We examined the relationships between the Dark Triad personality traits (Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy), attitudes towards doping, and cheating behavior among athletes. One-hundred and sixty-four athletes completed a questionnaire that assessed the Dark Triad and their attitudes towards doping. Following this, athletes completed a matrix solving task within a specific time limit. Participants were told they would receive a financial reward for the total number matrices they could solve, but only 13 of the 20 matrices were solvable. This provided the incentive and an opportunity for the athletes to cheat. All three Dark Triad personality traits correlated positively with attitudes towards doping and cheating behavior. In regression analyses, psychopathy emerged as a significant positive predictor of attitudes towards doping, and narcissism emerged as a significant positive predictor of cheating behavior. Attitudes towards doping correlated positively with cheating behavior. The Dark Triad appears to be important in relation to both attitudes towards doping and cheating behavior among athletes. In addition, our findings illustrate that favorable attitudes towards doping were linked with actual cheating among athletes. National Anti-Doping Organizations, sports federations, and coaches could assess athletes’ Dark Triad scores and attitudes towards doping in order to identify who may be more likely to cheat.
Nicholls, A. (in press). Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater: The Dark Triad, Attitudes towards Doping, and Cheating Behavior among Athletes. European journal of sport science : the official journal of the European College of Sport Science, https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2019.1694079