Evaluating the Psychometric Properties of the Short Dark Triad (SD3) in Italian Adults and Adolescents

Antonella Somma, Delroy L. Paulhus, Serena Borroni, Andrea Fossati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The term Dark Triad refers to three socially aversive personality dimensions (i.e., Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy) that are evident in the normal range of personality. Jones and Paulhus (2014) developed the Short Dark Triad (SD3) as a 27-item measure of the three constructs. To assess the psychometric properties of the Italian translation, 678 adult university students and 442 adolescent high school students were sampled. Cronbach's α values for the subscales were acceptable in both samples. Subscale intercorrelations ranged from .29 to .55 in adults and .29 to .53 in adolescents. Although subscale means were higher in the adolescent sample, the two item correlation matrices did not differ significantly. A confirmatory factor analysis using multidimensional full-information item response theory showed that a three-correlated-factor model provided the best fit in both adults and adolescents. When controlled for overlap, SD3 subscales showed adequate convergent and discriminant validity coefficients in both samples. The current research contributes to the literature on dark personalities in two ways: (a) It provides detailed psychometric support for the Italian translation of SD3 and (b) it directly compares SD3 performance in younger and older students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • adolescents
  • adults
  • item response theory
  • Short Dark Triad

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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