Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Daniel Simonet

Committee Member

Kevin Askew

Committee Member

Tina Zottoli


Meta-analytic research has revealed widely varying but generally weak associations linking the Dark Triad traits – narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy – to counterproductive work behaviors. Several moderators of this relationship have been investigated, but there is currently no framework that exists to categorize and organize these moderators. Drawing on trait activation theory, an organizing framework of moderators is offered to explain the variation in findings on the Dark Triad (DT) and counterproductive work behaviors (CWB). This 4R framework organizes moderators as relevant, restraining, regulatory and resourceful. Moderated multiple regression was conducted for each moderator in each category in order to determine which classes of moderators are supported. Results reveal mixed effects for the theories proposed with respect to the 4R framework. Moderators that strengthened the relationship between the DT and CWB included instigators such as adversity, deceptive environments, strains such as burnout and negativity, and being inherently aggressive. Moderators that suppressed the relationship between DT and CWB included expectations on workers such as consistent procedures and in-group collectivism, perceived position power, organizational constraints and income rise prospects.

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Psychology Commons