Date of Award

Fall 12-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department/Program

Forensic Psychology

Language

English

First Advisor

Diana Falkenbach

Second Reader

Thomas Kucharski

Third Advisor

Kostas Katsavdakis

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the contribution of the distinct factors of psychopathy, domains of narcissism, and Machiavellianism to antisocial behaviors in undergraduates. The Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Revised, Pathological Narcissism Inventory, and Mach-IV were administered to assess the dark triad traits. The Comprehensive Misconduct Inventory was administered to assess self-report scores of antisocial behavior, and an anagram-cheating task was administered as a behavioral measure of academic cheating. The results reflect data collected from an ethnically diverse sample of 100 participants aged 18-38 years old (M = 20.95, SD = 3.79). Significant correlations were observed between both factors of psychopathy and domains of narcissism and various dimensions of antisocial behavior. Further, when the overlap among the dark triad variables was considered, Factor 1 significantly predicted bullying/harassing and overall antisocial behavior, Factor 2 significantly predicted soft drug abuse, Machiavellianism significantly predicted hard drug abuse, and grandiose narcissism significantly predicted anti-authority misbehavior. However, based on inconsistent results of the analyses obtained in the current study, no firm conclusions can be made as to whether the dark triad variables significantly predicted cheating on the anagram-cheating task. Nonetheless, the findings suggest that the traits may be related to distinct dimensions of antisocial behavior and thus, have implications for behavioral intervention with individuals characterized by the dark triad traits. Future research in this area may provide beneficial information that can be used to guide treatment for individuals with psychopathic, narcissistic, and/or Machiavellian traits.

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