Graduation Semester and Year

2019

Language

English

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

William Ickes

Abstract

Higher levels of Dark Triad traits (Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism) are considered to be self-defeating, maladaptive, and can potentially interfere with the ability to develop a strong sense of self. Despite this, previous research has not examined the extent to which self-concept content differs for individuals in relation to levels of Dark Triad traits. The current study examined sense of self and self-concept content related to increased Dark Triad trait levels based on fundamentals of self-solicitation theory (Rhodewalt & Tragakis, 2002). Whereas most individuals develop a strong sense of self through self-verification of stable self-concepts (Swann, 1985), those with a weaker sense of self solicit malleable self-concept content. Self-concept content was assessed via a spontaneous self-concept task. It was hypothesized that (1) increased Dark Triad traits would predict decreased trait-term usage in self-concept content; (2) increased Dark Triad traits would predict increased state-term usage in self-concept content; (3) higher levels of Dark Triad traits would be associated with inner-directedness; (4) increased Dark Triad traits would predict a weak sense of self; and (5) a weak sense of self would mediate the relationship between increased Dark Triad traits and trait- and state-term usage in self-concept content. The results revealed that an increased level of Dark Triad traits significantly predicted decreased trait- and increased state-term usage in self-concept content, and that this relationship was mediated by a weak sense of self. Dark Triad traits were not positively correlated with inner-directedness.

Keywords

Dark Triad, Self-concept, Sense of self

Disciplines

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Comments

Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Psychology Commons

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