2012. Vol.3, No.3, 237-242
Published Online March 2012 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 237
Distinguishing the Dark Triad: Evidence from the Five-Factor
Model and the Hogan Development Survey
Heather Douglas, Miles Bore, Don Munro
School of Psychology, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia
Received November 9th, 2011; revised December 11th, 2011; accepted January 19th, 2012
The Dark Triad consists of Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy. The aim was to add to the
evidence for their differential validity. A battery including the Hogan Development Survey, the IPIP Big
5 and measures of Empathy, Aggression and the Dark Triad was administered to 241 undergraduate psy-
chology participants at an Australian university. Multivariate regression indicated that the Dark Triad
shared significant predictors and the Five Factor Model facets failed to clearly distinguish between them.
The results of a principal components analysis indicated considerable overlap among the constructs.
Overall, limited evidence for the differential construct validity of the Dark Triad of personality was found.
Implications for the psychometric properties of some dominant paradigms in personality research, and
applications in organisational settings, are discussed.
Keywords: Dark Triad; Five-Factor Model; Hogan Development Survey; Construct Validity
The three overlapping constructs called Narcissism, Machia-
vellianism, and Psychopathy that comprise the “Dark Triad of
Personality” (Paulhus & Williams, 2002), have recently at-
tracted a great deal of research attention (Hodson, Hogg, &
MacInnis, 2009; Jonason, Li, & Teicher, 2010; Miller, Dir,
Gentile, Wilson, Pryor, & Campbell, 2010). The reported cor-
relations between the constructs range between .25 and .61
(Miller et al., 2010; Paulhus & Williams, 2002). While the con-
structs are certainly related it is unlikely that they are equivalent
(Jakobwitz & Egan, 2006; Jonason et al., 2010). Therefore, evi-
dence for the differential validity of the three constructs re-
quires further demonstration and clarification.
Narcissism is described in the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual Version Four (DSM-IV) as a pervasive pattern of gran-
diosity, need for admiration, and lack of Empathy (APA, 1994).
Machiavellianism is defined as the manipulative personality, or
the degree to which a person believes that people are manipu-
lable (Christie & Geis, 1970; Shea & Beatty, 1983). Psychopa-
thy is a combination of antisocial behaviours, high impulsivity,
along with low Empathy and low Anxiety (Bishopp & Hare,
2008; Cleckley, 1955). Recent evidence indicates a two-factor
model of Psychopathy (Douglas, Bore, & Munro, 2012; Leven-
son, Kiehl, & Fitzpatrick, 1995). The first factor is Primary
Psychopathy, consisting of callous, selfish and manipulative
personal attitudes. Secondary Psychopathy is characterised by
high impulsivity and emotional instability, coupled with a self-
defeating lifestyle.
All three Dark Triad constructs have been associated with
high aggression and low empathy (Friedenfelt & Klinteberg,
2007; Munro, Bore, & Powis, 2005). All three are also related
to the Five Factor Model domains of Agreeableness (A) and
Conscientiousness (C) (Jakobwitz & Egan, 2006; Paulhus &
Williams, 2002). However, some differential relationships have
been reported. Extraversion (E) negatively correlates with Se-
condary Psychopathy and positively with Narcissism, while
Neuroticism is negatively related to Narcissism, and positively
to Secondary Psychopathy (Miller et al., 2010).
The associations of the Dark Triad with the FFM domains
alone do not establish their construct validity. The facets of the
FFM may be used to provide a more detailed description of
individual personality profiles, which may assist in discrimi-
nating between traits with common domain relationships (Costa
& McCrae, 1995). However, given the overlap between the
Dark Triad traits, a correlational approach is unlikely to reveal
which FFM facets best characterise each construct. Multivariate
regression analysis may allow an examination of the facets that
predict the most variance in Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and
By comparison with research using the FFM, little attention
has been devoted to the Dark Triad’s relationship with the Per-
sonality Disorders. For example, while Narcissism seems intui-
tively related to Narcissistic Personality Disorder, recent evi-
dence indicates that it may be related to Borderline Personality
Disorder as well (Miller et al., 2010).
