The current study sought to examine the association between the Dark Tetrad traits and accuracy in assessing a target's vulnerability using nonverbal gait cues. In a sample of 126 undergraduates, accuracy was positively associated with psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and everyday sadism, while narcissism was unrelated to accuracy. A hierarchical linear regression analysis also suggested that there is considerable overlap between these constructs, as Machiavellianism and everyday sadism did not add incrementally to the prediction of accuracy over and above psychopathy. Overall, this study provides support for previous research associating psychopathy with accuracy in perceiving other's vulnerability based on gait cues and raises questions about the construct validity of the Dark Tetrad. While the fault of victimization lies solely on the perpetrator, it is important to explore whether vulnerability cues can be modified to reduce predatory behavior.

, , , , ,
Personality and Individual Differences
Department of Psychology

Ritchie, M.B. (Mary B.), Blais, J, & Forth, A. (2019). “Evil” intentions: Examining the relationship between the Dark Tetrad and victim selection based on nonverbal gait cues. Personality and Individual Differences, 138, 126–132. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2018.09.013