessed where people wish they lived based on location (e.g., city, suburbia) and features of that environment and related that to the Dark Triad traits. Across three studies, there was a tentative-yet-methodologically robust bias of those who are high in the Dark Triad traits—especially psychopathy—towards city life. In Study 3, sex differences in the features people want in where they live and how the Dark Triad traits correlated with the featural preferences were examined and suggested effects consistent with life history theory. Results are discussed using life history and selection-evocation-manipulation paradigms.
Article
There is a paucity of literature investigating the extent to which human personality predicts lifetime (age-controlled) offspring. The present study contributes to this field in assessing whether the inter-related ‘dark’ personalities that have been linked to mating success (i.e., narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy: the ‘Dark Triad’) predict number of children. Analyses from an online sample (N = 314) revealed that for men, psychopathy was a negative predictor, and narcissism a positive predictor of lifetime offspring. For women, psychopathy emerged as a negative predictor of lifetime offspring. Results are discussed in respect of the importance of these traits to fitness-related outcomes, including reproduction, and the need to consider sex differences, as these traits may have a different function in men and women.