Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater: The Dark Triad, Attitudes towards Doping, and Cheating Behavior among Athletes

Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater : The Dark Triad, Attitudes towards Doping, and Cheating Behavior among Athletes / Adam R. Nicholls, Daniel J. Madigan, Lindsay Duncan, Laura Hallward, Lambros Lazuras, Kevin Bingham, Lucas R.W. Fairs. - (European Journal of Sport Science (2019) 21 November); p. 1-7).
- DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2019.1694079
- PMID: 31726949


We examined the relationships between the Dark Triad personality traits (Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy), attitudes towards doping, and cheating behaviour among athletes. One-hundred and sixty-four athletes completed a 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 opportunity for the athletes to cheat. Following this, athletes completed two questionnaires, which assessed the Dark Triad and their attitudes towards doping. All three Dark Triad personality traits correlated positively with attitudes towards doping and cheating behaviour. Regression analyses revealed that psychopathy and narcissism positively predicted attitudes towards doping, and narcissism emerged as a positive predictor of cheating behaviour. Attitudes towards doping correlated positively with cheating behaviour. The Dark Triad appears to be important in relation to both attitudes towards doping and cheating behaviour among athletes. In addition, our findings illustrate that favourable attitudes towards doping are 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.

Original document


Research / Study
21 November 2019
Bingham, Kevin
Duncan, Lindsay R.
Fairs, Lucas R.W.
Hallward, Laura
Lazuras, Lambros
Madigan, Daniel J.
Nicholls, Adam R.
United Kingdom
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McGill University
Sheffield Hallam University (SHU)
University of Hull
York St John University
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Scientific article
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Pdf file
Date generated
18 May 2020
Date of last modification
28 May 2020
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