We employ Deci and Ryan's self-determination theory of motivation in three studies to examine the goals and motivational orientation associated with Machiavellianism (MACH). Goals were classified as either extrinsic (e.g., financial success) or intrinsic (e.g., community feeling). The two types of goals are generally associated with different motivational experiences. Extrinsic goals are typically experienced as externally controlled, whereas intrinsic goals are experienced as self-determined. We predicted that MACH would be associated with an emphasis on the extrinsic goal of financial success specifically, and on a control motivational orientation in general. These predictions received support. Additional findings indicate that MACH is positively associated with alienation and antisocial behavior, but inversely associated with social interest (i.e., Adler, 1964/1938) and prosocial behavior.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Adler, A. (1964). Social Interest: A challenge to mankind. New York: Capricorn Books. (Original work published 1938).
Aldenderfer, M. S., & Blashfield, R. K. (1984). Cluster Analysis. Newbury Park: Sage.
Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497–529.
Bowlby, J. (1982). Attachment and loss (2nd edition). New York: Basic Books. (Original work published 1969).
Cantor, N., Norem, J., Langston, C., Zirkel, S., Fleeson, W., & Cook-Flannagan, C. (1991). Life tasks and daily life experience. Journal of Personality, 59, 425–451.
Carver, C. S., & Baird, E. (1998). The American dream revisited: Is it what you want or why you want it that matters? Psychological Science, 9, 289–292.
Christie, R., & Geis, F. L. (1970). Studies in Machiavellianism. New York: Academic Press.
Christoffersen, D., & Stamp, C. (1995). Examining the relationship between Machiavellianism and paranoia. Psychological Reports, 76, 67–70.
Crandall, J. E. (1975). A scale for social interest. Journal of Individual Psychology, 31, 187–195.
Crandall, J. E. (1980). Adler's concept of social interest: Theory, measurement, and implications for adjustment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 481–495.
Crandall, J. E. (1981). Theory and Measurement of Social Interest. New York: Columbia University Press.
Cushman, P. (1990). Why the self is empty: Toward a historically situated psychology. American Psychologist, 45, 599–611.
Deci, E. L., Koestner, R., & Ryan, R. M. (1999). A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 627–668.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985a). Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behavior. New York: Plenum Press.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985b). The general causality orientations scale: Self-determination in personality. Journal of Research in Personality, 19, 109–134.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1987). The support of autonomy and the control of behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 1024–1037.
Emmons, R. A. (1991). Personal strivings, daily life events, and psychological and physical well-being. Journal of Personality, 59, 453–472.
Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and society (2nd ed.). New York: Norton.
Falbo, T. (1977). Multidimensional scaling of power strategies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35, 537–547.
Fehr, B., Samsom, D., & Paulhus, D. L. (1992). The Construct of Machiavellianism: Twenty years later. In C. D. Spielberger & J. M. Butcher (Eds.), Advances in Personality Assessment (Vol. 9). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Freud, S. (1957). On narcissism: An introduction. In J. Strachey (Ed. & Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 14, pp. 73–102). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published in 1914).
Geis, F. L. (1978). Machiavellianism. In H. London & J. Exner (Eds.), Dimensions of Personality. New York: Wiley.
Gose, B. (1998, January 16). More freshmen than ever appear disengaged from their studies, survey finds. The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. A37.
Greever, K. B., Tseng, M. S., & Friedland, B. U. (1973). Development of the social interest index. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 41, 454–458.
Gurtman, M. B. (1991). Evaluating the interpersonalness of personality scales. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 17, 670–677.
Gurtman, M. B. (1992). Trust, distrust, and interpersonal problems: A circumplex analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 989–1002.
Ickes, W., Reidhead, S., & Patterson, M. (1986). Machiavellianism and self-monitoring: As different as “me” and “you.” Socal Cognition, 4, 58–74.
Kasser, T., & Ryan, R. M. (1993). A dark side of the American dream: Correlates of financial success as a central life aspiration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 410–422.
Kasser, T., & Tyan, R. M. (1996). Further examining the American dream: Differential correlates of intrinsic and extrinsic goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 280–287.
