Bojana Dinić – Awarded for Outstanding Achievement in the Early Phase of a Scientific Career „Nenad Havelka”

Illuminating dark personality traits

The Dark Triad/Tetrad is a construct that has rapidly become popular in the last 20 years and is increasingly attracting the attention of researchers and the general public. This constellation of socially aversive traits (Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, and sadism) has found application in explaining a wide range of antisocial behaviors in different contexts. Yet, there are still conceptual dilemmas regarding the dark traits which represent the backbone of my research. Among them, the key dilemmas are what constitutes the core of dark personality traits (the so-called Dark Core) and whether dark traits can be reduced to a single, central characteristic or to a basic personality trait such as agreeableness or honesty-humility. These dilemmas are followed by the question of the shared genetic factors of dark and basic traits, and I will present the results of the first twin study in Serbia related to this issue. In support of the discussion on the similarities and differences of dark traits, I will present a series of studies by my research team in which we examined specific relationships between dark traits and socially aversive outcomes, such as aggression in offline and online environment, then antisocial punishment and non-compliance with protective measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end, I will consider the second generation of dark traits research and possible directions for the development of this research field.

Prof. dr. Bojana Dinić is an associate professor at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad. Her field of scholarly work includes examining conceptual issues related to antagonistic and dark personality traits (e.g., narcissism, aggressiveness) and the outcomes of these traits, such as aggression and violence both offline and online. In addition, her work includes psychometric evaluation of questionnaires for the assessment of antagonistic traits and behavior, as well as other phenomena. So far, she has adapted over 50 instruments into Serbian and created 6, among them the BODH Aggressiveness Questionnaire and the General Information Test (TOI-SE). She was and is currently a researcher on several national and international projects, and in 2020-2021. In 2008, she was the manager of the national project “Socio-psychological factors of risky use of social networks among adolescents in Vojvodina”. So far, she has published about 45 papers in international and the same number in national journals, several monographic publications, among which “Digital violence“, and the textbook “Principles of psychological testing“. Her works were selected for the top result of the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad for 2020 and 2021. She won the Award for the best young researcher at the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad in 2013 and the Award for the best researcher at the beginning of her career in 2018, awarded by the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID), and in 2022 she received the award for scientific excellence in in the field of social and humanistic sciences, awarded by the Provincial Secretariat for Higher Education and Scientific Research of AP Vojvodina. He has been a member of the STAR Center of Outstanding Values for Behavioral Research in Psychology since its foundation, within which he participates in the first twin study in Serbia, and examines hereditary and environmental factors of aggression. In addition, she is a long-term member of the Laboratory for Experimental Psychology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad. She actively participates in the popularization of science at events such as TEDx and the European Night of Researchers and in shows dealing with the promotion of science, and also implements citizen science projects.