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A look through dark-colored glasses: The Dark Tetrad and affective processing.

Authors
  • Wertag, Anja1
  • Ribar, Maja1
  • Sučić, Ines1
  • 1 Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb, Croatia. , (Croatia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
Publisher
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2024
Volume
65
Issue
1
Pages
26–31
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/sjop.12951
PMID: 37464474
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The Dark Tetrad personality traits (i.e., narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism) have been continuously linked to various deficits in affective reactivity. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship of the Dark Tetrad and processing of emotional pictures. A total of 144 participants (56.9% female, Mage = 22.18, SDage = 2.26) completed measures of the Dark Tetrad, and rated pictures selected form the International Affective Picture System (IAPS), classified in accordance with their norms into highly arousing positive and negative. Affective processing measures included participants' valence and arousal ratings, while cognitive processing was measured my means of the response latency for each response. The results showed that the dark traits were related only to valence, but not arousal ratings. Higher narcissism and lower sadism were associated with more positive valence ratings of positive pictures, and higher sadism was associated with more positive ratings of negative pictures. Moreover, higher Machiavellianism predicted faster assessment of valence and arousal of both positive and negative pictures, and higher sadism predicted slower assessment of negative pictures' valence. Obtained results indicate that deficiencies in affective processing are more pronounced in sadism compared to other dark traits, while Machiavellianism is associated with advantages in cognitive processing, highlighting their significance and uniqueness in the Dark Tetrad constellation. © 2023 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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