Competition, autonomy, and prestige: Mechanisms through which the Dark Triad predict job satisfaction

Peter K Jonason, Serena Wee, Norman P Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Organizational researchers increasingly recognize the need to consider the Dark Triad traits (i.e., psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism) when explaining undesirable work outcomes (e.g., counterproductive behaviors). However, little research has focused on the motivations of those who actually hold the traits. In this study (N= 361) we examined how the Dark Triad traits predispose individuals to perceive situations as competitive, prestigious, and comprised of restrictions (i.e., autonomy) which differentially predict job satisfaction. Individuals high on psychopathy and Machiavellianism perceived their workplaces as competitive, whereas individuals high on narcissism perceived their workplaces as prestigious and with fewer restrictions. Sex differences in perceptions were fully mediated by psychopathy and Machiavellianism. We discuss our results from an Evolutionary Industrial/Organization Psychology framework. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-116
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


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