Examining the Conceptual and Empirical Distinctiveness of Agreeableness and “Dark” Personality Items
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Description: Objective: A growing research literature has focused on what have been termed “dark” personality traits/constructs. More recently, the “dark factor” of personality has been proposed as a unifying framework for this research (Moshagen et al., 2018). To date, little work has rigorously investigated whether the traits/constructs investigated in the context of the dark factor can be captured by existing models of normative personality, namely Agreeableness from the Five-factor Model. Thus, the “dark factor” may be an instance of the “jangle” fallacy, where two constructs with different names are in fact the same construct. Method: We used a preregistered approach that made use of bass-ackwards factor analysis, structural equation modeling, and nomological network analysis to investigate the distinction between the D factor and Agreeableness. Results: Agreeableness and the D factor were similar in their coverage of antagonistic personality content, strongly negatively related (latent r = -.90), and showed near perfect profile dissimilarity (rICC = -.99). Conclusion: The results suggested that the D factor can be understood as the opposite pole of Agreeableness (i.e., antagonism) and not as a distinct construct. We discuss the implications for researchers interested in continuing to advance the study of antagonistic personality traits.