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Objective: Personality has a long history of being linked to attitudes toward various social groups, but little research has explored how darker aspects of personality might contribute to social attitudes. In this article, we explore the role of the ominous personality traits in the Dark Triad (narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy) in accounting for prejudice, in the specific case of antipathy toward asylum seekers. Method: A community sample of 173 Australians (Mage = 23.37 years, SD = 7.88; 74% females) responded to measures of classical and modern explicit attitudes and implicit attitudes toward this group. This study used a correlational research design. Results: The sample reported neutral explicit attitudes (both classical and modern) but implicit attitudes were negative. Classical attitudes were less negative than modern attitudes. Multiple hierarchical regression analyses revealed political conservatism and psychopathy predicted modern explicit attitudes while political conservatism and Machiavellianism predicted classical attitudes. Narcissism was unrelated to all attitudes, and none of the Dark Triad personality traits were related to implicit attitudes. Conclusion: The implications of the relationships between sub‐clinical personality traits and social attitudes are discussed in reference to intervening with punitive attitudes towards this vulnerable social group. This article presents new evidence that Machiavellianism is related to classic attitudes, and provides more evidence that psychopathy is related to modern attitudes. Finally, this article adds to the scarce literature on implicit attitudes towards asylum seekers.


School of Psychology

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Journal Article

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