Nothing ventured nothing gained: Strong associations between reward sensitivity and two measures of Machiavellianism

Béla Birkás, Árpád Csathó, Boróka Gács, Tamás Bereczkei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


Recent theoretical work on the Life History Theory and empirical findings on Machiavellianism suggest that Machiavellian individuals are motivated to acquire short-term benefits and prioritize situations with high potential rewards. Accordingly, in our study, we investigated the associations between reward/punishment sensitivity and Machiavellian interpersonal tactics with self-report measures. Moreover, as a first attempt, we investigated the correlates of Machiavellianism and the behavioral preference for rewards with the IOWA Gambling task (IGT). The results showed robust positive associations of Machiavellian behavioral characteristics with Sensitivity to Reward, and a moderately negative correlation with Sensitivity to Punishment. This finding was further supported by IGT: Machiavellians tended to make reward-oriented decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-115
Number of pages4
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2015



  • IOWA gambling
  • Machiavellianism
  • Punishment sensitivity
  • Reward sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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