Kasser, T., Ryan, R. M., Zax, M., & Sameroff, A. J. (1995). The relatons of maternal and social environments to late adolescents' materialistic and prosocial values. Developmental Psychology.
Lasch, C. (1979). The culture of narcissism: American life in an age of diminishing expectations. New York: Warner Books.
Leak, G. K., Millard, R. J., Perry, N. W., & Williams, D. E. (1985). An investigation of the nomological network of social interest. Journal of Research in Personality, 19, 197–207.
Leak, G. K., & Williams, D. E. (1989). Relationship between social interest, alienation, and psychological hardiness. Individual Psychology, 45, 369–375.
Levenson, M. R., Kiehl, K. A., & Fitzpatrick, C. M. (1995). Assessing psychopathic attributes in a noninstitutionalized population. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 151–158.
Machiavelli, N. (1981). The Prince. New York: Bantam. (Original work published 1513).
Maddi, R. M., Hoover, M., & Kobasa, S. C. (1982). Alienation and exploratory behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42, 884–890.
McHoskey, J. W. (1995). Narcissism and Machiavellianism. Psychological Reports, 77, 755–759.
McHoskey, J. W., & Heinz, W. (1999, May). Machiavellianism and dimensional measures of personality disorders. Poster presented at the annual proceedings of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
McHoskey, J. W., Hicks, B., Betris, T., Szyarto, C., Worzel, W., Kelly, K., Eggert, T., Tesler, A., Miley, J., & Suggs, T. (1999). Machiavellianism, adjustment and ethics. Psychological Reports, 85, 138–142.
McHoskey, J. W., Worzel, W., & Szyarto, C. (1998). Machiavellianism and Psychopathy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 192–210.
Mudrack, P. E. (1990). Machiavellianism and locus of control: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Social Psychology, 130, 125–126.
Nunnally, J. C., & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychometric theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Ryan, R. M. (1995). Psychological needs and the facilitation of integrative processes. Journal of Personality, 63, 397–427.
Ryan, R. M., Chirkov, V. I., Little, T. D., Sheldon, K. M., Timoshina, E., & Deci, E. L. (1999). The American dream in Russia: Extrinsic aspirations and well-being in two cultures. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 1509–1524.
Ryan, R. M., Sheldon, K. M., Kasser, T., & Deci, E. L. (1996). All goals were not created equal: An organismic perspective on the nature of goals and their regulation. In P. M. Gollwitzer & J. A. Bargh (Eds.), The Psychology of Action: Linking Motivation and Cognition to Behavior. New York: Guilford.
Sansone, C. (Ed.). (1999). Special issue on intrinsic motivation, creativity, and performance: New perspectives on old questions [Special Issues]. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 35(3).
Seeman, M. (1991). Alienation and Anomie. In J. P. Robinson, P. R. Shaver, & L. S. Wrightsman (Eds.), Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes. New York: Academic Press.
Sheldon, K. M., & Kasser, T. (1995). Coherence and congruence: Two aspects of personality integration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 531–543.
Shultz II, C. J. (1993). Situational and dispositional predictors of performance: A test of the hypothesized Machiavellianism X Structure interaction among sales persons. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 23, 478–498.
Vallerand, R. J. (1997). Toward a hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 29, pp. 271–360). New York: Academic Press.
Wiggins, J. S., & Broughton, R. (1985). The interpersonal circle: A structural model for the integration of personality research. In R. Hogan & W. H. Jones (Eds.), Perspectives in Personality, (Vol. 1, pp. 1–47). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Wrightsman, L. S. (1991). Interpersonal trust and attitudes towards human nature. In J. P. Robinson, P. R. Shaver, & L. S. Wrightsman (Eds.), Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes. New York: Academic Press.
About this article
Cite this article
McHoskey, J.W. Machiavellianism, Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic Goals, and Social Interest: A Self-Determination Theory Analysis. Motivation and Emotion 23, 267–283 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021338809469
- Social Psychology
- Antisocial Behavior
- Prosocial Behavior
- Theory Analysis
- Additional Finding