Basic Dark Triad Research

We are interested in dispositional malevolence.  The goal of this line of research is to investigate the origins, causes, associations, outcomes, and consequences of dark personalities.

Original work on associations among Dark Personalities really began with the seminal research of Paulhus & Williams (2002) on the Dark Triad of personality.  Additional research has found other traits, such as social dominance orientation (Jones & Figueredo) and Sadism (Buckels, Jones, & Paulhus, 2013; Chabrol et al., 2009) belong to this dark cluster of traits.

From a theoretical standpoint, we are interested in determining the unique and overlapping components of these traits with respect to outcomes of relevant importance.  In addition, we are interested in understanding the evolutionary, biological, developmental, and situational aspects of these traits.

From an assessment standpoint, we are interested in the neurological structure and correlates of individuals harboring dark or destructive personality traits.  Additionally, we are interested in improving self- and other-reported assessments to provide less transparent methods of assessing dispositional malevolence.  Finally, we are interested in developing content analytic rubrics for assessing dark personalities within speech patterns, in order to assess the presence or absence of these traits without participation of others.

Moral Malevolence

Although dark personalities may often be selfish, we have been interested in the question of what they look like when mixed with a prosocial cause... Imagine an individual who will save someone/something (e.g., the environment, a political cause, the animals) any means necessary.  In this way, we have research examining the degree to which honor or morality interacts with traits such as the Dark Triad.

A second line of research is examining moral license associated with moral outrage.  We are interested in contributing to the empirical definition of moral outrage, and identifying specific behavioral signatures of this state of mind.  In particular, we believe moral outrage is the product of sanctimonious anger and the need to be right. 

Finally, we are interested in how claiming to have knowledge in moral domains that individuals actually lack may produce endorsement of destructive behavioral outcomes such as racism and terrorism.

Here is an example of the work we do:   Bible Over-claiming Paper: 

Organizational / Corporate Research

We are interested in research on Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Business.  These issues pertain primarily to unethical decision making, fraud, deception, and other malevolent  behaviors in the corporate world.  However, we are also interested in investigating employee well-being, group interactions, teams, as well as related work outcomes (e.g., citizenship, commitment, counterproductive work behaviors).

We are building a model of ethical vulnerabilities from the perspective of social / personality psychology.  In addition, we are working to examine the impact of dark personalities and ethical norms on behaviors related to social and political capital as well as profit.

At this time, Dr. Jones is NOT taking any new graduate students for the upcoming academic school year. Any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.


Interested? Contact Us!