Personality Test with verbal content

27 items

Test without time limit

Processing time: approx. 7 minutes

Inhouse-test with supervision

Home-test without supervision


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other languages on request

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Career starters

People with very high values in the dimension dominance go beyond the wishes and expectations of others and are prepared to use every means to achieve goals. They tend to be impulsive and risk-oriented.

People with very high values in their tendency to feeling a sense of superiority are sustainably convinced of their superiority towards others and to be able to claim special treatment for themselves. They have the ability to influence others for their own goals and make use of them.


The feedback comprises 2 individual values with different traffic light colours: Yellow | Green | Red (cf. instructions)

Z (Z-Score): Standard score in value range 70-130 (M=100, SD=10); PR (percentile rank): Share in reference group with a score that is at most as high.


DARKSIDE is completed in random order, in Likert scale format. Following an introductory instruction, individual job-related statements (items) are specified, which must be evaluated on a 7-level scale in terms of agreement/disagreement. All items of the item pool are in random order. The DARKSIDE is always used in conjunction with other personality scales in order to reduce fatigue and transparency and thus socially desired response behaviour. Here, the items from the various tests are combined in one test module randomly mixed.

In line with the DARKSIDE approach, high values indicate an increased risk potential. Z values > 115 are therefore returned with a red traffic light. Very low values, on the other hand, indicate potentially low performance. Z-values < 85 are therefore returned with a yellow traffic light. Accordingly, the value range of 85 < Z > 115, which is achieved by approx. 85% of all participants, is desirable.

Theoretical background

DARKSIDE is an inventory to measure the dark side of the personality. The dark triad with the three factors of machiavellianism, narcissism and subclinical psychopathy originates from personality psychology and has a long history of research there. Increasing research in the field of destructive leadership in the working context in recent years has also increased interest in the dark side of personality. Persons with high manifestations in the dark personality characteristics tend to be destructive. These include hostility, emotional coldness, arrogance and manipulative behaviour. 

The items of DARKSIDE are contextualised and relate to conduct in everyday professional life. In this way, specific facets of the two dimensions dominance and superiority are considered, which are relevant in the professional context. One benefit of this 2-factorial structure is the use of dimensional designations that have less negative connotations compared to the three original dimensions machiavellianism, narcissism and subclinical psychopathy.

Our validation studies show that the test result in the DARKSIDE has a curricular relationship with employee performance. This means that from a medium level in these personality characteristics, the performance of the person no longer enhances, but the risk potential for damaging working behaviour increases.   

The use of the DARKSIDE is particularly recommended for positions where others are managed or where there is potential to develop towards a leading position.

Psychometric properties

α = .77|.84 (Dominance | Sense of Superiority)

Construct validity
-.44|-.37 Honesty-Humility
-.23| .25 Conscientiousness
 .03| .49 Extraversion
-.23|-.01 Agreeableness
 .17| .18 Emotionality
 .01| .26 Openness (HEXACO)  
-.05|.14 Abstract Problem-Solving (MATRIX)
-.04|.12 Numerical Reasoning (PROGRESSION)

Criterion validity
.34|.23 Executed counterproductive behaviors, self-report (CWB scale)

Norm basis
N > 15,000

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