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The Dark Triad


The Dark Triad is a well-studied threesome of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.

Even though the traits are distinct, they can also overlap and present in the same individual. These people have a set of dark, socially undesirable malicious traits and behavior that cause substantial harm to others. They lack empathy, remorselessness, and a willingness to exploit and manipulate.   

This dark personality mix has the self-obsession that stems from narcissism, the deceitful and exploitative nature of Machiavellianism, and the psychopath's ability to switch off remorse and empathy with their callous and sinister behavior. 

The Dark Triad is the most common mix of nasty personality traits, yet there are others:

  • The Dark Dyad is when an individual inhibits the two personality traits of Machiavellianism and psychopathy but without narcissism. 

  • The Dark Tetrad is the four personality traits of narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and sadism combined. 

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