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The Dark Triad of personality and attitudes toward cognitive enhancement

Mayor, Eric and Daehne, Maxime and Bianchi, Renzo. (2020) The Dark Triad of personality and attitudes toward cognitive enhancement. BMC Psychology, 8 (119).

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Abstract

Background Cognitive enhancement (CE) refers to the voluntary improvement of human cognitive capabilities. Few studies have examined the general attitude of the public towards CE. Such studies have suggested that the use of CE is considered largely unacceptable by the public. In parallel, past research indicates that individuals scoring high on the Dark Triad of personality (Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy) and competitiveness have atypical views of ethical questions. In this study, we examined (a) whether attitudes towards CE are associated with individual differences in the Dark Triad of personality as well as in trait and contextual competitiveness and (b) whether the Dark Triad moderates the effect of trait and contextual competitiveness on attitudes towards CE. Method US employees ( N = 326) were recruited using Mechanical Turk. Participants completed a web survey. Data were analyzed by means of (robust) hierarchical regression and (robust) ANCOVAs. Results The Dark Triad of personality and one of its subscales, Machiavellianism, predicted positive attitudes towards CE. Neither trait competitiveness nor contextual competitiveness were linked to general attitudes towards CE, but the DT was a positive moderator of the association between contextual competitiveness and positive attitudes. Conclusion Our findings extend the incipient knowledge about the factors relating to favourable views of CE by highlighting the role of dark personality traits in shaping such views. Our study further shows contextual factors can play a differentiated role with respect to such attitudes depending upon dark personality traits. Implications for policy-making are discussed.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Klinische Psychologie und Neurowissenschaften > Klinische Psychologie und Epidemiologie (Lieb)
UniBasel Contributors:Mayor, Eric Marcel
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:BiomedCentral
ISSN:2050-7283
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:24 Nov 2020 11:05
Deposited On:24 Nov 2020 11:05

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