Although the possibility of significant relationships between
the Personality Disorders and the Dark Triad seem compelling,
a problem for research on this issue with normal populations is
that measures of the disorders designed for clinical samples
may not have an appropriate range of scores to allow discrimi-
nation between respondents. A suitable alternative may be the
Hogan Development Survey (HDS), which was designed to
predict maladaptive symptoms in normal workforce samples,
using a continuum of scores rather than cut points (Hogan,
2007). The eleven scales of the HDS map onto each of the
DSM-IV Personality Disorders, and are shown in Table 1 along
with descriptions of their personality profiles.
Extensive research has examined the association between
Psychopathy and Personality Disorders. Blackburn and Coid
(1998) found that Psychopathy scores correlated at r = .85 with
Antisocial Personality Disorder, an indication that Psychopathy
Table 1.
Description of each of the HDS scales (Hogan, 2001).
DSM-IV PDs HDS Scale Description
Borderline Excitable
Moody, hard to please, intense but
short-lived enthusiasm for people,
projects, or things.
Paranoid Sceptical Cynical, distrustful, and doubting others’
Avoidant Cautious Reluctant to take risks for fear of being
rejected or negatively evaluated.
Schizoid Reserved
Aloof, detached, and uncommunicative,
lacking interest or awareness of the
feelings of others.
sive Leisurely
Independent, ignoring people’s requests
and becoming irritated or argumentative
if they persist.
Narcissistic Bold
Unusually self-confident, feelings of
grandiosity or entitlement,
over-evaluation of one’s capabilities.
Antisocial Mischievous
Risk taking and testing the limits, needing
excitement, manipulative, deceitful,
cunning, and exploitative.
Histrionic Colourful
Expressive, animated, and dramatic,
wanting to be noticed and needing to be
the centre of attention.
Schizotypal Imaginative Acting and thinking in creative and
sometimes odd or unusual ways.
mpulsive Diligent
Meticulous, precise, perfectionistic,
inflexible about rules and procedures,
critical of others’ performance.
Dependent Dutiful
Eager to please and reliant on others for
support and guidance, reluctant to take
independent action or go against popular
can be characterised as Mischievous in the HDS terminology.
The two-factor structure of Psychopathy has also been exam-
ined. Primary Psychopathy was positively related to Histrionic
diagnoses, whereas Hildebrand and de Ruiter (2004) identified
Narcissistic Personality Disorder as a positive correlate. Se-
condary Psychopathy was positively related to both Antisocial
and Paranoid personality traits (Hart & Hare, 1989; Hildebrand
& de Ruiter, 2004). Psychopathy is clearly linked with person-
ality dysfunction, and it appears to be related to those disorders
with reckless, emotionally unstable, and interpersonally defec-
tive core traits.
McHoskey (2001) used Hyler’s Personality Diagnostic
Questionnaire (PDQ-4; Hyler, Skodol, Oldham, Kellman, &
Doidge, 1992) and the MACH-IV (Christie & Geis, 1970) to
determine which personality disorders are related to Machi-
avellianism. Multiple linear regression revealed that Border-
line Personality Disorder was the best positive predictor of
Machiavellianism. Other predictors were Paranoid and Anti-
social Personality Disorders. This suggests that Machiavel-
lianism is related to unstable personal relationships, perva-
sive and suspicious mistrust, and a disregard for others. How-
ever, McHoskey has been the only researcher to examine this
issue, so these results need to be replicated.
The aim of the current study was to provide further evi-
dence for the discriminant construct validity of the Dark
Triad traits, by examining their differential relationships with
both the Five Factor Model and the Personality Disorders as
measured by the Hogan Development Survey. Based on the
preceding research, we hypothesised that all three Dark Triad
constructs would be negatively correlated with Empathy, and
positively with Aggression. With regard to the FFM we ex-
pected that all three Dark Triad constructs would be nega-
tively associated with both Agreebleness and Conscientious-
ness, that Narcissism would be negatively correlated with
Neuroticism and positively with Extraversion, and that Se-
condary Psychopathy would be positively correlated with
Neuroticism and negatively correlated with Extraversion. We
expected that each Dark Triad trait would have a different
pattern of FFM facet predictors in a multivariate regression.
