Name of Faculty Sponsor

Paul Story

Faculty Sponsor Email


Author Bio(s)

Austin Prewett graduated in 2018 with a major in Psychology and minor in Statistics. Currently, he is enrolled in graduate school at Valdosta State University working to earn a Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. This paper was started in 2018 under the guidance of Dr. Paul Story (Department of Psychological Science) and Charles Elliott. This is Austin’s second publication in The Kennesaw Journal of Undergraduate Research.

Charles Elliott, MSCM, graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Master's of Science in Conflict Management with a focus on social psychology and personality. Prior, he completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. In 2018, Charles enrolled in the International Conflict Management PhD program at Kennesaw because he was interested in studying international conflict management inside of organizational or inter-group settings, especially through decisions that involve the use of motivation or emotion. Charles planned to combine military experience with key knowledge obtained in the international PhD program and previously at KSU. The paper was a part of Charles' role as a Lab Manager researching The Dark Triad for Dr. Paul Story in the Department of Psychological Science. Dr. Story and Charles have collaborated across interdisciplinary fields for five years to help develop undergraduate researchers into accepted graduate students. This is one of many papers Charles has co-authored with other KSU researchers.

Publication Date

Winter 2019


The present study examines whether “demonstrable utility,” the belief that giving provides immediate or future tangible benefits (Sargeant, Ford, & West, 2006) significantly correlates to the adverse personality traits Machiavellianism and narcissism as they are defined in the Short Dark Triad (Paulhus & Williams, 2002). Two-hundred and twelve participants were gathered from Kennesaw State University to participate in a 20-minute online survey. While other factors were tested, attention was placed on demonstrable utility. Simple linear regression models were used to determine the relationship between demonstrable utility, Machiavellianism, and narcissism. A post-hoc Sobel’s mediation test was used to establish the different relationships that the Short Dark Triad (SD3), a measure of the dark personality traits narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy, had with factors in the model of perceptual determinants of giving to a nonprofit. Demonstrable utility was found predictive of both narcissism and Machiavellianism, and the factors emotional utility, responsiveness, communication quality, and demonstrable utility were found related to the SD3. Studies in the future might take into account adverse personality traits such as Machiavellianism and narcissism when developing constructs of giving behavior, and more studies should focus on the effect of nonprofit marketing appeals centered on these personality traits.