Adrian Farnham, a professor of psychology at University College London, argued that "dark side" traits can have "bright side" consequences, especially in the workplace.
"These people may be particularly good at certain types of work involving quality control, auditing, checking etc.," the Daily Star quoted Farnham as saying.
"Equally, the flamboyance and theatricality of histrionic types may make them excellent public speakers or 'creatives'."
The study also found women were more likely than men to be excitable, moody, perfectionist or aggressive.
The research is published in the Personality and Individual Differences journal.