The TOP offers insights that can be useful in any selection process, and often as part of development, particularly in leadership positions.
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The Dark Triad of Personality (TOP) measures work-related components of the dark triad of personality (which is composed of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and subclinical psychopathy). It is important to acknowledge that TOP does not measure the whole of the dark triad traits, but only the parts that are relevant to work. This makes the TOP appropriate for use in organizations, as it can offer insights that are useful in any selection process, and often as part of a development plan in leadership positions.
The TOP focuses on the “dark side” of work behaviors, as these traits are shown in research to be very effective predictors of job performance. While it critical to pinpoint an employee's “bright side”, knowing the potential derailers that can impact performance and lead to serious financial and personal implications for employees and the organization is also essential. Rather than assessing these derailers over a wide range, the TOP focuses in on the three that make the biggest difference to individual performance and organizational impact.
Because the TOP measures only the work-related aspects of the original dark triad, it is appropriate to refer to them as the following:
Self-centered work approach (narcissism)
Uncommitted-impulsive style (subclinical psychopathy)
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Reliability (Cronbach`s alpha) for the combined sample in the US and UK (N=2,001) had values between .79 and .96, which demonstrates their good to excellent internal consistency. The three triad factors show excellent retest reliability; for an interval of one month estimates ranged from .84 to .93.
The model tested using CFA (confirmatory factor analysis) demonstrated a satisfactory fit to the data for the TOP scales and results strongly support the theoretical structure of TOP at both the item- and scale-level, demonstrating evidence of its internal validity. Convergent validity was measured against the Short Dark Triad (SD3) and the Hogan Development Survey (HDS) and results are reported in the manual, along with correlations against a Big Five personality inventory.
US working population (N = 1,000); Combined US/UK Managerial norm (N=435).
The TOP is untimed, and typically takes 15-20 minutes to complete.