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Subclinical Personality Traits. What are Subclinical Traits?. Personality scales used were not designed for detecting abnormal behavior by normal individuals (Hogan & Hogan, 2001) “Big Five” personality scales: e.g. NEO-PI, HPI, BFI

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Subclinical Personality Traits


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    1. Subclinical Personality Traits

    2. What are Subclinical Traits? • Personality scales used were not designed for detecting abnormal behavior by normal individuals(Hogan & Hogan, 2001) • “Big Five” personality scales: • e.g. NEO-PI, HPI, BFI • Developed using normal populations in order to predict normal behaviours  the “Bright Side” • Clinical scales: • e.g. MMPI, PROFILE • Developed using abnormal populations in order to predict consistently abnormal functioning

    3. Abnormal Normal Level of Functioning What’s Being Assessed Normal – Factor 5 Clinical Variance Explained

    4. Subclinical Personality Traits: The Theory • Assessment tools needed that are designed specifically to predict deviant behaviours committed by otherwise normal individuals • Subclinical traits: • Usually derived from clinical scales • Designed to assess personality “quirks” in the normal population • Predict occasional maladaptive functioning  the “Dark Side”

    5. Subclinical Where do Subclinicals fit in? Normal – Factor 5 Clinical Variance Explained Abnormal Normal Level of Functioning

    6. Subclinical Traits in Practice • A wide variety of subclinical traits • Hogan’s HDS based on Axis 2 disorders in DSM-IV • Antisocial Personality Disorder => Mischievous • Borderline Personality Disorder => Excitable • Paranoid Personality Disorder => Skeptical • Narcissistic Personality Disorder => Bold • Dependent Personality Disorder => Dutiful • More typically use the Dark Triad: • Narcissism • MachiavellianismDark Triad • Psychopathy

    7. Measuring the Dark Triad • Machiavellianism: 20-item Mach-IV scale (Christie & Geis, 1970) - Affective Detachment, Intact Reality Contact, & Manipulativeness(McHoskey, Worzel, & Szarto, 1998) - Low Agreeableness, Low Conscientiousness(Paulhus & Williams, 2002) • Narcissism: 37-item Abridged Narcissistic Personality Inventory (ANPI) (Emmons, 1984) - Grandiosity, Entitlement, Dominance, & Superiority(Morf & Rhodewalt, 2001) - Low Agreeableness, High Extraversion, & High Openness to Experience (Paulhus & Williams, 2002) • Psychopathy: 31-item Self-Report Psychopathy (SRP-2) scale(Hare, 1985) - Unemotionality, Impulsivity, & Grandiosity(Anderson, Gustafson, Kerr, & Stattin, 2002) - High Extraversion, High Openness to Experience, Low Neuroticism, Low Agreeableness & Low Conscientiousness (Paulhus & Williams, 2002)

    8. Problem with Dark Triad • Each of the Dark Triad are considered multi-faceted constructs • High intercorrelations between the Dark Triad constructs • Need to be teased apart • Factor-analyses of adjectives used to describe each of the types performed simultaneously

    9. The Evil Eight • Subscales derived from means of items loading >.30 on a factor • Vain: 6 items, e.g. sexy,attractive,fashionable (α = .78) • Misanthropy: 12 items, e.g. vindictive,scheming,disdainful (α = .81) • Impulsive: 9 items, e.g. experimenting,rebellious,impulsive (α = .77) • Non-anxious: 5 items, e.g. nervous,guilty,worrisome (α = .69) • Arrogant: 4 items, e.g. humble,modest,arrogant (α = .64) • Dominant: 11 items, e.g. dominant,aggressive,persuasive (α = .84) • Immoral: 4 items, e.g. moral, ethical, idealistic (α = .60) • Dishonest: 6 items, e.g. honest, dishonest, honorable (α = .76)

    10. How do the Evil Eight Relate? • Subscales were correlated with each other and with original source scales to investigate whether to combine them back into higher-order factors

    11. Evil Eight Correlations: External

    12. Evil Eight Correlations: Internal

    13. Mini-ME Scales Narcissism .50 .15 Mach Psycho .14 Matching Patterns: Within Dark Triad Original Scales Narcissism .15 .46 Mach .42 Psycho

    14. Matching Patterns: Normal Personality Traits • Dark personality scales correlated with IPC-7 (Almagor, Tellegen, & Waller, 1995) • Big 5 with two evaluative dimensions

    15. Narcissism Scales

    16. Psychopathy

    17. Impact of Dark Personality on Reputation • Sampled at Univ. Illinois fraternities and sororities • Self-report and Peer-reports on Mini-ME for each member • Social Network Analysis: Each member rated every other member of the organization on three dimensions • How well do you know this person? • How well do you like this person? • How much influence does this person have?

    18. Correlations of Social Reputation Correlations on left are for self-ratings. Correlations on right are for peer-ratings

    19. Machiavellians in Other Studies: • Highly successful in contexts where short-term gains are important and getting caught doesn’t have long-term consequences • More likely to steal • Better at lying(keep straight face and control emotions) • Cheat in relationships • 10 Dollar Game: • 3 individuals: high, medium, & low machs • “Divide 10 between 2 of you” over 7 trials • Average outcome: High = $5.57 Medium = $3.14 Low= $1.29

    20. Narcissists in Other Studies: • Highly successful in short-term contexts where people are not able to evaluate exaggerated claims made about self, abilities, and history • Self-nominate for leadership positions • Typically have many, short-term romantic relationships • Women prefer jerks hypothesis • React to negative performance evaluations very poorly

    21. Narcissists in Other Studies: • Interview experiment: • Narcissists taped during job interview • Asked to rate performance in job interview • Narcs rated themselves more highly after reviewing tapes • T-shirt experiment: • Narcs prefer attention far more than others • Aggression experiment: • Narcs more aggressive • Extreme narcs want even negative attention

    22. Psychopaths • Def: - general inability to fully experience emotions, primarily anxiety • Syndrome (pattern of characteristics): • superficially charming • dishonest • unemotional, callous • norm-breakers • impulsive • Appearance: • Multiple tattoos • Multiple piercing • Problems: • perform extreme acts in order to feel anything • Repeated history of violent, anti-social acts (e.g. childhood pets)

    23. Psychopath Experiments • Experiment: Unemotional, Callous • Participants from welfare roles and prison populations • Presented with real and nonsense words and asked to make a decision if real or not • (eg. “table”, “butter”, “maim”, “kill”) • Measured for the amount of time to process • Results: • Normals show decreases in processing speed for emotionally charged words • Psychopaths show no difference in processing speed

    24. Psychopath Experiments • Experiment: Dishonest • Participants were Intro. Psych. students • Filled out personality questionnaires at beginning of semester • Seating positions secretly recorded • Computer program used to catch cheaters • Results: • three pairs of cheaters • all cheaters showed high scores for psychopathy

    25. Subclinicals: Wrap-up • It is true that subclinicals (and clinical) may relate to Big Five personality traits and may be easily mapped onto them • However, as a syndrome (pattern of traits), they may represent a specific flavor that is not easily detected or described with the Big Five