Dark Triad, Impulsiveness and Honesty-Humility in the Prisoner’s Dilemma Game: The Moderating Role of Gender

Lainidi, Olga, Karakasidou, Eirini and Montgomery, Anthony (2022) Dark Triad, Impulsiveness and Honesty-Humility in the Prisoner’s Dilemma Game: The Moderating Role of Gender. Merits, 2 (4). pp. 387-399.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/merits2040027


(1) Background: The aim of the study was to investigate if the Dark Triad (DT)—which includes psychopathy, Machiavellianism and narcissism—impulsiveness and Honesty-Humility (HH), can predict individuals’ intended behavior in a one-shot Prisoner’s Dilemma Game (PDG) and whether this relationship is moderated by gender. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional correlational design was used, examining regression and moderation models. A total sample of 197 working adults from Greece (64% women, Mage = 35.13 years old) completed a one-shot, simulated PDG, the Dirty Dozen scale, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale and the Honesty-Humility subscale from the HEXACO NEO-PI. (3) Results: Significant correlations between overall DT score, narcissism and psychopathy scores and impulsiveness and all three DT traits, as well as the overall DT score and honesty-humility, were identified. Overall DT scores were found to increase the odds of defecting, while gender significantly moderated the effects of Machiavellianism, HH and impulsiveness on the participants’ behavior in the one shot PDG, leading to different effects for men and women. (4) Conclusions: Gender moderates the relationship between certain personality traits and behavior in social situations involving interdependence and/or moral decision making, such as the PDG, leading to changes both in terms of the statistical significance and the direction of the effect. Simulated social situations could serve as situational judgment tests in an effort to develop a better understanding of the underpinning mechanisms between personality, gender and social behavior.

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