A Meta-analytic Test of Redundancy and Relative Importance of the Dark Triad and Five-factor Model of Personality



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We examined the relationships between Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy—the three traits of the Dark Triad (DT)—and the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality. The review identified 310 independent samples drawn from 215 sources and yielded information pertaining to global trait relationships and facet-level relationships. We used meta-analysis to examine (a) the bivariate relations between the DT and the five global traits and 30 facets of the FFM, (b) the relative importance of each of the FFM global traits in predicting DT, and (c) the relationship between the DT and FFM facets identified in translational models of narcissism and psychopathy. These analyses identified consistent and theoretically meaningful associations between the DT traits and the facets of the FFM. The five traits of the FFM, in a relative importance analysis, accounted for much of the variance in Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy, respectively, and facet-level analyses identified specific facets of each FFM trait that were consistently associated with narcissism (e.g., angry/hostility, modesty) and psychopathy (e.g., straightforwardness, deliberation). The FFM explained nearly all of the variance in psychopathy (R2c = .88) and a substantial portion of the variance in narcissism (R2c = .42).

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