Today I came across the phrase "The Dark Triad" when browsing through studies on personality. Catchy, isn't it? Turns out, the phrase refers to three overlapping personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. According to Paulhus and Williams (2002), "To varying degrees, all three entail a socially malevolent character with behavior tendencies toward self-promotion, emotional coldness, duplicity, and aggressiveness." Recently, Jonason and Webster (2010) developed a 12-item measure of the Dark Triad they called "The Dirty Dozen." By all appearances the scale has solid psychometric properties. I think I may have to test it out on a sample of students and see how scores on the scale might be differentially related to different crime typologies (property vs. violent offending). Given that higher scores on the scale would represent a person who is self-interested, lacks consideration of the feelings of others, and pursues goals through means of aggressive action, an argument could be made that a person possessing such a constellation of traits may be likely to engage in fraudulent activity and other forms of criminal behavior. Time to do a little branching out.