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Dark triad, partisanship and violent intentions in the United States

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We have witnessed a drastic increase in partisanship in the United States in the past decades. This increase has sparked concern that the effects may not be as benign as the positive political engagement and activism behaviors sometimes associated with increased partisanship. This paper explicitly targets the risk that increased partisan identities may lead to stronger intentions to engage in violent political behaviors from an individual difference perspective. This paper integrates insights from the literature on political violence and personality psychology. It understands partisanship as social identity and focuses on the influence of the dark triad. In three original, population representative cross-sectional and experimental studies of adult Americans (total n = 3797), the paper shows that stronger partisan identities drive stronger intentions to engage in political violence, but that this effect holds for partisans with the callous, manipulative personality indicated by high dark triad scores only.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110633
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

    Research areas

  • Activism, Dark triad, Partisanship, Personality, Political identity, Political violence

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