Individuals with characteristics encompassing the three domains of the Dark Triad (psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism) are often thought to possess inflated levels of self-esteem however, there has been controversy as to whether this inflated self-esteem represents their true underlying level of self-esteem. The present study investigated the relationships between the Dark Triad, explicit, and implicit self-esteem. Participants consisted of 231 individuals from The University of Western Ontario with an age range of 17 to 45 years (M = 19.390, SD = 2.908). 81% of participants were female and 19% of participants were male. Participants completed an online survey consisting of the Short Dark Triad, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and the Name Letter Task. The analysis revealed that Machiavellianism showed a weak negative correlation with last name initial. However, Machiavellianism and explicit self-esteem were not significantly correlated with first name initial. Narcissism showed a moderate positive correlation with explicit self-esteem and a weak positive correlation with last name initial but no significant relationship between narcissism and first name initial. Psychopathy did not reveal any significant correlations with either explicit or implicit self-esteem. Multiple regression analysis revealed that narcissism and psychopathy added significantly to the prediction of explicit self-esteem.
Stenason, L. (2014). Implicit and Explicit Self-Esteem in Relation to the Dark Triad. Western Undergraduate Psychology Journal, 2 (1). Retrieved from http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/wupj/vol2/iss1/12