Manipulation and its relation to Dark Triad & political choices

Are we, as voters, as pure-hearted and honest as we like to think we are? Or, maybe, could we be as deceitful as some politicians we vote for?

Those similarities to the stereotypical characters of politicians are most likely to occur in people with a high degree of three particular personality traits, described as the “Dark Triad”. This is a concept that encompasses three personality “disorders”: narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.

Previously conducted studies allow us to formulate a possible conclusion that people with such personality traits are inclined to use specific techniques of social influence to achieve their goals.

The main goal of my study was to check whether the “Dark Triad” correlates with the tendency to use certain techniques of social influence (a novelty questionnaire was designed, consisting of 69 such techniques) and how this tendency could be related with the voter’s choices during the presidential campaign of 2015 in Poland. The study was conducted over the internet on a sample of 305 people.

The results suggest that Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism correlate with a tendency to use specific manipulation techniques. The traits typical of the “Dark Triad” were also related to certain political choices. This could serve solely as an indicator or a basis for speculation on an array of different techniques used by narcissistic, Machiavellian, and psychopathic political leaders, which could be used for future studies.

Poster of this study has been presented at the 39th annual scientific meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP) in 2016. It can be downloaded here.

Whole study, described in great detail, can be read here(in Polish).