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Purpose of this study is to examine effects of dark triad (narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy) on the utilitarian choices. Data is collected from university students with an online survey using convenience method for sampling. To measure research variables, a version of dictator game that presents a salary raise case to participants and Short Dark Triad Scale (SD3) is used. Reliability analysis is conducted to SD3 which returned 0.611, 0.651 and 0.684 Cronbach’s alpha values for Dark Triad personality traits. Binary logistic regression analysis is used to test research hypotheses. Findings indicate that psychopathy has a significant and positive effect on the utilitarian choice whereas Machiavellianism and narcissism has not. Implications of the results are discussed and future research areas are suggested.
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DOI Number:
2021 Volume 6 Issue 11
Asst. Prof. Murat BOLELLİ
Istanbul Okan University, Faculty of Business and Administrative Sciences
ORCID: 0000-0002-9707-1387
Purpose of this study is to examine effects of dark triad (narcissism, Machiavellianism
and psychopathy) on the utilitarian choices. Data is collected from university students with an
online survey using convenience method for sampling. To measure research variables, a
version of dictator game that presents a salary raise case to participants and Short Dark Triad
Scale (SD3) is used. Reliability analysis is conducted to SD3 which returned 0.611, 0.651 and
0.684 Cronbach’s alpha values for Dark Triad personality traits. Binary logistic regression
analysis is used to test research hypotheses. Findings indicate that psychopathy has a significant
and positive effect on the utilitarian choice whereas Machiavellianism and narcissism has not.
Implications of the results are discussed and future research areas are suggested.
Keywords: Dark Triad, utilitarian choice, narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy.
Bu çalışmanın amacı karanlık üçlünün (narsisizm, Makyavelizm ve psikopati) faydacı
seçimler üzerindeki etkilerinin incelenmesidir. Araştırma değişkenlerinin incelenebilmesi
amacıyla kolayda örnekleme yöntemi kullanılarak, üniversite öğrencilerine internet üzerinden
anket uygulanmıştır. Katılımcılara diktatör oyunun bir türevi olan ücret artışı problemi
senaryosu ile birlikte karanlık üçlü kişilik özelliklerinin ölçümüne yönelik olarak Karanlık
Üçlü Kısa Ölçeği (SD3) sunulmuştur. Güvenilirlik analizi neticesinde yapılara ilişkin
Cronbach Alfa değerlerinin 0.611, 0.651 ve 0.684 olduğu belirlenmiş, araştırma hipotezleri
ikili lojistik regresyon analizi yapılarak test edilmiştir. Sonuçlar psikopatinin faydacı seçimi
pozitif yönde etkilediğini, Makyavelizm ve narsisizmin ise istatistiksel olarak anlamlı bir
etkisinin bulunmadığını göstermektedir. Araştırma bulguları sonuç bölümünde tartışılmıştır.
Anahtar Kelimeler: Karanlık Üçlü, faydacı seçim, narsisizm, Makyavelizm, psikopati.
“How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow?
I must have a dark side also if I am to be whole.”
― C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
Dilemmas in the forms of essays or games are popular tools which are intensively used
particularly on decision making, judgment, normative and descriptive ethics, philosophy and
game theory studies adopting an interdisciplinary approach, having contributions of
economics, psychology, sociology, decision sciences and organizational behavior fields. After
the early examples known as “Bystander” and “Surgery” presented by Philippa Foot in 1967,
various other dilemma cases are developed and used trying to examine choices and the drivers
of them in win-win, win-lose, lose-win or lose-lose situations. One of the best-known examples
is Footbridge (Thomson, 1985) in which participants are asked:
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“In the path of a runaway train car are five railway workmen who will surely be killed
unless you, a bystander, do something. You are standing on a pedestrian walkway that arches
over the tracks next to a large stranger. Your body would be too light to stop the train, but if
you push the stranger onto the tracks, killing him, his large body will stop the train. In this
situation, would you push the man?” (Bartels and Pizarro, 2011).
