How the Dark Triad traits predict relationship choices
Peter K. Jonason, Victor X. Luevano, Heather M. Adams
While previous studies have correlated the Dark Triad traits (i.e., narcissism, psychopathy, and Machia- vellianism) with a preference for short-term relationships, little research has addressed possible correla- tions with short-term relationship sub-types. In this online study using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk system (N = 210) we investigated the manner in which scores on the Dark Triad relate to the selection of different mating environments using a budget-allocation task. Overall, the Dark Triad were positively correlated with preferences for short-term relationships and negatively correlated with preferences for a long-term relationship. Specifically, narcissism was uniquely correlated with preferences for one-night stands and friends-with-benefits and psychopathy was uniquely correlated with preferences for booty- call relationships. Both narcissism and psychopathy were negatively correlated with preferences for seri- ous romantic relationships. In mediation analyses, psychopathy partially mediated the sex difference in preferences for booty-call relationships and narcissism partially mediated the sex difference in prefer- ences for one-night stands. In addition, the sex difference in preference for serious romantic relationships was partially mediated by both narcissism and psychopathy. It appears the Dark Triad traits facilitate the adoption of specific mating environments providing fit with people’s personality traits.