Associations between the Dark Triad and online communication behavior: A brief report of preliminary findings

John Petit, Nick Carcioppolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recent and rapid growth of user engagement on online and social media platforms has attracted increasing attention from communication scholars. Troublingly, little is known about the relationship between “dark” personalities and online communication behavior. There is a distinct need for communication scholars to investigate the impact of anti-social personality traits on computer- mediated communication behavior. To address this, we conducted a survey (N = 147) among undergraduate students living in the US to identify the association between the three Dark Triad personality traits (narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy) and six computer-mediated communication outcomes (e.g., compulsive Internet behavior, opinion leadership, perceived anonymity, media trust, social media self-presentation, and psychological reactance). We also examine gender as a potential moderator. These findings show a distinct relationship between Dark Triad personality traits and computer-mediated communication outcomes, highlighting the importance of considering these psychological individual differences in future research in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-297
Number of pages12
JournalCommunication Research Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-social communication
  • Dark Triad
  • Online communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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