The Dark Triad, schadenfreude, and sensational interests

Dark personalities, dark emotions, and dark behaviors

Samantha James, Phillip S. Kavanagh, Peter K. Jonason, Jill M. Chonody, Hayley E. Scrutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)


This research examined the associations between the Dark Triad traits (i.e., narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy), sensational interests, and schadenfreude. One-hundred and eighty-six adults completed an online survey comprising the Dirty Dozen, the Sensational Interests Questionnaire Revised, and an author-generated measure of expressed schadenfreude. Higher levels of the Dark Triad were associated with higher levels of sensational interests and higher levels of schadenfreude; psychopathy was the most strongly related to both. These findings suggest a cluster of "dark" personalities, behaviors, and emotions. That is, those higher on the Dark Triad engage in more antisocial activities and experience greater satisfaction at the misfortune of others. Implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


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