How Individuals With Dark Personality Traits are Reacting to COVID-19

Darkish persona traits predict specific responses to global crises, according to success of a review recently printed in Identity and Specific Variations.

Nevertheless scientific studies have demonstrated particular individuality traits to forecast habits for the duration of the coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic, the impression of darkish character traits on have an affect on and cognition in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has not but been identified.

To investigate the partnership amongst dim individuality attributes and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, info from 402 people (50.2% gals) in the United States have been analyzed. The common age of included people today was 45.38±16.29 several years of age. Men and women filled out a series of questionnaires with regards to their personalities and thoughts, inner thoughts, and behaviors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Darkish character qualities, together with narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy, had been measured applying the Filthy Dozen questionnaire. Sadism was measured making use of the Assessment of Sadistic Identity questionnaire.

Narcissism and Machiavellianism have been connected with destructive impact though sadism was related with constructive have an affect on and psychopathy was negatively associated with positive have an effect on in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic (P ≤.05). People higher in Machiavellianism tended to be more fearful of contracting COVID-19 and men and women bigger in Machiavellianism and narcissism perceived larger instability in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Individuals large in narcissism and psychopathy were being much less probably to interact in cleansing behaviors in response to the pandemic, whilst people today large in sadism have been far more very likely to engage in cleansing behaviors (P <.05). Individuals with high narcissism had greater odds in reporting that they engaged in prosocial behaviors (P <.05). No dark personality traits were associated with hoarding behaviors.

This study showed that dark personality traits significantly predicted affect, thoughts, and behaviors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The negative emotional response to the pandemic by individuals with narcissism may be due to the lack of social feedback they are able to get during lockdowns, which they rely on to support their self-image.

Individuals with narcissism may similarly have a negative response to the pandemic as it restricts their ability to exploit others within the social system. The positive emotional response of individuals with sadism reflects their enjoyment of the suffering of others. This information sheds light on how individuals with dark personality traits respond to times of uncertainty.

Limitations to this study include its reliance on self-reporting data, which may bias individuals’ answers regarding their dark traits and prosocial behavior. Some measures have not been previously validated. Future research to replicate current findings with additional assessment measures is warranted.


Hardin BS, Smith CV, Jordan LN. Is the COVID-19 pandemic even darker for some? Examining dark personality and affective, cognitive, and behavioral responses to the COVID-19 pandemic [published online November 7, 2020]. Pers Individ Dif. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2020.110504

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