We also developed a set of hypotheses regarding the Dark
Triad and the Personality Disorders as measured by the HDS
scales. We hypothesised that Primary Psychopathy would be
positively related to the Bold and Colourful HDS scales, with
Secondary Psychopathy positively related to the Mischievous
and Sceptical HDS scales. It was expected that Machiavel-
lianism would be positively related to Bold and Excitable
HDS scores. Lastly we hypothesised that the combination of
FFM domains and HDS scales would predict more of the
variance in Dark Triad traits than either personality paradigm
on its own.
Participants were recruited from an undergraduate psycho-
logy cohort and were given credits for their introductory psy-
chology course. Two hundred and forty-one participants were
recruited, 189 of whom were female (78.4%). Fourteen partici-
pants did not report their gender (5.8%). Participants had a
mean age of 22.7 years with a range from 17 to 53 years. The
median age of the sample was 19.0. Twenty-four participants
did not report their age.
The following measures were included in the test battery:
Goldberg’s International Personality Item Pool (IPIP). The
IPIP is a widely accepted measure of the Five Factor Model. It
consists of 300 items providing Five Factor Model domain and
facet scores. An example item is ‘I warm up quickly to others’.
The alpha reliability coefficients range between .91 and .88. Ex-
tensive research indicates that the IPIP is similar to the NEO-
PI-R (Goldberg et al., 2006). Items were endorsed on a four point
Likert scale ranging from F “definitely false” to T “definitely
The Narcissism and Empathy Subscales from the Narcis-
sism-Aloofness-Confidence-Empathy (NACE) Scale (Munro et
al., 2005). Each subscale comprises of 24 items using a four-
point Likert format ranging from A = definitely true to D = defi-
nitely false. An example item is “I am quite affectionate towards
people”. The validity of the four-factor structure has been repli-
cated across a large number of samples, and Cronbach’s alpha for
all four scales has been found to range between .78 and .84
The MACH-IV, a 20-item scale designed to measure Machi-
avellian orientation, in which participants are asked to respond
using a 5-point Likert scale ranging from ‘strong disagreement’
to “strong agreement” (Christie & Geis, 1970). An example item
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
from this scale is “it is wise to flatter important people”. Research
findings indicate acceptable reliability and validity of the scale
(Ray, 1982).
The Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (LSRP), a
26-item scale consisting of two factors, where participants are
required to respond to statements using a four-point Likert scale
of disagree strongly, disagree somewhat, agree somewhat, and
agree strongly. An item from this scale is “I often admire a really
clever scam”. The first factor is Primary Psychopathy, with the
second factor being Secondary Psychopathy. Preliminary evi-
dence indicates acceptable reliability of the scale (Levenson et al.,
The Hogan Development Survey (HDS), a commercially
published 154-item scale, used in organisational settings to mea-
sure Personality Disorders. While item data was not available in
this study, Hogan, Hogan and Warrenfeltz (2007) report test-
retest reliabilities ranging from .58 to .87. The survey consists of
eleven scales with fourteen items (Hogan & Hogan, 2001). The
names of the scales and a description of each can be found in
Table 1. Respondents are requested to “agree” or “disagree” with
the items.
The Buss and Perry Aggression Questionnaire, a 29-item
scale endorsed on a seven-point Likert scale ranging from “ex-
tremely uncharacteristic of me” to “extremely characteristic of
me”. An example item is “I have threatened people I know”.
Exploratory factor analysis indicated four factors labeled Physi-
cal Aggression, Verbal Aggression, Anger, and Angry Hostility.
The internal consistency for the four scales ranged between .72
and .85 (Buss & Perry, 1992).
