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Kevin M. Williams on Dark Triad Traits - Dictionary of Arguments

Corr II 246
Dark Triad Traits/Personality Traits/Paulhus/Williams/Zeigler-Hill/Marcus: Paulhus and Williams (2002)(1) examined the possibility that narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism constituted a Dark Triad of personality traits. The measures of narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism had moderate correlations with each other in this sample showing that an individual who reported a high score for one of these traits was also likely to report relatively high scores for the other traits. (…) the Dark Triad personality traits had similar negative associations with the personality trait of agreeableness but often had divergent associations with the personality trait of neuroticism (…).The conclusion reached by Paulhus and Williams (2002)(1) was that the Dark Triad personality traits were distinct constructs that had important similarities to each other but were far from interchangeable.
II 251
To develop a more complete understanding of the Dark Triad traits, it may be helpful to consider their potential evolutionary origins. The idea underlying (…) evolutionary perspectives is that the self-serving, manipulative and exploitative strategies that characterize the Dark Triad traits may be adaptive under certain conditions.
One of the earliest scholars to advocate for an evolutionary perspective for any of the Dark Triad traits was Mealey (1995)(2), who suggested that psychopathy may be the expression of a frequency-dependent life strategy that is selected in response to varying environmental circumstances. Another approach to understanding the origins of the Dark Triad traits has been to consider their links with life
II 252
history strategies which concern how individuals resolve the various trade-offs that must be made due to time and energy limitations (e.g., Kaplan & Gangestad, 2005)(3). These trade-offs focus on: (1) somatic effort vs. reproductive effort; (2) parental effort vs. mating effort; (3) quality of offspring vs. quantity of offspring; and (4) future reproduction vs. present reproduction. This perspective argues that individuals differ along a continuum with regard to the reproductive strategies they employ to resolve these trade-offs (e.g., Buss, 2009)(4).
II 253
[Various] results suggest the possibility that the Dark Triad traits may represent specialized adaptations that allow individuals to exploit particular niches within society such as those concerning opportunistic mating (e.g., Furnham et al., 2013)(5).
The Dark Triad traits tend to have similar — but not identical — associations with a range of aversive outcomes (…). Although many of the results concerning the Dark Triad provide an unpleasant view of these traits, other studies reveal that the Dark Triad traits may be beneficial or at least neutral in certain areas of life. For example, these traits may be helpful for individuals pursuing leader ship positions especially when they are combined with factors such as intelligence and physical attractiveness (Furnham, 2010)(6) (…).
II 255
VsDark Triad Traits: Other than perhaps following the ‘rule of three’ (Dundes, 1968)(7), there is no intrinsic reason why the set of dark personality traits should be limited to a triad. In fact, Chabrol, Van Leeuwen, Rodgers and Séjourné (2009)(8) have provided compelling evidence that sadism belongs with these other traits, creating a ‘Dark Tetrad’. We have argued that there are numerous additional dark traits that merit study and that could be included in the types of studies that have examined the Dark Triad (e.g., Marcus & Zeigler-Hill, 2015(9); Zeigler-Hill & Marcus, 2016(10)). >Personality/Traits.


1. Paulhus, D. L., & Williams, K. M. (2002). The Dark Triad of personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Journal of Research in Personality, 36, 556—563.
2. Mealey, L. (1995). The sociobiology of sociopathy: An integrated evolutionary model. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 18, 5 23—599.
3. Kaplan, H. S., & Gangestad, S. W. (2005). Life history theory and evolutionary psychology. In D. M. Buss (Ed.), The handbook of evolutionary psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
4. Buss, D. M. (2009). How can evolutionary psychology successfully explain personality and individual differences? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4, 359—366.
5. Furnham, A., Richards, S. C., & Paulhus, D. L. (2013). The Dark Triad of personality: A 10 year review. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 7, 199—2 16.
6. Furnham, A. (2010). The elephant in the boardroom: The causes of leadership derailment. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
7. Dundes, A. (1968). The number three in American culture. In A. Dundes (Ed.), Every man his way: Readings in cultural anthropology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice—Hall.
8. Chabrol, H., Van Leeuwen, N., Rodgers, R., & Séjourné, N. (2009). Contributions of psychopathic, narcissistic, Machiavellian, and sadistic personality traits to juvenile delinquency. Personality and Individual Differences, 47, 734—73 9.
9. Marcus, D. K., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (2015). A big tent of dark personality traits. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 9,434—446.
10. Zeigler-Hill, V., & Marcus, D. K. (2016). A bright future for dark personality features? In V. Zeigler-Hill & D. K. Marcus (Eds.), The dark side of personality: Science and practice in social, personality, and clinical psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Zeigler-Hill, Virgil; Marcus, David K.: “The Dark Side of Personality Revisiting Paulhus and Williams (2002)”, In: Philip J. Corr (Ed.) 2018. Personality and Individual Differences. Revisiting the classical studies. Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne: Sage, pp. 245-262.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

WilliamsB I
Bernard Williams
Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy London 2011

WilliamsM I
Michael Williams
Problems of Knowledge: A Critical Introduction to Epistemology Oxford 2001

WilliamsM II
Michael Williams
"Do We (Epistemologists) Need A Theory of Truth?", Philosophical Topics, 14 (1986) pp. 223-42
In
Theories of Truth, Paul Horwich, Aldershot 1994

Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018


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