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Aram Cargill

Aram Cargill

Change Challenge and the Adaption Apex Lab, Australia

Title: The dark triad (Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy) in the information age into the age of augmentation


Biography: Aram Cargill


The digital age has made deception manipulative profiles far more attractive and simpler, not only for predatory behaviour but also in terms of the developing personality.

As the information age develops into the age of augmentation (Harris 2016 ), our understanding of ourselves becomes ever more relevant  as our digital identities grow in importance and stature.  

In the light of this, understanding what has been referred to as “the dark triad”  (Paulhus & Williams, 2002 ) or negative personality traits on a day to day, pedestrian level becomes ever more important. The very fact that our digital identities express not only our conscious choices but also our subconscious wants and desires and unconscious needs, it is important that our profile of the dark triad becomes more refined. If left in the “dark”, these traits may become evident in some type of externalised event. Narcissism, machiavellianism, and psychopathy are encouraged and exacerbated by technology (Twenge & Foster, 2010). These personality traits have become ever more alluring and seductive because of ability to construct digital identities that may take precedence over authentic identities.

We have steered away from general profiling and testing of these traits because of the criticisms of verbal descriptors of individual differences (lexical hypothesis) especially in in terms of the dark triad because of negative language and its impact on self-description.

The developments in artificial intelligence identify attitudes, emotions, and moods during lexical hypothesis testing, and give the framework greater extension and accuracy in trait profiling of individuals. This in turn gives more proficiency to language-based profiling of the dark triad. Developments in the cost-effectiveness of big data support this. 

Our society now requires greater base line awareness, observation, monitoring and management long before the deception manipulative profiles of the digital age hit the radar in negative consequences or predatory behaviour.