The Dark Triad of personality and momentary affective states: an experience sampling study


  • Irena Pilch University of Silesia
  • Neal Lathia University College London
  • Krzysztof Wiesebach University of Silesia


Słowa kluczowe:

Machiavellianism, psychopathy, grandiose narcissism, vulnerable narcissism, momentary affect


The Dark Triad (DT; Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy) refers to three distinct but interrelated socially undesirable traits which are associated with an antagonistic and exploitative strategy of conduct. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationships between the DT traits and momentary affective states using a longitudinal approach.

Participants and procedure
University students (N = 81) completed personality measures and participated in an 8-day experience-sampling study. Subjects provided n = 2572 responses. Multilevel analyses were used to assess relationships between the DT and affect.

All the DT traits were associated with negative affect: the two psychopathy dimensions (boldness and mean-ness) negatively, and the remaining traits positively. Boldness and grandiose narcissism were associated with positive affect. The presence of others differentiated the relationships between Machiavellianism and meanness and negative affective states.

The findings showed a tendency to experience more negative affect in everyday life in people with higher lev-els of grandiose and vulnerable narcissism, Machiavellianism, and disinhibition.


Download data is not yet available.


Ashton, M. C., & Lee, K. (2009). The HEXACO-60: a short measure of the major dimensions of personality. Journal of Personality Assessment, 91, 340–345.

Bazińska, R., & Drat-Ruszczak, K. (2000). Struktura narcyzmu w polskiej adaptacji kwestionariusza NPI Ruskina i Halla [The structure of narcissism in the Polish adaptation of Ruskin’s and Hall’s NPI questionnaire]. Czasopismo Psychologiczne, 6, 171–188.

Brislin, S. J., Drislane, L. E., Smith, S. T., Edens, J. F., & Patrick, C. J. (2015). Development and validation of triarchic psychopathy scales from the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire. Psychological Assessment, 27, 838–851. pas0000087.

Christie, R., & Geis, F. (1970). Studies in Machiavellianism. New York: Academic Press.

Del Gaizo, A. L., & Falkenbach, D. M. (2008). Primary and secondary psychopathic-traits and their relationship to perception and experience of emotion. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 206–212.

Fatfouta, R. (2017). To be alone or not to be alone? Facets of narcissism and preference for solitude. Personality and Individual Differences, 114, 1–4.

Galante, J., Dufour, G., Vainre, M., Wagner, A. P., Stochl, J., Benton, A., Lathia, N., Howarth, E., & Jones, P. B. (2018). A mindfulness-based intervention to increase resilience to stress in university students (the Mindful Student Study): a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Public Health, 3, e72–e81. S2468-2667(17)30231-1.

Groth, J., & Kleka, P. (2018). Patterns of intentional faking in questionnaire-based study of psychopathy. Current Issues in Personality Psychology, 6, 305–317.

Hendin, H. M., & Cheek, J. M. (1997). Assessing hypersensitive narcissism: a reexamination of Murray’s narcissism scale. Journal of Research in Personality, 31, 588–599. jrpe.1997.2204.

Jakobwitz, S., & Egan, V. (2006). The dark triad and normal personality traits. Personality and Individual Differences, 40, 331–339. paid.2005.07.006.

Jonason, P. K., & Krause, L. (2013). The emotional deficits associated with the Dark Triad traits: Cognitive empathy, affective empathy, and alexithymia Personality and Individual Differences, 55, 532–537.

Jonason, P. K., Li, N. P., & Buss, D. M. (2010). The costs and benefits of the Dark Triad: Implications for mate poaching and mate retention tactics. Personality and Individual Differences, 48, 373–378.

Jonason, P. K., & Webster, G. D. (2012). A protean approach to social influence: Dark Triad personalities and social influence tactics. Personality and Individual Differences, 52, 521–526. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.paid.2011.11.023.

Love, A. B., & Holder, M. D. (2014). Psychopathy and subjective well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 66, 112–117. paid.2014.03.033.

Maas, C. J., & Hox, J. J. (2005). Sufficient sample sizes for multilevel modeling. Methodology, 1, 86–92.

Miller, J. D., Hoffman, B. J., Gaughan, E. T., Gentile, B., Maples, J., & Campbell, K. W. (2011). Grandiose and vulnerable narcissism: a nomological network analysis. Journal of Personality, 79, 1013–1042.

Nezlek, J. B. (2007). A multilevel framework for understanding relationships among traits, states, situations and behaviours. European Journal of Personality, 21, 789–810.

Patrick, C. J., Fowles, D. C., & Krueger, R. F. (2009). Triarchic conceptualization of psychopathy: Developmental origins of disinhibition, boldness, and meanness. Development and Psychopathology, 21, 913–938.

Paulhus, D. L., & Williams, K. M. (2002). The dark triad of personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Journal of Research in Personality, 36, 556–563. 6566(02)00505-6.

Pilch, I. (2014). Makiawelizm, narcyzm, psychopatia: ciemna triada jako próba opisania osobowości eksploatatora [Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy: the dark triad as an attempt at describing the personality of an exploiter]. Chowanna, 43, 165–181.

Pilch, I., Sanecka, E., Hyla, M., & Atłas, K. (2015). Polska adaptacja skali TriPM do badania psychopatii w ujęciu triarchicznym [The Polish adaptation of the TriPM scale measuring psychopathy]. Psychologia Społeczna, 10, 435–454. 7366/1896180020153506.

Russell, J. A. (1980). A circumplex model of affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 1161–1178.

Skeem, J. L., Poythress, N., Edens, J. F., Lilienfeld, S. O., & Cale, E. M. (2003). Psychopathic personality or personalities? Exploring potential variants of psychopathy and their implications for risk assessment. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 8, 513–546.

Sleep, C. E., Weiss, B., Lynam, D. R., & Miller, J. D. (2019). An examination of the Triarchic Model of psychopathy’s nomological network: a meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 71, 1–26.

Uziel, L. (2006). The extraverted and the neurotic glasses are of different colors. Personality and Individual Differences, 41, 745–754. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.paid.2006.03.011.

Żemojtel-Piotrowska, M., Clinton, A., & Piotrowski, J. (2014). Agentic and communal narcissism and subjective well-being: are narcissistic individuals unhappy? Current Issues in Personality Psychology, 2, 10–16.



Jak cytować

Pilch, I., Lathia, N., & Wiesebach, K. (2020). The Dark Triad of personality and momentary affective states: an experience sampling study. Current Issues in Personality Psychology, 8(1), 10–17.