You Can “Steer” Your Dark Triad Personality Towards Agreeableness, Study Finds

Psychology News

Researchers at the Southern Methodist University explored ways in which people can reduce their Dark Triad personality traits. The study is published in the Journal of Personality.

The Study

The research team asked 460 students to rate their Big Five and Dark Triad traits, in a series of questionnaires, every week, during the 4-month study period. They were also given tasks to address and make desired changes in their personalities.

The Findings

The results revealed that most people with Dark Triad personalities expressed a desire to change and become more agreeable, kind, modest, considerate, and helpful. And, fortunately, only activities targeting agreeableness can reduce the Dark Triad traits, namely, Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy.

One of the lead researchers, Nathan Hudson, suggested that practicing activities like “donating money to a charity that you would normally spend on yourself” or “talking to a stranger and asking them about themselves” can increase a person’s agreeableness and diminish their Dark Triad personality traits.

Towards Interventions

The researchers are enthusiastic that the findings from the study can help formulate social and group interventions to improve and/or correct personality traits and disorders. Hudson elaborated: “Thus, interventions targeting agreeableness may be an effective way to help reduce dark traits in a way that people may be likely to cooperate with.”

To Know More You May Refer To

Hudson NW. Lighten the darkness: Personality interventions targeting agreeableness also reduce participants’ levels of the dark triad. J Pers. 2022 Mar 14. doi: 10.1111/jopy.12714. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35285028.

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  • You Can “Steer” Your Dark Triad Personality Towards Agreeableness, Study Finds