Psychology (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Nicholas Holtzman


Are people high in the Dark Triad are inherently attractive or are they simply more likely to dress up in ways that make themselves more attractive? This study is a partial replication of Holtzman and Strube (2013). We photographed participants (valid N = 65) in the state in which they entered the lab (Adorned Condition). The participants changed into standard gray attire provided for them (Unadorned Condition). Females removed their make-up and jewelry as well as pulled their hair back. Males shaved their beards. After being photographed, participants were asked to complete several Dark Triad surveys. Consistent with Holtzman and Strube (2013) the results indicated that narcissism correlated positively—although not significantly—with effective adornment (r = .185; p = .144). The magnitude of this effect is consistent with theories of narcissism that emphasize self-enhancement (e.g., narcissists self-regulate their appearances in order to strategically garner admiration), although caution must be exercised in interpreting the results based on this sample size.