The dark side of humanity scale: A reconstruction of the Dark Tetrad constructs

Journal article


Katz, L., Harvey, C., Baker, I. and Howard, C. 2022. The dark side of humanity scale: A reconstruction of the Dark Tetrad constructs. Acta Psychologica. 222, pp. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2021.103461
AuthorsKatz, L., Harvey, C., Baker, I. and Howard, C.
Abstract

There has been an absence of consideration regarding measurement invariance across males and females in the widely available Dark Tetrad (DT) scales which measure psychopathy, Machiavellianism, narcissism and everyday sadism. This has resulted in criticisms of the measures, suggesting that the assessed constructs are not wholly relatable between the groups. This article documents the construction and validation of the Dark Side of Humanity Scale (DSHS), which measures dark personalities from an alternative viewpoint, determined by the constructs as they emerged from the male and female data, whilst aligning with theory and attaining invariance between sex. Across four samples (n = 2409), using a diverse range of statistical methods, including exploratory graph analysis, item response theory and confirmatory factor analysis, a divergence from the widely available DT measures emerged, whereby primary psychopathy and Machiavellianism were unified. This corroborated past research which had discussed the two constructs as being parallel. It further supported the DSHS with a shift away from the traditional DT conceptualisation. The resulting scale encompasses four factors which are sex invariant across samples and time. The first factor represents the successful psychopath, factor two addresses the grandiose form of entitlement, factor three taps into everyday sadism whilst the fourth factor pertains to narcissistic entitlement rage. Construct and external validity of the DSHS across two samples (n = 1338), as well as test-retest reliability (n = 413), was achieved. The DSHS provides an alternative approach to investigating the dark side of human nature, whilst also being sex invariant, thus making it highly suitable for use with mixed sex samples.

KeywordsDark Tetrad; Sex invariance; Successful psychopathy; Narcissistic entitlement; Sadism
Year2022
JournalActa Psychologica
Journal citation222, pp. 1-14
PublisherElsevier
ISSN0001-6918
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2021.103461
Web address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001691821002110
Publisher's version
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Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online10 Dec 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted06 Dec 2021
Deposited20 Apr 2023
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