Participants were tested in a group setting with a researcher
present to administer the questionnaires. Participants were given
a copy of the two-hour battery. Version A had each measure in
the following order: The IPIP, the MACH-IV, the Aggression
Questionnaire, the LSRP, and the NACE. Half of the partici-
pants received version A of the questionnaire, and the other half
received version B, which had the measures in reverse order to
version A. The responses to all questionnaires except the HDS
were hand entered into a spreadsheet for scoring. HDS response
sheets were sent to the Hogan consultants, who provided the
eleven HDS scores for each participant.
Descriptive Statistics
The means, standard deviations and alpha coefficients for
each scale can be found in Table 2. Participants who completed
the questionnaire in order A were compared with participants
who completed in order B to check for the effects of fatigue.
No such effects were detected. Examination of the alpha coeffi-
cients indicated that internal reliability was acceptable for every
The correlations between the Dark Triad, Empathy, Aggres-
sion, and the Five Factor Model domains are reported in Table
3. The correlations among Narcissism, Machiavellianism and
Psychopathy were in the expected range with the strongest
correlation being observed between Primary Psychopathy and
Table 2.
Descriptive statistics.
Mean SD Alpha
Primary Psychopathy 29.95 7.42 .86
Secondary Psychopathy20.88 4.33 .70
Machiavellianism 52.42 8.55 .73
Narcissism 57.24 9.53 .86
Agreeableness 176.35 17.71 .92
Conscientiousness 169.15 18.79 .92
Extraversion 168.30 19.35 .93
Neuroticism 145.61 26.52 .96
Openness 173.79 16.45 .89
Excitable 83.80 18.52 n/a
Sceptical 82.03 19.46 n/a
Cautious 81.22 21.01 n/a
Reserved 73.66 22.14 n/a
Leisurely 78.28 22.76 n/a
Bold 49.11 30.53 n/a
Mischievous 56.61 29.52 n/a
Colourful 45.44 29.00 n/a
Imaginative 64.77 0.06 n/a
Diligent 55.06 33.94 n/a
Dutiful 65.97 30.22 n/a
Aggression 85.79 28.41 .93
Empathy 71.56 8.20 .84
Note: the alpha reliabilities for the HDS are not reported as item-level data was
not available.
Table 3.
Correlations between the dark triad, empathy, aggression, and the five-
factor model domains.
P-Psy S-Psy M N
Secondary Psychopathy .40**
Machiavellianism .63** .61**
Narcissism .71** .36** .55**
Aggression .36** .59** .50** .47**
Empathy –.44** –.17** –.26** –.25**
Neuroticism –.01 .54** .31** .07
Extraversion .10 –.20** –.15* .22**
Openness –.29** –.17** –.18**–.12
Agreeableness –.68** –.48** –.64** –.67**
Conscientiousness –.27** –.69** –.41** –.17**
Sceptical (Paranoid) .20** .30** .35** .26**
Reserved (Schizoid) .03 .14* .20** .07
Imaginative (Schizotypal) .08 .15* .12 .23**
Mischievous (Antisocial) .36** .23** .29** .37**
Excitable (Borderline) .17* .42** .34** .19**
Colourful (Histrionic) .24** .05 .09 .33**
Bold (Narcissistic) .30** .06 .20** .47**
Cautious (Avoidant) –.09 .15* .15 –.13*
(Obsessive-Compulsive) –.17** –.28** –.21 –.12
Dutiful (Dependent) –.08 –.11 .00 –.11
(Passive-Aggressive) .09 .19** .09 .11
Notes: *p < .05; **p < .01; P-Psy = Primary Psychopathy; S-Psy = Secondary
Psychopathy; M = Machiavelliansim; N = Narcissism.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 239
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Narcissism (r = .71). Aggression was positively correlated with
Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy, as expected.
Empathy was moderately negatively correlated with each of the
Dark Triad variables.
