Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Miller, Carlin

Keywords

alexithymia, Dark Triad, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, university students

Rights

CC BY-NC ND 4.0

Abstract

The Dark Triad, which encompasses psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism, has been associated with difficulties with identifying and describing emotions, labelled alexithymia. Narcissism, however, has been associated with greater emotional intelligence, which includes the ability to regulate and utilize one’s emotions in problem solving. Research has yet to examine the association of the Dark Triad and mindfulness, with mindfulness referring to awareness of one’s thoughts and emotions in the present moment. The current study investigated the association between the Dark Triad traits and trait mindfulness, while examining the role of alexithymia and emotional intelligence in this association (N=246). Using linear regression models, higher scores of psychopathy were not found to be a predictor of mindfulness. However, higher scores of Machiavellianism were associated with lower levels of mindfulness, and higher scores of narcissism were associated with higher levels of mindfulness, with alexithymia mediating these associations. These findings indicate the potential benefit of emotion regulation skills training via mindfulness based therapy techniques to improve emotion identification and empathy among these individuals.

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