After more than three decades of research conducted by various disciplines using
variations of the dilemma cases, results indicated that as many as 90% of the participants
rejected the response that require sacrifice (i.e. one herself or ones interests needs to be traded
off in order to secure more) when presented with such dilemma (Mikhail, 2007). If this finding
is indicating to or laying foundation of “normal” behavior which conform the norms that are
widely accepted and expected thoughts, feelings and behaviors shared by the group (society in
this sense), than the 10% of the people who choose sacrificial solution can be considered as
deviations, although they presumably made the choice which brings the greatest total well-
being for majority. Hence, results beg such questions as what is different about this minority
or does 10% of the responders has different psychological characteristics that lead to utilitarian
Considering the generally accepted assumptions suggesting that human behaviors are
related to rational choices derived from stable and well defined preferences aiming to maximize
profit, well-being and happiness, actions shall fall into anomaly category if it is difficult to
rationalize them or implausible assumptions are needed to explain them (Thaler, 1988). In line
with these arguments, previous research on the topic provide evidence of the link between
rational thinking and utilitarian judgments (Amiri and Behnezhad, 2017; Bartels, 2008; Feltz
and Cokely, 2008; Greene et al., 2001; Moore et al., 2008). Moreover, decisions based on non-
utilitarian judgment and principles are found to lead to such results that are not as good as the
best that could be achieved or to dangerous errors which can be potentially damaging (Baron
and Ritov, 2009; Greene et al., 2009; Sunstein, 2005). Game theory studies also worked on
similar questions by using various scenarios such as ultimatum game, dictator game, prisoner’s
dilemma that lead to parallel results. In 1982, Güth, Schmittberger, and Schwarze conducted
an experimental study named as “ultimatum game” in which one player (proposer) makes an
offer to other (responder) dividing some amount of money between herself and the other player.
Responder does not have the right to counteroffer but to accept or reject only. If responder
accepts then both parties receive the specified amount, nothing otherwise. Although theory
suggests that players should make the choices that maximize their own payoffs, research
showed that proposers offered an average of 40% of the money and responders rejected small
offers of 20% or so half the time which clearly contradicts game theoretical or utilitarian
assumptions (Camerer, 2011). In order to examine the case further, variations of ultimatum
game is developed. One of them is dictator game which is basically an ultimatum game with
responders ability to reject the offer is removed. In this game proposer makes a one-time offer
to the responder. Responder can either take it or leave it. First experiment using dictator game
is conducted by Kahneman, Knetsch and Thaler (1986) where proposer choose between
dictating an uneven ($18/$2) or an even split of $20 with responder. Results of the study
showed three quarters of proposers chose the equal split ($10, $10) which is in line with the
other research indicated allocations between 20% and 50% conducted later using dictator game
(Camerer, 2011).
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So why majority of the people make non-utilitarian, non-rational choices which does not
maximize their and/or total welfare when in circumstances such as footbridge or dictator game?
Research on the question above showed a number of variables that induce non-utilitarian
choices such as moral concerns, intuitional thinking style, emotional processes, inclination to
normativity (others should agree), cognition, conformity, altruism and personality (Amiri and
Behnezhad, 2017; Bartels, 2008; Djeriouat and Trémolière, 2014; Karandikar et al., 2019;
Skitka et al., 2005). Among them personality, particularly the relationship between dark traits
and utilitarian judgment-decision making are subjected to a great number of studies especially
on the last decade that showed such tendencies and behaviors can be predicted by dark triad
consisting of Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy with significant reliability. These
findings are rather interesting because they are indicating to a counterintuitive conclusion that
people who are least prone to moral fallacies are also the ones who possess immoral
characteristics (Bartels and Pizarro, 2011).
Hence, purpose of this research is to examine effects of dark triad (narcissism,
Machiavellianism and psychopathy) on the utilitarian choices. The study is organized as
follows, after the introduction, first section briefly reviews concepts, second section presents
research methodology and findings, final section concludes and discusses findings.
