COLD HEARTS PLAYING WITH FIRE: THE DARK TRIAD, RISK-TAKING AND EMPATHY

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Jia Ying Yap
Berezina Elizaveta

Abstract

Background: The Dark Triad personalities have been well studied, however, it is not often linked with empathy and risk-taking intentions. The present study aims to address this gap by examining the association between the Dark Triad personality traits, empathy and risk-taking intentions in the five domains – ethical, financial, health/safety, social, and recreational.


Method: A sample of 160 young adults residing in Malaysia (Male=69, Female=99, Mage=22.01, SD=2.03) completed the Short Dark Triad Questionnaire, Empathy Scale, and Domain-Specific Risk-Taking Scale through an online survey.


Results: Machiavellianism and Psychopathy were positively associated with the five domains of risk-taking, including social, ethical, financial, recreational and health/safety domains, and negatively associated with empathy. Narcissism, on the contrary, was positively correlated to all risk-taking domains except for recreational risk-taking, and showed no significant relationship to empathy. Empathy was a significant predictor in social risk-taking whereas Machiavellianism and Psychopathy were significant predictors in ethical risk-taking intentions.


Conclusion: This study expanded existing knowledge on the Dark Triad personalities by demonstrating a link between each Dart Triad trait, potential risk-taking behaviours and empathy.

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Section
Research article