Development of Dark Triad Scales for Machiavellianism, Psychopathy and Narcissism from the Hogan Development Survey


  • Brendan Coleman Henley Business School, University of Reading
  • Professor



Dark Triad personalities (DT: Psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism) adversely affect organisational functioning. This research was designed to answer three questions: (1) Can DT personality measures be derived from the Hogan Development Survey (HDS)? (2) Will age, tenure, and gender moderate the relationships between the DT personality measures and job performance? (3) What are the relationships between scores on the DT personality measures? Three new DT scales were derived from the HDS. Scales’ scores are discrete and measure independent constructs. Controlling for age, tenure, and gender showed significant negative correlations between the DT and job performance.


Four hypotheses, derived from the research questions, were tested based on a sample of 918 managers’ responses to HDS and independent ratings of their job performance. Mapping of HDS scales was based on Ferrell and Gaddis’s (2016) correlations between HDS scales and two widely used independent DT scales.


Three new DT scales were produced from the HDS. Six HDS scales map onto Machiavellianism, five onto psychopathy and four onto narcissism. All the new DT scales showed acceptable Alpha reliabilities. The mapping exercise provided evidence of construct validity. An analysis of high scorers on pairings of the three DT scales showed divergent validity. Partial correlation results after controlling for the effect of age, tenure, and gender showed significant negative correlations between psychopathy, narcissism, Machiavellianism and job performance, demonstrating criterion validity. Divergence between the three scales was found.


Organisations can use the new DT scale scores for screening applicants and for identifying future management potential and provide developmental feedback to employees.