Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Dark Triad Scale (Dirty Dozen)

The toxic triad is commonly known as the Dark Triad. The triad consists of three sets of personality traits representing features of Narcissistic, Psychopathic, and Machiavellian personality clusters.

The Dirty Dozen Scale

Psychological Scientists Peter Jonason and Gregory Webster developed a scale known as the Dirty Dozen (2010), which uses 12-items to identify key features of this “Dark” or Toxic Triad.

Here’s the 12 items

1.      I tend to manipulate others to get my way.
2.      I tend to lack remorse.
3.      I tend to want others to admire me.
4.      I tend to be unconcerned with the morality of my actions.
5.      I have used deceit or lied to get my way.
6.      I tend to be callous or insensitive.
7.      I have used flattery to get my way.
8.      I tend to seek prestige or status.
9.      I tend to be cynical.
10.  I tend to exploit others toward my own end.
11.  I tend to expect special favors from others.
12.  I want others to pay attention to me.

Each item is rated on a 7-point Likert-type scale based how much it applies to a person. Here’s the subscales:

Narcissism = 3, 8, 11, 12
Psychopathy = 2, 4, 6, 9
Machiavellianism = 1, 5, 7, 10

As you can see, scores could range from 12 to 84. Webster & Jonason (2013) examined the scale in samples totaling 1,014 college students. The second sample used the 7-point rating scale, which resulted in an overall item mean of 2.92 and SD of 1.07.

Overall alpha was .87. See Table 3 of their article for more details. Note that this is a general population college sample thus we would expect higher scores in clinical samples.

For a more recent meta-analytic review of various measures of the Dark Triad, see Muris et al., 2017 (reference below).

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Jonason, P. K., & Webster, G. D. (2010). The dirty dozen: A concise measure of the dark triad. Psychological Assessment, 22(2), 420-432. doi:10.1037/a0019265 [See Table 8 on page 429 for the list of the 12 items.]

Muris, P.,  Merckelback, H., Otgaar, H. & Meijer, E. (2017). The Malevolent Side of Human Nature: A Meta-Analysis and Critical Review of the Literature on the Dark Triad (Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12 (2), 183-204. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691616666070

Webster, G. D., & Jonason, P. K. (2013). Putting the 'irt' in 'dirty': Item response theory analyses of the dark triad dirty dozen—an efficient measure of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(2), 302-306. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2012.08.027

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