Annotated Links

Goodness Has Nothing to Do With It This article from The Economist summarizes research by Daniel Bartels and David Pizzaro which suggests that people with a utilitarian outlook tend to be Machiavellian or psychopathic.

Humans And Monkeys Share Machiavellian Intelligence According to research by Dario Maestripieri at the University of Chicago humans and rhesus macaques both show a strong tendency for nepotism and political maneuvering.

Personality Predicts Cheating More Than Academic Struggles According to research by Delroy Paulhus and colleagues published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied and summarized here, College students who admitted to cheating in high school or turned in plagiarized papers ranked high on personality tests of the so-called Dark Triad: psychopathy, Machiavellianism (cynicism, amorality, manipulativeness), and narcissism (arrogance and self-centeredness, with a strong sense of entitlement). Of the three dark personality types, psychopathy was most strongly linked to cheating. From Science Daily, September 8, 2010.

Why Was Darth Vader So Evil? Blame His Lack of Parental Care, Say Psychologists Why was Darth Vader such a bad dude? According to a team of psychologists led by Peter Jonason, it's down to his lack of parental care: the fact he was separated from his mother at age 9, and his father's absence. The researchers believe such circumstances can catalyse the emergence of the Dark Triad of personality traits: Machiavellianism, Narcissism and Psychopathy. These traits are usually seen as negative, but Jonason and his colleagues believe they may be an adaptive response to tough early circumstances that signal to a child life is bad. From BPS Research Digest, August 5, 2014.

Assignments, Exercises, and Activities

Assessing Personality via Social Media Postings TruthSerum.com claims to assess personality though people's social media posts. Users can analyze their own personality and see how they compare to Barak Obama, Mitt Romney, Abraham Lincoln, the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and some 135 other famous people on Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy (aka, Psychoticism).

Case Studies

Why Was Darth Vader So Evil? Blame His Lack of Parental Care, Say Psychologists Why was Darth Vader such a bad dude? According to a team of psychologists led by Peter Jonason, it's down to his lack of parental care: the fact he was separated from his mother at age 9, and his father's absence. The researchers believe such circumstances can catalyse the emergence of the Dark Triad of personality traits: Machiavellianism, Narcissism and Psychopathy. These traits are usually seen as negative, but Jonason and his colleagues believe they may be an adaptive response to tough early circumstances that signal to a child life is bad. From BPS Research Digest, August 5, 2014.

Electronic Texts

The Prince by Nicoḷ Machiavelli The classic treatise by Machiavelli himself, written around 1505 and published 1515 is available here in a 1908 translation by W. K. Marriott.

Examples and Illustrations

Lecture Notes

Slide Presentations

Tests, Measures, and Scales

Machiavellianism Scale Is it better to be loved than feared? Or is it better to be feared than loved? Find out the extent to which you think like Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), a diplomat from Florence, who gave advice to rulers of Italy. Based on Christie, R., & Geis, F. L. (1970). Studies in Machiavellianism. Academic Press.

Audio and Video

Ferris Bueller, the lovable high Machiavellian In this scene from the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Ferris Bueller pretends he is Abe Froman, "the sausage king of Chicago" in order to have a fancy luncheon out with his friends. This situation contains the three conditions which allow high machs to perform their best: a face to face interaction, the latitude for improvisation, and the arousal of irrelevant emotion. (3 minutes, 17 seconds).


Page last modified by August 05, 2014, at 03:40 PM
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