Correlations between the factors characteristic of competitive sports, such as the type of athletic event and competitive level, and the dark triad were investigated. A questionnaire survey was conducted with 506 Japanese university athletes (217 male and 289 female, mean age = 19.9, SD = 0.8). A three-way ANOVA indicated significant and marginal significant main effects of gender (male/ female), type of athletic event (record-style events/ game-style events), and competitive level (low-competitive group/ high-competitive group) on total dark triad score and its sub-scale scores, including Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism, as well as marginally significant two-way and three-way interactions among their specific combinations. These results are suggestive of correlations between the dark triad and gender, type of athletic event, and competitive level. It is suggested that future studies should investigate causal relationships between the strength of the dark triad and the processes of exhibiting performance and problem behaviors in athletes.
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