Dark triad is a term asserted by Paulhus and Williams in their 2002 study that refers to
Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy, which are reported to be conceptually distinct
and empirically overlapping subclinical level traits. Research indicates that dark triad exists in
about 10% of the population (Gustafson and Ritzer, 1995; Pethman and Erlandsson, 2002).
Although regarded as separate constructs, dark triad components are found to share common
characteristics such as low agreeableness, lack of empathy, callousness, duplicity,
exploitativeness and manipulation (Ali et al., 2009; Egan and McCorkindale, 2007; Jones and
Figueredo, 2013; Jones and Paulhus, 2011; Jonason et al., 2009; Miller et al., 2010).
Machiavellianism is named after Niccolo Machiavelli who wrote the notorious book
“The Prince” at early 1500’s, reflecting his philosophy and moral approach regarding to public
administration and politics. Studying selected statements of Machiavelli, Christie and Geis
(1970) developed a questionnaire that is used in various experiments which showed subjects
who agree with Machiavellian propositions tend to behave cold and manipulative both in
laboratory and real life studies. Machiavellianism is associated with inclinations such as
coldness, manipulativeness, cynical, unprincipled and immoral worldviews (Djeriouat and
Trémolière, 2014; Jones and Paulhus, 2009; Kessler et al., 2010). Construct is not considered
as a personality disorder since characteristics of it is asserted to exist in everyone up to a certain
degree which can be modified, developed and improved with experience (Jones and Paulhus,
2011). Machiavellians are also described as social chameleons that can alter their appearances
as well as behaviors to manipulate people around them, seeking to obtain personal gains
(Kessler et al., 2010; O’Boyle et al., 2012; Smith et al., 2016).
Narcissism is a concept coined by Havelock Ellis in his 1898 study which manifests itself
with extreme confidence and self-love, need for praise, admiration and attention, lack of
empathy and respect for others, being close to criticism and negative feedback, hyper
competitiveness, opportunism, self-promotion, exhibitionism, and exploitativeness (Busch and
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Hofer, 2012; Ekşi, 2016; Foster et al., 2009; Jakobwitz and Egan, 2006; Maccoby, 2000;
Raskin and Terry, 1988). Narcissists are asserted to be socially dominant individuals who need
power and control over others whom they see as inferiors (Smith et al., 2016). Inclined to
exhibit behaviors associated with the common characteristics of the concept such as
grandiosity, entitlement, dominance and superiority (Raskin and Hall, 1979; Corry et al., 2008),
narcissists have a unhealthy understanding of social exchange that disables them to engage in
helping, compassionate, charitable behaviors unless they have a hidden agenda or something
valuable for them in return (O’Boyle et al., 2012). Although narcissism is a malevolent concept,
it is seen as a personality type and not necessarily a disorder by many psychologists that may
help achieving to goals (Campbell et al., 2000; Rhodewalt and Peterson, 2009).
Psychopathy is the most malicious dark triad construct which brought in to the literature
by Ray and Ray with their 1982 study. Concept has an exploitative nature that contains such
characteristics as thrill-seeking , high levels of impulsivity, low levels of empathy and anxiety,
inability to feel remorse, lack of concern and respect for others, lack of social regulatory
mechanisms and tendency to display unethical behaviors (Hare, 1985; Lilienfeld and Andrews,
1996; Mealey, 1995; Paulhus and Williams, 2002; O’Boyle et al., 2012; Özsoy and Ardıç,
2017; Rauthmann, 2012). Although psychopaths are charismatic and skilled impression
managers, in relation with their malevolent characteristics they tend to exhibit anti-social
behaviors that serve as a barrier to have meaningful relationships as well as mutually beneficial
exchanges with others (Hare, 2003). Psychopaths are also asserted to adopt parasitic life styles
that often lead them to engage in criminal activities (Forsyth et al. 2012; Hare and Neumann,
Previous studies on the relationship between dark triad and utilitarian decision making
showed that high levels of Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy traits -individually
or jointly- are positively related to rational, utilitarian judgment and choices (Amiri and
Behnezhad, 2017; Bartels and Pizarro, 2011; Djeriouat and Trémolière, 2014; Karandikar et
al., 2019). Considering that dark triad traits have common characteristics such as empathy
deficit, emotional callousness, low concern for others and apathy for moral values, it can be
asserted that individuals high on such traits are likely to behave more exploitatively and less
empathetically which may help to explain the inclination towards utilitarian decisions and
behaviors. Strongest contribution to such tendencies is related to lack of empathy which allows
hypothesizing that psychopathy is the most powerful predictor of utilitarianism among all,
since construct is strongly correlated to it. The weakest predictor of utilitarian decisions is
expected to be narcissism which is related to empathy although the correlation is weak (Jonason
and Krause, 2013; Wai and Tiliopoulos, 2012). Machiavellians on the other hand, are expected
to exhibit utilitarian behaviors that serves to their pleasure since they are manipulative, self-
beneficial and emotionally detached individuals who tend behave as occasion require.
