Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of Machiavellianism? Anyone?
Before researching it, I’d heard of the term, but had no idea what it meant. Machiavellianism is a personality trait (some might say a disorder) characterized by the ability to use manipulation for self-serving purposes. I’m thinking this definition might make my six-year-old high on the Machiavellian scale.
This trait was named after Niccolo Machiavelli, whose life was characterized by power seeking behavior and whose book The Prince praised an anything-goes ideal for leadership. In fact, this book is where we get the phrase—the ends justify the means. Machiavelli believed that rulers could be justifiably amoral and ruthless to achieve their political goals.
Along with Narcissism and Psychopathy, Machiavellianism is a part of what psychological researchers have come to call the Dark Triad of personality. What makes Machiavellianism different from the other two parts of the Dark Triad is these people have the ability to control their impulses (more so than Narcissists and Psychopaths) and the ability to make other people do what they want. Those with high Machiavellianism are usually seen as smart and charming, until they get what they want and no longer have a need for your help. So, the next time you meet someone who is charming, think hard about what they might want from you.
Levels of Machiavellianism are measured on a scale from 1-100 using a test called the MACH-IV. Want to take the test? Are you sure? Click here.
As a comparison for your results, I’m a competitive person (which is why I was nervous to take the test), but apparently I’m not very high on the Machiavellianism scale with a score of 37 Mach. When evaluating your score, please pay attention to the note on the score page that tells you the results are not necessarily a representative sample, so just because the results look like a bell curve on the graph doesn’t mean that is a representation of people in general.
If you score higher than you’d like, don’t panic, it’s just a test and not necessarily a measurement of who God made you to be. Every personality that’s brought under submission to God is beautiful–just remember to always use your powers of manipulation for good (and for God).
Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/robert_scarth/138386538/”>Robert Scarth</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>