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Machiavellian brains light up with the opportunity to exploit others

Niccolo Machiavelli

Niccolo Machiavelli, 1469-1527, described unscrupulous politicians in his book “The Prince.”

It’s called the Dark Triad — narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism. You definitely want to avoid people who have these traits and personality disorders.

Machiavellianism is a term used to describe those who manipulate and deceive to get their way. A recent study shows that these traits are hardwired into the brains of people who act this way.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Pecs in Hungary. They tested the research subjects for Machiavellianism, and divided them into “high Mach” and “low Mach” groups. Then they used fMRI machines to observe the subjects’ brains while they played a “trust game.”

The “high Machs” showed higher neural activity when their partner played fairly. The researchers interpreted this to mean that the Machiavellians inhibited the human instinct to reciprocate fairness, and simultaneously calculated how best to take advantage of fair play by their partners.

The Neuroscience of Being a Selfish Jerk, on NYMag.com.

Do YOU have a Machiavellian mind? Researchers find brains of those with Frank Underwood trait go into overdrive if there’s an opportunity to rip someone off, on DailyMail.co.uk

Story suggested by a Lovefraud reader.



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