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Short Dark Tetrad (SD4)

Dark personality online test

This test is the online version of The Short Dark Tetrad (SD4) by Delroy L. Paulhus. You will be offered with 28 items to capture subclinical versions of narcissism, machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism.

This tool is based on a 2002 Dark Triad study by Paulhus and Williams, but another scale, sadism, has been added to better measure dark personality traits.

How dark is your personality?

Some people are more prone to aggression, manipulation, and destructive behavior than others. Scientists call these personality traits «the dark side of your personality».

Modern research into dark personality has focused on the Dark Tetrad of personality which explores machiavelianism, narcissism, sadism, and psychopathy.

Narcissism is an egotistical preoccupation with self. Because of all their experience with maintaining their self image, people who score high for narcissism will often appear charming but their narcissism will later lead to extreme difficulty in developing close relationships.

Machiavellianism is a tendency to be manipulative and deceitful. It usually stems from a lack of respect or disillusionment for others.

Sadism is the tendency to enjoy causing, or simply observing, others’ suffering. A sadistic person humiliates others, shows a longstanding pattern of cruel or demeaning behavior to others, or intentionally inflicts physical, sexual, or psychological pain or suffering on others in order to assert power and dominance or for pleasure and enjoyment.

Psychopathy reflects shallow emotional responses. The relative lack of emotions leads results in high stress tolerance, low empathy, little guilt and leads them to seek extremely stimulating activities, resulting in impusivity and a disposition towards interpersonal conflict.

People with high scores often get what they want and become leaders, but at the same time, it has been proven that high scores can increase the likelihood of leadership failure.


Paulhus, D. L., Buckels, E. E., Trapnell, P. D., Jones, D. N. Screening for dark personalities: The Short Dark Tetrad (SD4) European Journal of Psychological Assessment, July 2020


Note this test is provided strictly for informational, educational and entertainment purposes and should not be used for making any decision. It is not intended to be a psychological advice of any kind, and come without any guarantee of accuracy or validity.

1. It's not wise to let people know your secrets.
2. People see me as a natural leader.
3. People often say I'm out of control.
4. Watching a fist-fight excites me.
5. Whatever it takes, you must get the important people on your side.
6. I tend to fight against authorities and their rules.
7. I have a unique talent for persuading people.
8. I really enjoy violent films and video games.
9. Group activities tend to be dull without me.
10. I've been in more fights than most people of my age and gender.
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