Empathy and the Dark Triad: A Difference of 180 Degrees

Efrat Weisman Openhaim, Yaarit Amram, Joseph Glicksohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Do the Dark Triad and empathy (both cognitive and affective) appear in the same plane, at an angle of 180 degrees to each other? In order to test this hypothesis, we recruited both adolescents presenting with high-functioning ASD and those who were "neurotypical". Each adolescent provided their self-report on the Basic Empathy Scale and the Dark Triad Dirty Dozen (DTDD), which could be cross-referenced with a parent's report regarding their child on the Adolescent Empathy Quotient and the DTDD. In all, 120 individuals participated in this study. A major contribution of the present study is in promoting the use of Smallest Space Analysis (SSA) to provide a 2D spatial representation of the correlation matrix of these measures. Our regional analysis of the 2D representation not only reveals that the Dark Triad and empathy are at an angle of 180 degrees to each other but also to suggest that even when there are discrepancies between self-report and parent-report regarding empathy, these are nevertheless aligned within the same 2D space.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Individual Differences
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Hogrefe Publishing.


  • affective empathy
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • cognitive empathy
  • Dark Triad
  • smallest-space analysis


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