Altruism and the Dark Triad
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The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway
Submission date: 2021-07-01
Final revision date: 2021-12-08
Acceptance date: 2022-01-14
Online publication date: 2022-02-24
The Dark Triad literature examining pro-social behaviours is minimal, with mixed results.

Participants and procedure:
This study investigates the relationships between the Dark Triad and altruistic behaviours based on self-report data from 286 adults. Altruism was assessed using two scales: a general measure as well as a more recent scale measur-ing compassionate altruism towards family, friends, and strangers.

Machiavellianism negatively correlated with general altruism; however, when controlling for the other dark variables plus age and gender in a regression, narcissism was the only Dark Triad trait that significantly predicted altruism. None of the Dark Triad traits were significantly related to or predictive of compassionate altruism.

This study demonstrates that the Dark Triad and altruism relationships are not straightforward, and that, surprising-ly, strong negative relationships between the traits and altruism are not found. Limitations and future research direc-tions are discussed.

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