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Revisiting the Structure of the Short Dark Triad
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Network for Empowerment and Well-Being, Sweden. (Kognitiv neurovetenskap och filosofi, Consciousness and Cognitive Neuroscience)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9890-5788
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden / University West, Sweden / Network for Empowerment and Well-Being, Sweden. (Kognitiv neurovetenskap och filosofi, Consciousness and Cognitive Neuroscience)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0629-353X
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden / Blekinge County Council, Karlskrona, Sweden / Lund University, Lund, Sweden / Network for Empowerment and Well-Being, Sweden.
2017 (English)In: Assessment (Odessa, Fla.), ISSN 1073-1911, E-ISSN 1552-3489Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

In the past decade, extensive interest has been directed toward the Dark Triad (i.e., Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy), popularly assessed by the Short Dark Triad (SD3). Nevertheless, relatively little research has been conducted on the SD3's factor structure. We investigated the SD3's psychometric properties in three studies with three independent samples, using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses ( N1 = 1,487; N2 = 17,740; N3 = 496). In all three studies, Machiavellianism and psychopathy items displayed large general factor loadings, and narcissism larger specific factor loadings. In subsequent studies, two- and three-factor models fitted the data similarly, with the best fitting model being a bifactor model with items from Machiavellianism and psychopathy modelled as one specific factor, and narcissism as a second specific factor. On this basis, we suggest that the SD3 does not seem to capture the different mental processes theorized to underlie the similar behaviors generated by Machiavellianism and psychopathy. Additionally, we recommend the use of a single SD3 composite score, and not subscale scores, as subscales contain small amounts of reliable variance beyond the general factor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2017.
Keyword [en]
Dark Triad, SD3, factor analysis, psychopathy, Machiavellianism, narcissism
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Consciousness and Cognitive Neuroscience
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-13453DOI: 10.1177/1073191117701192PubMedID: 28382846OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-13453DiVA: diva2:1084445
Funder
Swedish Research Council, Dnr. 2015-01229
Available from: 2017-03-24 Created: 2017-03-24 Last updated: 2017-09-12Bibliographically approved

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