Dark triad test of personality (SD3)


The Short Dark Triad test (SD3) is a brief personality test that tells you how you fare on the three dark personality traits- Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy.

These traits are known as the Dark Triad of personality. They’re socially aversive traits- traits that are unpleasant to other people. We all have some combination of these traits.

If you’ve taken the Big Five personality test and scored low on Agreeableness, you have a good chance of obtaining a high score on at least one of these traits. 

It’s important to understand that two of these traits i.e. Narcissism and Psychopathy, if present to a high degree, can indicate a personality disorder. But these traits are also sub-clinical, meaning they can exist in normal people who function normally in society whilst causing occasional harm to other people.

When these traits are dominant to the extent that they cause personal distress and impair the normal functioning of a person, they become clinical disorders.

dark psychological traits

Taking the Dark Triad test

The test consists of 27 items and you have to choose an answer on a 5-point scale ranging from ‘Strongly disagree’ to ‘Strongly agree’. Your personal information will not be collected and your results will not be stored or shared. The test takes under 5 minutes to complete.

Dark triad test

1. It's not wise to tell your secrets.

2. Generally speaking, people won’t work hard unless they have to.

3. Whatever it takes, you must get the important people on your side.

4. Avoid direct conflict with others because they may be useful in the future.

5. It’s wise to keep track of information that you can use against people later.

6. You should wait for the right time to get back at people.

7. There are things you should hide from other people because they don’t need to know.

8. Make sure your plans benefit you, not others.

9. Most people can be manipulated.

10. People see me as a natural leader.

11. I hate being the center of attention.

12. Many group activities tend to be dull without me.

13. I know that I am special because everyone keeps telling me so.

14. I like to get acquainted with important people.

15. I feel embarrassed if someone compliments me.

16. I have been compared to famous people.

17. I am an average person.

18. I insist on getting the respect I deserve.

19. I like to get revenge on authorities.

20. I avoid dangerous situations.

21. Payback needs to be quick and nasty.

22. People often say I’m out of control.

23. It’s true that I can be mean to others.

24. People who mess with me always regret it.

25. I have never gotten into trouble with the law.

26. I like to pick on losers.

27. I’ll say anything to get what I want.


Jones, D. N., & Paulhus, D. L. (2014).  Introducing the Short Dark Triad (SD3): A brief measure of dark personality traits. Assessment, 21,  28-41.