Launching our latest assessment: The Dark Triad of Personality at Work (TOP)

Delegates at the event hosted at the Naval Club in London ranged from independent practitioner psychologists to corporate HR specialists who told us, above all, they were curious to find out how TOP can be used for selection and development. Many were also eager to find out how TOP compared to other ‘dark’ personality tests (you know the one!) and understand more about the test development and validation process.

Coined by Paulhus and Williams in 2002, the term “dark triad” refers to three outstandingly negative personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism – terms familiar to most psychologists. With TOP, which is the first measure of personality specifically designed to examine the dark triad directly within the workplace, this language is styled in a different way to mirror an employment setting:

  • Narcissism = self-centred work approach
  • Machiavellianism = enforcement-focused work attitude
  • Subclinical psychopathy = uncommitted-impulsive work style

If these traits are found in the boardroom at relatively high levels, it can quickly become a toxic environment for employees. Using the TOP, psychologists and HR professionals can make better people decisions and avoid workplace upheaval by assessing the risk of counter-productive behaviours in the selection and/or development process. Standardised and normed separately in both the UK and the US, and validated against the Hogan Development Survey, the TOP is a reliable, robust measure that can be used on its own or in conjunction with other strong measures of personality like the NEO-PI-3 or BIP to assess leadership styles.

Hogrefe General Manager Pamela Becker led the launch event, and even shared some of the ‘fun’ data collected in the process of development – for instance, people who claimed white as their favourite colour were more likely to be high on Narcissism – though white was by far the least popular choice for favourite.

We hope all who attended had an insightful and enjoyable afternoon, and for us, it was a valuable opportunity to learn from the wider community of occupational psychologists about how our new assessment could (and would) be used in the workplace to benefit businesses and employees.

The TOP is available to pre-order now. Learn more about it here.