The Concept of Machiavellianism: A Diversity of Approaches and Evaluations

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Abstract

The paper discusses the ambiguity and contradictions of the term 'Machiavellianism' and its operationalization in concrete psychological researches. The concept is analysed in following aspects: a) the contradiction between the personality traits of Niccolo Machiavelli and the modern meaning of the concept 'Machiavellist'; b) the differences in understanding this concept between psychologists and ordinary people, as well as between psychologists themselves; c) the heterogeneity, overloading with different, often contradictory, psychological content of the statements in the MACHIV test, the most commonly used instrument for measuring a person's level of Machiavellianism. The authors point to the complexity of Machiavellianism as a psychological phenomenon as well as to the complexity and multidimensionality of human notions about it. The authors also propose a possible scheme for integrating psychological theories of Machiavellianism.

General Information

Keywords: Machiavelli, Machiavellianism, manipulation

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/chp.2007030409

For citation: Kalutskaya I.N., Poddyakov A.N. The Concept of Machiavellianism: A Diversity of Approaches and Evaluations. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2007. Vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 78–90. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2007030409. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Irina N. Kalutskaya, Postgraduate Student at the Faculty of Psychology, State University — Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, e-mail: kirina80@yahoo.com

Aleksander N. Poddyakov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Department of General and Experimental Psychology, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Member of the International Society for Studies of Behaviour Development (ISSBD), Member of the editorial boards of the journals: “Psychology. Journal of the Higher School of Economics", "Researcher/Researcher", "Culture and Psychology", "Mathematical Thinking and Learning", "International Journal of Idiographic Science", Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6793-9985, e-mail: alpod@gol.ru

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