The five-factor model. Agreeableness was moderately to
strongly negatively correlated with Narcissism, Machiavellian-
ism, and Psychopathy, as was Conscientiousness. Only a weak
association between Conscientiousness and Narcissism was
found (r = –.17). As expected, Secondary Psychopathy was
positively correlated with Neuroticism and negatively with
Extraversion. Contrary to expectations, although Narcissism
was positively associated with Extraversion, the relationship
between it and Neuroticism was not significant. Primary Psy-
chopathy was also negatively associated with Openness, whe-
reas Machiavellianism was positively related to Neuroticism.
The personality disorders. Correlations between the Dark
Triad and the HDS scales can be found in Table 3. All of the
expected relationships between Narcissism, Machiavellianism,
Psychopathy, and the Personality Disorders were obtained. In
addition, Primary Psychopathy was positively and moderately
related to Mischievous, while Secondary Psychopathy demon-
strated a positive relationship with Excitable. Narcissism was
also moderately and positively correlated with Sceptical, Mis-
chievous, and Colourful. No additional HDS scale correlates
were found for Machiavellianism.
Regression Analysis
In order to examine which scales best predict each of the
Dark Triad constructs, multivariate regression analysis using
the stepwise selection method with probability for removal
of .05 was conducted. Two separate analyses were conducted
for the FFM domains and facets respectively. The final model
for each scale can be found in columns two and seven of Table
4, along with the change in R2 resulting from the addition of
each predictor. The beta weights and t-values at each step are
also reported in Table 4. The models for each construct con-
tained significant predictors from both the Five Factor Model
and the Hogan Development Survey, an indication that both
sets of criteria uniquely explain some of the variance in each
trait. However, the majority of the predictors were from the
Five Factor Model in each case. Primary Psychopathy was pre-
dicted by a combination of low Agreeableness and Extraversion,
while Machiavellianism was predicted by Agreeableness and
Neuroticism. Narcissism was predicted by low Agreeableness,
along with high Neuroticism and Extraversion. Secondary
Psychopathy was primarily predicted by low Conscientiousness,
followed by low Agreeableness. Primary Psychopathy, Ma-
Table 4.
Multivariate regression analysis of narcissism, machiavellianism and psychopathy.
Five Factor Model Domains Five Factor Model Facets
Predictor β T R2 ΔR2 Predictor β t R2 ΔR2
P-Psyc Agreeableness –.60 –11.83** .47 Straightforwardness (A) –.38 –6.62** .43
Extraversion .16 3.16** .49 .03 Tender-Mindedness (A) –.22 –3.45** .51 .07
Openness –.17 –3.46** .51 .02 Gregariousness (E) .18 3.79** .53 .02
Mischievous .15 2.87** .53 .02 Altruism (A) –.21 –3.21** .55 .02
Bold .13 2.71** .56 .01
S-Psyc Conscientiousness –.47 –10.55** .48 Compliance (A) –.32 –6.77** .34
Neuroticism .32 7.59** .56 .09 Competence (C) –.13 –2.41* .55 .21
Agreeableness –.30 –7.29** .64 .08 Self-Discipline (C) –.11 –2.08* .60 .05
Trust (A) –.15 –3.01** .62 .02
Deliberation (C) –.19 –3.98** .64 .02
Achievement Striving (C) –.18 –3.64** .65 .02
Depression (N) .17 3.10** .67 .01
Mach Agreeableness –.57 –11.52** .41 Straightforwardness (A) –.43 –8.72** .35
Neuroticism .27 5.75** .47 .06 Trust (A) –.30 –5.42** .49 .15
Mischievous .16 3.13** .50 .02 Depression (N) .20 3.75** .51 .02
Bold .13 2.79** .53 .02
Narc Agreeableness –.61 –13.76** .45 Straightforwardness (A) –.20 –3.81** .29
Bold .27 5.74** .54 .10 Bold .28 5.93** .42 .13
Extraversion .25 5.29** .58 .04 Tender-Mindedness (A) –.33 –6.27** .48 .06
Neuroticism .15 3.24** .60 .02 Impulsiveness (N) .18 3.85** .53 .05
Modesty (A) –.27 –5.33** .57 .04
Anxiety (N) .17 3.43** .60 .02
Note: *p < .05, **p < .01; P-Psyc = Primary Psychopathy, S-Psyc = Secondary Psychopathy, Mach = Machiavellianism, Narc = Narcissism.
chiavellianism and Narcissism each had Straightforwardness (A)
as their strongest predictor.
