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The Dark Triad of Personality: A 10 Year Review

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Abstract

Ten years ago Paulhus and Williams (2002) called attention to the ‘Dark Triad’, a constellation of three conceptually distinct but empirically overlapping personality variables. The three members -- Machiavellianism, narcissism and subclinical psychopathy -- often show differential correlates but share a common core of callous-manipulation. There are now dozens of studies on the triad and, according to Google Scholar, over 350 citations. The goal of this review is to update and critically evaluate this rapidly expanding literature. The standard measures of each Dark Triad member are reviewed along with newer combination measures. The Dark Triad members are located in in mainstream structural models, namely, the interpersonal circumplex as well as Five- and Six-Factor Models. Key issues and controversies are addressed.

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