Beyond (low) Agreeableness: Toward a more comprehensive understanding of antagonistic psychopathology

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  • David D. Scholz
  • Benjamin E. Hilbig
  • Isabel Thielmann
  • Morten Moshagen
  • Zettler, Ingo
In clinical psychopathology research, up to seven traits have been suggested as instances of antagonistic psychopathology. Those antagonistic traits, in turn, are commonly viewed as reflections of low Agreeableness as per the Big Five (BF-AG). However, specific theoretical differences between antagonistic traits suggest that other broad, basic dimensions beyond BF-AG ought to provide further points of correspondence. Specifically, whereas primarily affective antagonistic traits are closely aligned with BF-AG, primarily behavioral antagonistic traits are better aligned with Honesty-Humility (HH) from the HEXACO model and primarily cognitive antagonistic traits are better aligned with the common core of aversive traits (the Dark Factor of Personality, D). Indeed, from a theoretical perspective, D seems to be the only candidate sufficiently covering all aspects of antagonistic traits (affect, behavior, and cognition) to a comparable extent and thus affording a balanced representation of antagonistic psychopathology. We critically test these conjectures in a large and heterogeneous online sample (N = 3,396), investigating the overlap between antagonistic traits and basic personality via structural equation modeling. Results show that BF-AG, HH, and D each yield particularly strong ties to one group of antagonistic traits (affective, behavioral, and cognitive, respectively), while D offers the most balanced representation of all (groups of) antagonistic traits.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)956-970
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - Agreeableness, Antagonism, Dark Factor of Personality, Honesty-Humility, psychopathology

ID: 300149033