Exploratory Factor Analysis
A principal components analysis of the Dark Triad, all FFM
domains, the HDS, Aggression and Empathy was undertaken.
The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) measure verified the sampling
adequacy for the analysis, KMO = .87. Bartlett’s test of sphere-
city χ2(1225) = 8292.83, p < .001. When the five-component
solution was examined, a number of cross-loadings were ob-
served that made interpretation of each factor difficult. There-
fore, a four-component solution was run that provided a clearer
interpretation. The loadings from this solution are shown in
Table 5. The communalities ranged from .41 to .77, with the
four-component solution explaining 58.3% of the variance.
The rotated component matrix indicated that component one
was characterised by emotional reactivity, aggression, and pa-
ranoia. Component two consisted of Extraversion, Narcissism
and risk-taking. Component three contained variables associ-
ated with Antagonism and antisocial behaviour. Component
four was characterised by Conscientiousness, inflexibility and
independence. Therefore, the components were named Emo-
tionality, Extraverted Risk-Taking, Antisociality, and Inflexi-
bility respectively. With regard to the Dark Triad, Narcissism
loaded equally onto Extraverted Risk-Taking and Antisociality,
with a secondary loading on Emotionality. Machiavellianism
loaded onto Emotionality, with a secondary loading on Anti-
sociality. Primary Psychopathy loaded onto Antisociality, whe-
reas Secondary Psychopathy loaded onto Emotionality.
The results indicate some support for our hypotheses. All
three Dark Triad constructs were negatively correlated with
Empathy, and positively correlated with Aggression (Frie-
denfelt & Klinteberg, 2007). They were also negatively associ-
ated with the Five Factor domains Agreeableness and Consci-
entiousness (Jakobwitz & Egan, 2006; Paulhus & Williams,
2002). In addition, Secondary Psychopathy was positively cor-
related with Neuroticism and negatively with Extraversion, as
predicted. Narcissism was positively associated with Extraver-
sion, as suggested by Miller et al. (2010). Contrary to expecta-
tions, no relationship was found between Neuroticism and Nar-
cissism. Although Miller et al. found a negative relationship
between the two, Paulhus and Williams (2002) did not find any
relationship between them. In this case the current research
provides a replication of the results reported by Paulhus and
Williams (2002), and indicates that the Dark Triad can be
characterised by Antagonism (low A), Impulsivity (low C), low
Empathy and high Aggression. However, the FFM does not
appear to distinguish between the constructs with clarity.
Multivariate regressions indicated that Agreeableness was a
significant predictor of the Dark Triad while the HDS scales
played a somewhat limited role. Regression analysis including
the FFM facets all included Straightforwardness (A) as their
primary negative predictor, indicating that all three constructs
are disinterested in morality. The other predictors in each model
appeared to be unique to the Dark Triad construct they pre-
dicted. This suggests that the FFM facets provide, to some ex-
tent, a way to distinguish between the Dark Triad. However,
given the role of Straightforwardness (A) in these regression
Table 5.
Factor loadings of 25 variables in the principal component analysis.
