Narcissism as a “Light” Trait in the Dark Triad



Narcissism may be seen as the most controversial trait of the Dark Triad, character¬ized by both negative and positive aspects. This study tested the hypotheses regarding the relationship between narcissism and intelligence, tolerance for uncertainty, and the Big Five traits. The sample included two groups of participants: 1) middle managers (N=62, Mage = 37.60, SD = 8.84); 2) undergraduate and postgraduate students (N=1187, Mage = 22.37, SD = 4.44). The Dark Triad traits were measured using the Dirty Dozen questionnaire. The following measures were used: 2 subtests for fluid intelligence from the International Cognitive Ability Resource (ICAR) and 2 subscales for verbal intelligence from the Rapid Online Assessment Deployment System (ROADS); New Questionnaire for Tolerance of Uncertainty; and the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI). For students, a relationship between narcissism was established with the following variables: verbal intelligence (p<0.05); tolerance to uncertainty (p <0.05) and interpersonal intolerance (p<0.01). For managers, narcissism was also linked to tolerance to uncertainty (p<0.05). Positive correlations between narcissism, extroversion, and openness to experience and a negative relationship with emotional stability were established among students. It is concluded that the relationship between narcissism, verbal intelligence, and tolerance for uncertainty reflects the “light” side of narcissism.

General Information

Journal rubric: Empirical Researches

Article type: scientific article


Acknowledgements. We thank M.S. Zirenko and A.Yu. Razvalyaeva for their contribution to data collection on the student sample.

For citation: Krasavtseva Y.V., Kornilova T.V. Narcissism as a “Light” Trait in the Dark Triad. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2019. Vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 65–80. DOI: 10.17759/cpp.2019270405. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)



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Information About the Authors

Yulia V. Krasavtseva, Teaching Assistant, Pedagogy and Medical Psychology, I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Tatyana V. Kornilova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Department of General Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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