Repelled by virtue? The dark triad and eudaimonic narratives

Markus Appel, Michael D. Slater, Mary Beth Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We propose that the dark triad of personality predicts how recipients respond to eudaimonic narratives (stories dealing with purpose in life, the human condition, and human virtue). Matched eudaimonic or noneudaimonic videos were presented via random assignment. The more individuals lack empathy and organize their world around self-promotion—reflected in the so-called dark triad of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy—the more they perceived the eudaimonic stories (vs. control) to be inauthentic and corny (perceived corniness). This effect translated to a more negative overall evaluation of the eudaimonic videos (moderated mediation). Self-reported feelings of being touched, moved, and inspired (meaningful affect) were largely unaffected by the dark triad, suggesting that these personality factors do not disable emotional responses to eudaimonic narratives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-794
Number of pages26
JournalMedia Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology


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