Manipulating the odds: The effects of Machiavellianism and construal level on cheating behavior

Autoři: Mariela E. Jaffé aff001;  Rainer Greifeneder aff001;  Marc-André Reinhard aff002
Působiště autorů: Center for Social Psychology, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland aff001;  Chair of Social Psychology, University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224526


Values, beliefs, and traits differ across individuals, and these concepts might impact whether individuals choose to engage in (dis)honest behavior. This project focuses on interindividual differences in Machiavellianism, which is defined as a tendency toward cynicism and manipulativeness, and the belief that the ends justify the means. We hypothesized that trait Machiavellianism would predict dishonest behavior. Furthermore, we speculated that some situations are more conducive than others for Machiavellianism to translate into behavior. In particular, Construal Level Theory holds that individuals construe social situations on a concrete level, or an abstract level, and that an abstract construal level triggers values and value-related traits to be more influential on behavior. Against this background, we hypothesized that differences in Machiavellianism produce differences in dishonest monetary behavior when situations are construed abstractly. Four studies tested these considerations by asking participants to toss a coin and self-report the toss’ outcome. Inconsistent with our theorizing, we did not find that higher Machiavellianism is consistently associated with a higher self-reported probability of receiving an individual bonus. We also did not find consistent support that higher Machiavellianism is associated with cheating under abstract compared to concrete construal.

Klíčová slova:

Behavior – Deception – National security – Payment – Personality – Personality disorders – Personality traits – Regression analysis


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2019 Číslo 11