In the light of literature presented above, the conceptual model is prepared.
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Figure 1: Conceptual Model
H1: Narcissism has a positive effect on utilitarian choice
H2: Machiavellianism has a positive effect on utilitarian choice
H3: Psychopathy has a positive effect on utilitarian choice
Data for this research is collected from university freshmen studying in Turkish
universities using convenience method for sampling via free of charge online survey platform
that presents the scenario and survey questions to participants for eight week period starting
from October, 2020.
Scenario: Company you are working for is preparing for salary increases. Your manager
gives you two alternatives. According to your choice you and the other employee working in
the same department will have raise. Other employee does not have the right to reject or
negotiate your decision. You will determine the increase for both employees. Considering that
you and the other employee have the same qualifications (i.e. education, experience, seniority,
performance etc.) please choose from the options below.
a. 5% increase for you, 5% increase for other employee
b. 8% increase for you, 12% increase for other employee
Along with the scenario above, Short Dark Triad (SD3) is given to the participants to
measure Dark Triad personality traits. SD3 is developed by Paulhus and Williams (2002),
consisting of twenty seven items representing three subscales. Each of the subscales contains
nine items which are used to assess Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy.
Respondents are asked to answer such questions as “I like to use clever manipulation to get my
way”, “Make sure your plans benefit yourself, not others”, “I’ll say anything to get what I
want.” considering the extent to which they agree or disagree with each, using a 5-point Likert
scale (1 = Strongly Disagree, 5 = Strongly Agree).
After sorting and removing duplicate submissions, a net sample of 247 usable
questionnaires obtained.
2.1 Participants
Out of 247 participants, 58.7% are answered as male (n=145) and 41.3% are answered
as female (n=102), all of them are reported as single and ages are reported to vary between 18
to 31 years where majority of the participants (83%) are reported to be in between 18 and 20
years old. Demographic profile of sample is presented in Table 1.
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Table-1: Demographic Profile of Sample
Marital Status
2.2. Analysis
2.2.1. Reliability of Instruments
Short Dark Triad (SD3) is used to measure Dark Triad constructs which is a generally
accepted and validated instrument. Therefore, reliability analysis is performed directly to
research variables which returned Cronbach’s Alpha values between 0.611 and 0.684 (Table
2). Since all the values are greater than 0.60, constructs are considered as reliable and consistent
(Sipahi et al., 2010).
Table 2: Mean, Standard Deviation and Cronbach’s Alpha Values
Instrument Mean
Alpha ()
Dark Triad
2.2.2. Binary Logistic Regression Analysis
The hypotheses of the research are tested with binary logistic regression analysis. Tables
3,4 and 5 demonstrates the results of analyses.
Table 3. Model Verification
Both Hosmer & Lemeshow and -2 Log likelihood function values showed final model
fitness (-2LL=323.718; sig=0.773). Forward Wald method is used to analyze variables.
Multicollinearity assumption of the independent variables is checked by using variance
inflation factor (VIF). VIF values are found between 1.101 and 1.422, indicating that the
correlation among narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism can be tolerated since the
results are below 10 (Ekizler, 2020).
