The Dark Triad and animal cruelty: Dark personalities, dark attitudes, and dark behaviors

Phillip S. Kavanagh, Tania D. Signal, Nik Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Research examining the interpersonal interactions of those high on the Dark Triad has proliferated in recent years. Extant research, however, has not examined other types of relationships such as attitudes and behaviors towards animals. Further, there has been limited research examining the associations between personality and attitudes and behaviors towards animals generally. In this study, participants (N= 227) completed an online survey measuring the Dark Triad, attitudes towards animals, and acts of animal cruelty. The results revealed that individuals with higher levels of the Dark Triad demonstrated less positive attitudes towards animals and reported engaging in more acts of animal cruelty. Age and sex were found to be significant predictors of less positive attitudes and behaviors towards animals, independent of the Dark Triad. These results suggest that those callous and manipulative behaviors and attitudes that have come to be associated with the Dark Triad are not just limited to human-to-human interactions, but are also consistent across other interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-670
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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