The relations between pathological personality traits and human values

George Zacharopoulos, Paul H.P. Hanel, Uwe Wolfradt, Gregory R. Maio, David E.J. Linden

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8 Citations (SciVal)


Pathological personality traits are an important inhibitor of social functioning and well-being. Individual human values also possess important connections to both personality and well-being, but the links between human values and pathological personality traits have not been directly examined. Across two studies (N = 478), we provide the first direct examination of these relations by employing linear and sinusoidal methodologies assessing relations between Schwartz's circular model of human values (Schwartz, 1992) and a series of personality measures, including the Personality Inventory for the DSM-5 (e.g., Callousness, Intimacy avoidance, Rigid perfectionism). Data for Study 1 was collected in Germany and data for Study 2 in the UK. Self-transcendence values buffer against several pathological personality traits that constrain psychological well-being (e.g., callousness). Conversely, self-enhancement values (which are motivationally opposite to self-transcendence values in Schwartz's circular model of human values) were positively associated with these personality traits. Several pathological personality traits were related to the 10 value types in a sinusoidal waveform that was consistent with Schwartz's circular model of human values. Findings were overall consistent across samples from both countries. The results help us move closer to distinguishing between different processes underpinning the associations between personality traits and human values.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110766
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Early online date15 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) at Cardiff University, with funds from the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR), Welsh Government, Wales (Grant no. BR09 ), and by Grant MR/K004360/1 from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and by the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics ( G0800509 ).


  • Human values
  • Linear associations
  • Personality
  • Psychopathology
  • Sinusoidal associations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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