Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology; psychopathy; Machiavellianism; parental style; gender differences; socialization theories
Psychopathy and Machiavellianism are two components of the Dark Triad including personality traits such as egoism, coldheartedness and deceitfulness. While psychopathy and Machiavellianism possess some etiological differences, prior investigations showed similarities regarding the onset of these personality traits, namely in the field of parental behavior. The present study investigated potential correlations between psychopathy and Machiavellianism traits in adulthood, alongside reports of parental behavior during childhood. A community sample from Hungary (N = 70) was recruited and completed the Machiavellian Personality Scale (MPS), the Mach-IV inventory (Mach-IV), the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (SRPS) and the Short-EMBU (s-EMBU). No strong correlations were found between parental behaviors and psychopathy or Machiavellianism. However, positive correlations were found between the Machiavellian measures and the measures of psychopathy by subtypes. Analysis of the gender differences between the psychopathy and Machiavellianism revealed a positive correlation for primary psychopathy and Machiavellianism for both gender, as well as a positive correlation between secondary psychopathy and Machiavellianism for males only. Results are explained in terms of gender differences in socialization. Further implications and limitations are discussed.