Title

Going beyond the Big Five: The Dark Triad, DSM-5, and prediction of normal and abnormal outcomes

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)

Department

Colby College. Psychology Dept.

Advisor(s)

Christopher Soto

Abstract

Personality predicts many important life outcomes, such as happiness, relationship satisfaction, physical health, job performance, and criminal behavior (Ozer and Benet-Martínez, 2006). Most research on personality and life outcomes has been done using models of normal personality, such as the Big Five and the Dark Triad; however, other models, such as the DSM-5 model of personality pathology, exist. This study examines how models of normal and pathological personality predict life outcomes. Specifically we examined how the Big Five, Dark Triad, and DSM-5 model explain the variance associated with personality pathology symptoms as well as normal-range and abnormal outcomes in five life domains: anxious affect, sad affect, academia, risky driving, and substance use. We found that the DSM-5 model is the best predictor of personality pathology and that the Big Five and the DSM-5 are equally good at predicting both normal-range and abnormal outcomes within the five life domains. Overall, the Dark Triad was not as good at explaining the variation associated with personality pathology symptoms or life outcomes; however, there were specific symptoms and outcomes on which the Dark Triad provided additional information. This information sheds light on how normal and pathological trait models predict life outcomes as well as how the new DSM-5 model of pathological personality traits compares to existing models of normal and pathological personality.

Keywords

Big Five, DSM-5, Dark Triad, Life Outcomes, Personality Pathology

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