Return to Website

dr. robert forum

Welcome to dr. robert forum.

This Forum community is growing fast. Tell your friends.


Visit "ask dr. robert" to read replies to the latest questions.

Thanks to the help of a very kind Cajun amigo, the Dr. Robert Forum is back, better than ever, at:

I look forward to seeing you all there.

Be well,

robert's Forum
This Forum is Locked
Setting the record straight on the Dark Triad of personality

I need to set the record straight on a post made on this website with regards to psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism... otherwise known as the "Dark Triad" of personality. The Dark Triad members are NOT the same thing....and Dr. Paulhus and colleagues NEVER SAID that the Dark Triad were the same thing!!

There is a reference to the "Dark Triad" of personality with a Paulhus & Williams (2002) link. The link sends the individual to a completely different paper by a Jonason et al., (2009). This is terribly misleading. The original paper by Paulhus and Williams CLEARLY demonstrated that all three members of the Dark Triad were different, but overlapping. THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY NEEDS TO STOP THINKING OF THE DARK TRIAD AS THE SAME! It is not only unscholarly, but downright wrong to cite Paulhus and Williams as saying the Dark Triad are the same.

The Jonason perspective is the one that says that they are the same thing. This is based on the fact that all three correlated with having a lot of sex. It should be noted that A LOT of things correlate with men having a lot of sex (e.g., avoidant attachment, facial symmetry, height, self-esteem, dominance, and many more)...are we to conclude they are all the same thing?

In answering the question of what is a sociopath vs. a psychopath. The difference lies in origins: Sociopaths are ostensibly the result of social environment (hence the "socio" part)....whereas psychopaths are genetic. I heard this at a Robert Hare talk....and there are none alive who have studied psychopathy more than Robert Hare himself.

Also, with respect to the Dark Triad: Someone who is "high in all three" members of the Dark Triad would NOT be simply be a psychopath. That is as ridiculous as saying someone who is high in OCD, depression, and bipolar, really just have depression. Back in psych 101 we all learn that conditions can be COMORBID, in other words, simultaneous psychological conditions can be observed in the same person....and the conditions that make up the Dark Triad, sometimes go together, but sometimes they don't.

For any further questions or clarifications on the Dark Triad visit Dr. Paulhus's website: or my website:

Feel free to email me as well.