-2 Log likelihood
Cox & Snell R²
Nagelkerke R²
Hosmer & Lemeshow
Test result
Degree of freedom
Significance level
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Table-4: Model Estimation Result
exp (
) 95% C.I.
Table-5: Classification Table
Increase 37 70 34,6
5%-5% Increase 26 114 81,4
Percentage 61,1
Results showed that psychopathy has a negative and significant effect on the salary
increase choice (Cox & Snell R²=0.056; Nagelkerke R²=0.075; Wald=13.270; p value=0.000;
Odds Ratio=0.45). More specifically, if psychopathy increases one unit, probability of
utilitarian choice (8%-12% increase) is found to increase by 45%. On the other hand, findings
aren’t indicated to a statistically significant effect of Machiavellianism and narcissism on the
The model predicted non-utilitarian choice (5% - %5 raise) with 81.4% probability,
utilitarian choice (8% - %12 raise) with 34.6% probability and overall probability prediction
of the model is found to be 61.1%.
On the other hand results indicate that out of 247 total participants;
140 participants choose 5%-5% raise (56.68%),
107 participants choose 8% - 12% raise (43.31%).
Taking results into consideration H1, and H2 is rejected, H3 cannot be rejected.
Aim of this research is to examine effects of dark triad (narcissism, Machiavellianism
and psychopathy) on the utilitarian choices. A scenario is developed for this purpose in which
participants are asked to choose salary raise for both themselves and other employee.
Considering that rational, utilitarian approaches dictate the choice that maximizes individual
payoff, it is expected from participants to pick the option that provides higher salary increase.
On the other hand, taking into account that previous research showed evidence of the
relationship between triad constructs and utilitarian tendencies, it is also hypothesized that
narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy has a positive effect on utilitarian choices due
to their interpersonally aversive characteristics such as empathy deficit, emotional callousness,
low concern for others etc.
First finding of this study is that majority of the participants choose (56.68%), 5%-5%
raise which is the option that does not maximize not only theirs but other employees profits as
well. This result is in line with previous dictator game studies that returned mean split value
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between 20% and 50%, indicating that proposers tend to be altruistic, equalitarian and conflict
avoidant to some degree especially when they feel a moral decision –even in appearance- is
the best solution for the problem. The effect of collective culture can be another explanation
for this result. Considering that Turkish culture is highly collective which means people belong
in groups, harmony has to be maintained and relations has a moral base, participants may have
chosen the egalitarian option in order to obtain and sustain status quo with their colleagues.
Second important finding of this study is analyses results indicated that psychopathy has
a positive and significant effect on the probability of utilitarian salary increase choice which is
confirming findings of the previous research (Amiri and Behnezhad, 2017; Bartels and Pizarro,
2011; Djeriouat and Trémolière, 2014). Literature asserts that individuals who has higher
scores on psychopath measures are more likely to endorse rational and utilitarian solutions to
the problems they encounter (Greene et al., 2001). Considering that psychopathy is defined
with high antisocial characteristics such as high impulsivity, empathy deficit, lack of concern
for others and remorselessness even at the subclinical level, possible triggering effect of them
on the utilitarian proneness can help to explain this finding. Contrary to the findings of previous
studies, statistically significant effects of Machiavellianism and narcissism on the utilitarian
choice is not found in this research which brings into question if cultural elements are
moderating the relationship or if a different sample in which participants have more work
experience lead to different results.
Finally, model predicted equal (non-utilitarian) choice with 81.4% probability and
overall prediction probability of the model is found to be 61.1%.
