I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at Queen’s University Belfast and an Associate Professor in Personality Psychology at Tomsk State University in Russia.
I am the Director of the InteRRaCt Lab and an International Associate Member of InLab at Goldsmiths, and the Russian-British Behavioural Genetics Laboratory at the Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education. I am also a member of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, a member of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology and member of the Editorial Board in the Journal Personality and Individual Differences.
Through the last decade there has been an exponential increase in the number of publications on the “Dark Triad.” These are the three traits of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Individuals high on the spectrum of dark traits engage in risky behavior, hold a grandiose view of themselves, are overconfident, show little empathy for others, and have little shame or guilt. The literature so far indicates that this constellation of traits may have unfavourable consequences for other people, organisations, and societies.
My research stands in stark contrast to the popular work on positive personality traits and, is fuelled by the desire to explain the following contradiction: If dark personality traits are indeed so socially toxic, why do they persist and are even on the rise, in modern societies.
My objective in this line of work is not to rehabilitate dark personalities, but rather to contextualize them in a complex web of societal costs and benefits. In that regard, my work has focused on narcissism, as a first step, in order to highlight some positive sides of this seemingly dark trait, such as showing resilience and increasing school performance.
My research work promotes diversity and inclusiveness of people and ideas by advocating that dark traits, such as narcissism, should not be seen as "either good or bad," but as products of evolution and expressions of human nature that may be beneficial or harmful depending on the context. This move forward may help to reduce the marginalisation of individuals that score high on dark traits, thus offering research-informed suggestions on how best to cultivate some manifestations of these traits, while discouraging others, for the collective good.