Dark Triad of Personality (D3-Short)

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Author of Tool: 

Paulhus, D. L

Key references: 

Jones D. N., & Paulhus, D. L. (2014).  Introducing the Short Dark Triad (SD3): A brief measure of dark personalities.  Assessment, 21, 28-41.

Primary use / Purpose: 

This 27-item inventory captures all three of the Dark Triad of personality: Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy.


Paulhus and Williams (2002) called attention to the ‘Dark Triad’, a constellation of three conceptually distinct but empirically overlapping personality variables. The three triad members – machiavellianism, narcissism and subclinical psychopathy, often show differential correlates but share a common callousness.  To tease apart the triad members, Paulhus and Williams (2002) initiated a program of research to evaluate the degree of distinctiveness of the Dark Triad, both conceptually and empirically.  That initial work has stimulated many others to conduct their own research, as is evident in the wealth of studies out there. The Dark Triad of Personality (D3-Short) 27-item instrument has been employed successfully by a number researchers (e.g., Arvan, 2012; Baughman, Dearing, Giammarco, & Vernon, 2011; Giammarco, Atkinson, Baughman, Veselka, & Vernon, in press; Holtzman, 2011; Lee, Ashton, Wiltshire, Bourdage, Visser, & Galluci, 2012). 


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