Self-report tools which have the potential of producing biased results are used in this
research. Future studies are suggested to examine relationships between personality traits,
altruism, equalitarianism, culture, conflict avoidance and utilitarian choice concepts by
conducting field and experimental studies to establish a basis for comparison for normative and
descriptive approaches and to expand the scope of this discussion. Also using a large scale,
longitudinal, cross cultural research containing different age groups can contribute to the
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Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), originating in Wuhan city of China, has spread whole world in a short time and radically affected the individuals' and societies' lives. Even though the countries implemented different strategies for outbreak, most of the world's population had to cope with restrictions, long-term quarantines, remote working and distance education. All these situations negatively affect people's anxiety levels. In this study, data (n = 226) are collected through a questionnaire surveys within the sample of undergraduate students, and the effect of mental well-being on anxiety caused by COVID-19 is investigated. The validity and reliability of the Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale developed by Tennant et al. (2007) is tested with exploratory factor analysis and reliability analysis. The effects of functional, intrinsic and extrinsic well-being concepts on three different levels of anxiety related to COVID-19, namely general, health and economic anxieties, are examined by ordinal logistic regression analysis. Research results revealed that functional and intrinsic well-being have a significant negative effect on the general anxiety level. However, mental well-being dimensions are found to have insignificant effects on economic and health anxieties. This study focuses on young individuals and provides conclusive evidence to further researches on the negative effects of the pandemics on individual's psychology.
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Kişilik özellikleri örgütsel bağlamda ağırlıklı olarak normal kişilik özellikleri kapsamında incelenmektedir. Bu doğrultuda kişilik özellikleri ağırlıklı olarak beş faktör kişilik özellikleri çerçevesinde ölçülmektedir. Bu durum manipülatiflik, bencillik, kendini beğenmişlik, çıkarçılık, duyarsızlık ve dürtüsellik gibi davranışsal eğilimlerin örgütsel bağlamda incelenmesini kısıtlamaktadır. Bu sebeple son zamanlarda uluslararası alanda karanlık kişilik özellikleri klinik psikoloji, kişilik psikolojisi ve örgütsel psikoloji alanlarında yaygın bir şekilde incelenmeye başlanmıştır. Ülkemizde ise karanlık kişilik özelliklerini bir arada örgütsel bağlamda inceleyen çalışma sayısı kısıtlıdır. Bu sebeple Türkiye örnekleminde karanlık kişilik özelliklerinin özellikle örgütsel bağlamda incelenmesi gerekmektedir. Böylelikle kişilik özelliklerinin örgütsel tezahürlerinin anlaşılmasına katkı sunacaktır. Bu çalışmada, Karanlık Üçlü’nün (subklinik narsisizm, Makyavelizm ve subklinik psikopati) iş tatminine etkisinin incelenmesi amaçlanmıştır. Araştırmada veriler, İstanbul’da faaliyet gösteren iki ayrı özel sigorta şirketi çalışanlarının katılımı ile elde edilmiştir. Bu kapsamda toplamda 204 adet geçerli anket formu elde edilmiştir. Araştırma sonuçlarına göre, narsisizm, Makyavelizm ve psikopati iş tatmini ile negatif ve anlamlı bir şekilde ilişkilenmiştir. Makyavelizm ve psikopatiye kıyasla, narsisizm iş tatmini ile daha zayıf düzeyde ilişkilenmiştir. Çoklu regresyon analizi sonuçlarına göre, sadece psikopati iş tatminini negatif yönde etkilemiştir. Bulgular tartışma bölümünde incelenmiş ve birtakım araştırma önerileri ileri sürülmüştür.
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This study intends to examine the psychometric properties of the Turkish version of the short form of the Five-Factor Narcissism Inventory (FFNI-SF). The study group consists of a total of 526 university students (54% were female) whose ages range from 18 to 32. In the translational equivalence study made over a two-week interval, the FFNI-SF scores showed high consistency. Cronbach's alpha was found to be .87 for the total score, and the alphas for the FFNI-SF subscales ranged from .57 to .79. Corrected item-subscale correlations for the items ranged from .22 to .73. Confirmatory factor analysis results have shown that among the three competing models derived from the conceptual models, Model 1 with 15 factors had the best goodness-of-fit to the data, rectangle(2) = 3851.48, df = 1605, rectangle(2)/sd = 2.40, RMSEA = .057, AGFI = .74, GFI = .77, CFI = .77, NNFI = .75. The correlation of total scores from the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) and FFNI-SF was. 65, p < .01. Study results indicated that the Turkish version of the FFNI-SF may serve as a useful tool in assessing narcissistic personality traits in non-clinical samples.
