The goal of the current study was to assess the contribution of the HEXACO model of personality and of the Dark Triad in predicting nascent political ambition (i.e., the initial decision to run for elected office). The sample comprised 681 undergraduate students who completed both personality measures and four questions relating to political ambition online: a) thought about running for political office (vs. never thought about it); b) placing a career in politics in the top five of ten possible choices (yes vs. no); c) thinking one is at least somewhat qualified (vs. not at all qualified); and d) likelihood one would win an election (vs. unlikely). Overall, results indicated a distinct pattern where general personality traits such as extraversion and openness to experience consistently predicted the desire for a career in politics whereas the “darker” personality traits of Machiavellianism and narcissism consistently predicted perceived qualifications and success in a career in politics. Implications for research include the importance of considering both general and dark personality traits in the study of political behavior.

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Keywords Dark triad, HEXACO, Personality, Political ambition
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Journal Personality and Individual Differences
Blais, J, & Pruysers, S. (2017). The power of the dark side: personality, the dark triad, and political ambition. Personality and Individual Differences, 113, 167–172. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2017.03.029