Western Undergraduate Psychology Journal

Article Title

Implicit and Explicit Self-Esteem in Relation to the Dark Triad


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.

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