Puzzles & Quizzes

The Short Dark Triad Is a Quiz That Will Measure Your "Dark Triad" Personality Traits

They say everyone has a dark side. How true is that of you? While you may not be a full-on cartoon-style villain, you're probably not an absolute angel either. No judgment — chances are everyone has at least some shady characteristics that present themselves every now and then. Get a breakdown of your malevolence by taking the Short Dark Triad. Godspeed.

Welcome to the Dark Side

The Short Dark Triad is a 27-item quiz that's meant to measure your "dark triad" personality traits. Basically, how evil are you? Developed in 2011 and first published in 2013 by researchers from the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of British Columbia, this short questionnaire rates you on three socially aversive traits, referred to collectively as the "dark triad": Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy.

Let's break down exactly what those are before you go on to find out how much of each you're harboring. Here are the definitions according to the interactive quiz from Open Source Psychometrics Project:

  • Machiavellianism is a tendency to be manipulative and deceitful. It usually stems from a lack of respect or disillusionment for others.
  • Narcissism is an egotistical preoccupation with self. Because of all their experience with maintaining their self image, people who score high for narcissism will often appear charming but their narcissism will later lead to extreme difficulty in developing close relationships.
  • Psychopathy reflects shallow emotional responses. The relative lack of emotions leads results in high stress tolerance, low empathy, little guilt and leads them to seek extremely stimulating activities, resulting in impulsivity and a disposition towards interpersonal conflict.

The Short Dark Triad pulls from three different tests that each measure just one of the three traits: the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), the MACH-IV, and the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (SRP). Researchers Delroy Paulhus and Daniel Jones wanted to provide a more uniform quiz to assess the dark triad while also trimming down the length, so they mashed these individual quizzes together while accounting for the different formats and rating systems. The result? One quiz with 27 statements that you rate on a five-point scale to show how much you agree or disagree with each statement. The statements include things like the following:

  • It's wise to keep track of information that you can use against people later.
  • I feel embarrassed if someone compliments me.
  • People who mess with me always regret it.
  • I know that I am special because everyone keeps telling me so.
  • People often say I'm out of control.
  • I like to get acquainted with important people.

Quiz Time

It won't take you longer than 5 minutes to complete the entire quiz. After you rate all 27 statements, you'll get your results, which show where you rank against other quiz takers. Your score for each of the three traits will show as a number from 0 to 4. Next to that is your percentile for each trait, indicating the percent of other people who have taken this test and gotten lower scores than you. Oh, you're in the 90th percentile for psychopathy? Ha, um, well then ...

Take the quiz yourself right here! (A word of warning: the quiz asks you to answer some market research questions before you can see your results.) Just remember, you should not consider the results of this quiz as any sort of psychological assessment or advice. It's just for educational purposes and, heck, a little bit of fun too. Once you're all done, share your results — if you dare.

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Psychopathy — so hot right now. That's thanks in no small part to Jon Ronson's book, "The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry." We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

Written by Joanie Faletto April 6, 2018

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