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Trait Emotional Intelligence and the Dark Triad Traits of Personality

  • K. V. Petrides (a1), Philip A. Vernon (a2), Julie Aitken Schermer (a3) and Livia Veselka (a4)

This study presents the first behavioral genetic investigation of the relationships between trait emotional intelligence (trait EI or trait emotional self-efficacy) and the Dark Triad traits of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. In line with trait EI theory, the construct correlated positively with narcissism, but negatively with the other two traits. Generally, the correlations were consistent across the 4 factors and 15 facets of the construct. Cholesky decomposition analysis revealed that the phenotypic associations were primarily due to correlated genetic factors and secondarily due to correlated nonshared environmental factors, with shared environmental factors being nonsignificant in all cases. Results are discussed from the perspective of trait EI theory with particular reference to the issue of adaptive value.

Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: K.V. Petrides, London Psychometric Laboratory, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AP, UK.
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Twin Research and Human Genetics
  • ISSN: 1832-4274
  • EISSN: 1839-2628
  • URL: /core/journals/twin-research-and-human-genetics
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