Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicología del Principado de Asturias).
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The Spanish Short Dark Tetrad (SD4): Association With Personality and Psychological Problems

Jordi Ortet-Walker1,2 , Carlo Garofalo3 , Verónica Vidal-Arenas1 , Stefan Bogaerts4 , Laura Mezquita1,5 , Generós Ortet1,5 and Manuel I. Ibáñez1,5

1 Universitat Jaume I (Spain),
2 Hogrefe TEA Ediciones (Spain),
3 Università degli Studi di Perugia (Italy),
4 Tilburg University (Netherlands),

Background: The Short Dark Tetrad (SD4) is a recently developed instrument for assessing the “dark” personality traits of psychopathy, narcissism, Machiavellianism, and sadism. We aimed to examine the SD4’s psychometric properties, adapting it into Spanish and exploring its structure, gender invariance, reliability, concurrent validity, and nomological network. Method: A sample of 668 adults (Mage = 26.36, SD = 10.64, 69.2% females) completed the SD4 and other self-report questionnaires. Results: The results demonstrated sound indices of reliability and concurrent validity, an adequate four-factor structure, and support for gender invariance. Furthermore, most of the findings about the nomological network were in line with prior hypotheses: All four SD4 scales were associated with low levels of agreeableness and antagonism; psychopathy was also related to low conscientiousness, disinhibition and impulse-control problems;  narcissism was positively associated with extraversion and negatively associated with internalizing symptoms; Machiavellianism was uncorrelated with impulsivity- related problems, which made it distinct from the psychopathy profile; finally, sadism showed a similar pattern of associations to psychopathy, albeit less strongly linked to impulsivity problems and externalizing behavior. Conclusions: Overall, the SD4 presents sound psychometric properties, although the overlap between psychopathy and sadism warrants some caution.

Antecedentes: El Short Dark Tetrad (SD4) es un instrumento recientemente desarrollado para evaluar los rasgos “oscuros” de personalidad de psicopatía, narcisismo, maquiavelismo y sadismo. Nuestro objetivo fue profundizar en las propiedades psicométricas del SD4 adaptando el instrumento al español, y examinar su estructura, invariancia de género, fiabilidad, validez concurrente y red nomológica. Método: Una muestra de 668 adultos (Medad = 26,36, SD = 10,64, 69,2% mujeres) completaron el SD4 y otros cuestionarios. Resultados: Encontramos índices apropiados de fiabilidad y validez concurrente, una estructura de cuatro factores, y apoyo a la invariancia de género. Además, los hallazgos sobre la red nomológica estuvieron mayoritariamente en línea con las hipótesis prerregistradas: las cuatro escalas SD4 se asociaron con baja amabilidad y antagonismo; la psicopatía se relacionó con baja responsabilidad, desinhibición y problemas de impulsividad; el narcisismo se asoció con extraversión y negativamente con síntomas de interiorización; el maquiavelismo no correlacionó con problemas de impulsividad, por lo que mostró un perfil diferenciado al de psicopatía; el sadismo mostró un patrón de asociaciones similar a psicopatía, aunque menos vinculado a problemas de impulsividad y comportamientos externalizantes. Conclusiones: En general, el SD4 presenta buenas propiedades psicométricas, aunque el solapamiento entre psicopatía y sadismo justifica cierta precaución.


Impact factor 2022:  JCR WOS 2022:  FI = 3.6 (Q2);  JCI = 1.21 (Q1) / SCOPUS 2023:  SJR = 1.07;  CiteScore = 6.4 (Q1)