Game theory, the formalized study of strategy, began in the 1940s by asking how emotionless geniuses should play games, but ignored until recently how average people with emotions and limited foresight actually play games. This book marks the first substantial and authoritative effort to close this gap. Colin Camerer, one of the field's leading figures, uses psychological principles and hundreds of experiments to develop mathematical theories of reciprocity, limited strategizing, and learning, which help predict what real people and companies do in strategic situations. Unifying a wealth of information from ongoing studies in strategic behavior, he takes the experimental science of behavioral economics a major step forward. He does so in lucid, friendly prose. Behavioral game theory has three ingredients that come clearly into focus in this book: mathematical theories of how moral obligation and vengeance affect the way people bargain and trust each other; a theory of how limits in the brain constrain the number of steps of "I think he thinks . . ." reasoning people naturally do; and a theory of how people learn from experience to make better strategic decisions. Strategic interactions that can be explained by behavioral game theory include bargaining, games of bluffing as in sports and poker, strikes, how conventions help coordinate a joint activity, price competition and patent races, and building up reputations for trustworthiness or ruthlessness in business or life.
Introduction: In the last decade, the dark triad of personality has attracted a great deal of attention in studies. However, little is known about the emotional and moral defects in such circumstances. Aim of the study: To evaluate emotion recognition and utilitarianism in moral decision-making in people with dark triad personality tendencies. Material and methods: Three hundred and ninety girl students (with an average age of 22.7 years and a standard deviation of 2.66) were selected in 2017. Then 120 of them were selected for the second stage according to cluster analysis on the Dark Triad Scale (SD3); as Machiavellian, psychopathic, and narcissistic. Finally, participants were studied in emotion recognition using the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) and moral decision-making. Results: The results showed that there is a significant difference between the dark triad personality groups in emotion recognition and moral decision making. Participants with dark triad traits have lower performance in emotion recognition. The comparison groups in impersonal moral decision-making showed that participants with psychopathic tendencies showed more utilitarianism. Conclusions: It can be concluded that people with Machiavellian, psychopathic, and narcissistic personality tendencies, as dark dimensions of personality, have deficiencies in emotional aspects and moral decision making.
We examined (N = 355; 250 women) how the Dark Tetrad traits (i.e., psychopathy, narcissism, Machiavellianism, and sadism) are associated with moral dilemmas and Moral Foundations. The Dark Triad traits were associated with utilitarian decision-making on moral dilemmas. Sadism did not provide incremental variance above the Dark Triad traits in accounting for responses to moral dilemmas. Compromised morality explained higher dilemma scores, beyond the Dark Tetrad traits. Therefore, we suggest that compromised moral values within dark personalities result in higher utilitarian decision-making. Men had darker personalities and were more utilitarian than women were, while women were more moral than men. Subsequently, men made more utilitarian decisions as compared to women, which may be a result of their darker personalities and lower concerns for moral values. Collectively, our results add to the discussion about the need to expand the Dark Triad to include sadism and the role of personality in understanding individual differences, morality, and moral decision-making.
The current study adds to a growing body of research on dark personality traits by investigating the moderating role of promotion focus on the relationships among dark triad traits and facets of job performance. Specifically, we investigated the effects of the dark triad (i.e., Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy) on supervisor ratings of performance, and the moderating effect promotion focus has on those effects. Using field data, we surveyed 549 employees from a manufacturing company in the USA and obtained supervisor ratings of task performance and helping behavior for each employee. We found support for multiple hypotheses, which suggests that managers rated narcissistic and psychopathic employees as having poorer task performance and psychopathic employees as engaging in fewer helping behaviors than employees low in those traits. Furthermore, promotion focus strengthened these negative relationships. We did not find these effects for Machiavellianism. Implications of these findings for future dark personality research as well as the practical implications for managers and organizations are discussed. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.