Date of Conferral







Matthew Fearrington


Academic entitlement is a view held by students that can cause dissent and student incivility. Academic entitlement can be driven by various factors, including the personality traits of the Dark Triad (personality traits of Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism). Other researchers have examined the relationship between these traits and academic entitlement, but further research on this subject is needed. Adams’ equity theory, which proposes that people experience distress when they identify as either under- or over rewarded individuals, provided the theoretical foundation for this study. Using a quantitative approach, 160 participants were recruited using online methods and asked to complete a survey comprised of the Academic Entitlement Scale, the Short Dark Triad Scale, and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to examine the relationship between the data gathered on the Dark Triad personality traits and academic entitlement. The results indicated Machiavellianism and psychopathy traits contained in the Dark Triad personalities do predict academic entitlement. This knowledge promotes positive social change by providing educators and support staff with insight into the millennial generation of students. A greater understanding of the link between personality traits allows professors and support staff to mitigate these behaviors by adapting their teaching styles to diminish the chance of academic-entitled behaviors to manifest.