The Battle Between Light and Dark Side of Personality: How Light and Dark Personality Traits Predict Mating Strategies in the Online Context


  • Lana Tucaković
  • Ljubiša Bojić
  • Nemanja Nikolić


In recent years, online dating websites, applications, and social media have become increasingly popular tools for finding romantic and/or sexual partners. Individual differences in personality traits predict the use of online dating websites and applications and also influence the motives for their use. Previous work regarding mating strategies in the context of online dating has focused on the Dark Tetrad concept of malevolent personality while ignoring the Light Triad concept of beneficent personality. Light and dark personality traits are not seen as polar opposites as they supplement each other. Thus, the current study aimed to explore the utility of both light (i.e., Faith in Humanity, Humanism, and Kantianism) and dark (i.e., Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, and sadism) personality traits in predicting mating strategies in the online context. A total of 216 participants, ages 20 to 56, which used online dating sites, apps, and social media for finding partners in the past year, completed an online questionnaire assessing Dark Tetrad traits, Light Triad traits, and mating orientations. Narcissism, psychopathy, and sadism positively correlated, while Faith in Humanity and Kantianism negatively correlated with short-term mating. However, only Faith in Humanity was a significant predictor of short-term mating. As for long-term mating, the results have shown that it is negatively related to psychopathy and sadism, while it is positively related to all Light Triad traits. Faith in Humanity, Humanism, and Kantianism were significant predictors of long-term mating. These findings highlight the utility of the Dark Tetrad and Light Triad traits in mating orientation research.