Addiction and the Dark Triad of Personality

In this article, we review associations between the Dark Triad of personality (narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy) and addictive behaviors, both substance-related and non-substance-related. We summarize evidence from personality and clinical research and integrate it with prevailing models of addiction. Specifically, we discuss addictive behavior in the light of affect regulation, which is likely more relevant in narcissism, as well as inhibitory deficits, a putative mechanism in psychopathy. These mechanisms can be related to central motives of the respective personality constructs, such as stabilization of self-esteem in narcissism and impulsive stimulation seeking in psychopathy. We conclude that different mechanisms might lead to similar observable behavior in narcissism and psychopathy at earlier stages of the addiction cycle, but psychopathic disinhibition might be particularly relevant at later stages. This underpins the importance of considering personality factors for the understanding and treatment of addiction.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00662/full

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