2021-04-09Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18083941
Our Vulnerable Dark Side—Two Laboratory Approaches
The Dark Triad of personality has been associated with aggression against others as a reaction to perceived provocations. However, previous work has also shown that such responsive aggression even occurs if it means harming oneself. The first of two laboratory studies aimed to investigate whether this relation between the Dark Triad and self-harming behavior also occurs in situations where no others are affected but self-harm is likely. The second laboratory study considered two different settings in a within-participants design in order to analyze the stability of self-harming behavior and to what extent the Dark Triad constructs influence this behavior. The sample for study 1 consisted of 151 students (45.7% female) with a mean age of 21.40 years (SD = 2.19); the sample for study 2 consisted of 251 students (76.0% female) with a mean age of 22.21 years (SD = 3.90). Aside from the Dark Triad’s common core, depending on how self-harm was triggered (ego-threat (mainly narcissism), being alone with one’s own thoughts (mainly psychopathy), or reward condition (mainly Machiavellianism)), the Dark Triad traits differed in their responsiveness but were stable over the last two conditions, thereby suggesting a vulnerable side of the Dark Triad.