Willingness to share, impulsivity and the Dark Triad traits

  • Marta Malesza
  • Kasper Kalinowski


The purpose of the study was to test hypotheses regarding a form of social discounting in which the subjective value of a reward decreases as a function of the number of people it is shared with. Along with the Short Dark Triad measure, participants (N = 284) completed a social discounting task in which they were asked to make choices between a hypothetical amount of money to keep for themselves and a hypothetical amount of money to share with a specified number of people. They also competed a delay discounting task, in which they were asked to make choices between immediate small outcomes and delayed bigger outcomes. To probe the unique contribution of three Dark Triad traits predicting both discounting types, we conducted separated multiple linear regression analyses. The study revealed that the higher one’s psychopathy and Machiavellianism, the greater one’s social discounting, indicating more selfishness and lack of willingness to share with other people. On the other hand, the higher one’s narcissism, the smaller one’s social discounting, indicating more willingness to share. These findings place in doubt the selfishness of narcissism. Second, in case of delay discounting, only psychopathy and narcissism predicted steep delay discounting, suggesting that individuals who score high in psychopathy and narcissism tend to obtain rather immediate outcomes. Also, Machiavellianism was not significantly associated with delay discounting. Finally, a positive correlation was observed between delay and social discounting. The results indicated that social discounting was related to, but not equivalent to, delay discounting.


Dark triad Delay discounting Social discounting Impulsivity Sharing 



This research was supported by a grant from the National Science Centre in Poland (grant number: 2013/11/N/HS6/01149).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Author Marta Malesza declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author Kasper Kalinowski declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta Malesza
    • 1
  • Kasper Kalinowski
    • 2
  1. 1.WarsawPoland
  2. 2.Faculty of Education, Psychology and SociologyUniversity of Zielona GóraZielona GóraPoland

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