RESEARCH PAPER
Reexamining construct validity of the Short Dark Triad (SD3) scale
 
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1
Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
2
Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India
3
Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Delhi, India
Submission date: 2019-12-30
Final revision date: 2020-03-06
Acceptance date: 2020-03-11
Online publication date: 2020-03-31
Publication date: 2020-05-18
 
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2020;8(1):18–30
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
The conceptualization of negative personality has evolved over the last few decades but the scientific assessment of negative traits is still at a nascent stage. The present study aimed to test the construct and external validity of the Short Dark Triad (SD3) scale, one of the most widely used scales to measure the dark triad, by conducting three independent studies.

Participants and procedure:
Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted on 379 participants and confirmatory bifactor analysis was carried out on a sample of 414 participants. Additionally, an independent sample of 168 participants was used to test the external validity of SD3.

Results:
In study 1, after the triarchic model was disconfirmed by a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), an EFA was run on the original 27-item scale, which produced a two-factor model consisting of a dark dyad and narcissism. This was followed by a confirmatory bifactor analysis in study 2, which revealed that while Machiavellianism and psychopathy are better measured as manifestations of a general negative disposition, narcissism emerges as a distinct trait which is not significantly captured by the dark core of personality. Moreover, study 3 revealed that dark dyad is a better correlate and predictor of negative traits as com-pared to narcissism.

Conclusions:
In keeping with these findings, we propose that narcissism should be measured holistically with equal emphasis on all its con-stituents and facets and that the intrinsic dimensionality of these traits must be captured while scoring. Implications and future directions are duly discussed.

 
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