Anger .81 .17 .04 –.05
Hostility .78 –.03 .06 .19
Secondary Psychopathy .76 .01 .28 –.27
Neuroticism .74 –.38
–.18 .01
Excitable (Borderline) .73 –.24 .06 .16
Machiavellianism .59 .13 .51 –.05
Physical Aggression .57 .33 .18 –.09
Verbal Aggression .55 .41 .22 –.11
Sceptical (Paranoid) .54 .21 .14 .45
Colourful (Histrionic) –.02 .74 –.05 –.16
Extraversion –.20
.70 –.27 –.23
Bold (Narcissistic) .03 .70 .19 .30
Cautious (Avoidant) .45 –.68
–.05 .21
Mischievous (Antisocial) .18 .68 –.16 –.06
Imaginative (Schizotypal) .22 .57 –.14 .23
Empathy .09 .07
–.82 .03
Agreeableness –.41 –.25 –.73 .00
Primary Psychopathy .26 .33 .70 –.13
Openness .02 .30
–.59 .03
Narcissism .36 .51 .51 .04
Reserved (Schizoid) .25 –.27 .46 .35
Dutiful (Dependent) .01 –.24 –.25 –.02
Diligent (Obsessive-Compulsive) –.24 –.06 –.16 .69
Conscientiousness –.56 .03 –.16 .61
Leisurely (Passive-Aggressive) .31 –.06 .11 .55
Note: EM = Emotionality; EX = Extraverted Risk-Taking; A = Antisociality; I =
Inflexibilit y.
models it still remains unclear as to how useful the FFM is in
differentiating the Dark Triad.
The principal components analysis indicated considerable
overlap between the Dark Triad constructs. Primary Psychopa-
thy loaded onto the Antisociality component, with no signifi-
cant cross-loadings. Secondary Psychopathy loaded onto the
Emotionality component. These results are consistent with pre-
vious evidence indicating two distinct Psychopathy constructs
(Douglas, Bore, & Munro, 2012; Levenson et al., 1995). Nar-
cissism loaded onto Emotionality, Extraverted Risk-Taking,
and Antisociality. Narcissism’s defining feature was the Extra-
verted Risk-Taking element, consisting of attention seeking,
extraverted behaviours, and elements of impulsivity. In con-
trast, Machiavellianism loaded onto Emotionality and Anti-
sociality. While this indicates that Machiavellianism has fea-
tures of both components, it may also provide support for pre-
vious literature arguing that Machiavellianism is an undifferen-
tiated measure of Psychopathy (McHoskey, Worzel, & Szyarto,
1998). It may also indicate that Machiavellianism as a member
of the Dark Triad is redundant.
One limitation of the current research concerns the elevated
scores obtained on the first five scales of the HDS. Our sample
had substantially higher mean scores on the Excitable, Sceptical,
Cautious, Reserved and Leisurely scales than the Australian
norm. This could indicate a restriction of range issue whereby
the sample obtained in the current study is too homogenous for
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 241
generalisations to be made to the wider population. It may also
suggest that the current sample have elevated scores on traits
reflecting Borderline, Paranoid, Avoidant, Schizoid, and Pas-
sive-Aggressive Personality Disorders compared to the Austra-
lian population. Alternatively, it might be that the HDS is not
an appropriate instrument for this population.
An issue of potential interest to researchers is that negative
traits are an important part of normal personality profiles. The
FFM has contributed to the implicit assumption that if person-
ality is adaptive, then it consists solely of positive traits. Add-
ing items that target the (subclinical) negative personality as-
pects to existing measures of the FFM would allow re-exami-
nation of the underlying facets of each FFM domain. Ensuring
that the FFM items sample as representative a range of traits as
possible would enhance the content validity of its factors
(Todman, 2007).
In conclusion, the current research provides some evidence
that Psychopathy, Machiavellianism and Narcissism are sepa-
rate constructs with different behavioural profiles. The Five
Factor Model, and the DSM defined Personality Disorders can
be used to describe the maladaptive and dysfunctional styles in
normal personality profiles. However, the picture of the Dark
Triad as separate constructs is still not clear. The preliminary
evidence suggests Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psycho-
pathy, although related, are distinguishable factors. With further
investigation and replication, the relationships between them
may have diagnostic utility in both clinical and organisational
Thanks go to Peter Berry Consultancy, who provided the Ho-
gan Development Survey for use in this study. The assistance
of Mrs. Paula Bridge in the data collection process is also re-
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical
manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psy-
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