Toward a Taxonomy of Dark Personalities

  • Paulhus D
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The term dark personalities refers to a set of socially aversive traits in the subclinical range. Not extreme enough to invite clinical or forensic attention, they can get along (even flourish) in everyday work settings, scholastic settings, and the broader community. Along with my research group, I have studied a constellation of these personalities--Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, and everyday sadism--under the label "Dark Tetrad." We have argued that, because of their overlap, these four traits should be studied in concert. Recently developed inventories now facilitate identification of the unique contributions of each trait. The present review highlights key advances and controversies emerging from work on these malevolent, yet fascinating, characters.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Dark Tetrad
  • Dark Triad
  • Machiavellianism
  • everyday sadism
  • subclinical narcissism
  • subclinical psychopathy

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  • Delroy L. Paulhus

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