Differential infidelity patterns among the Dark Triad

Publication Date


Document Type



Jones, D. N., & Weiser, D. A. (2014). Differential infidelity patterns among the dark triad doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2013.09.007


The Dark Triad traits (Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism) are overlapping but distinctive. Although all three traits have been independently linked to relationship infidelity, differences among the traits may exist when examined simultaneously. Moreover, consequences resulting from infidelity have not been explored. A large retrospective survey found that all three traits correlated with reporting an infidelity at some point in a current (or most recent) relationship. Among women, however, only psychopathy and Machiavellianism were unique predictors of infidelity, whereas only psychopathy uniquely predicted infidelity among men. However, infidelity committed by psychopathic individuals led to relationship dissolution, whereas infidelity committed by Machiavellian individuals did not. These findings suggest mindset and long-term goals impact situations to create differences in Dark Triad destructive relationship behaviors.