Over the past decade, unexpected findings have been uncovered in the research of Machiavellianism. Whereas a lot of results of the former social psychological studies were confirmed, several assumptions must have been reconsidered. Machiavellian people, in fact, are "cold-minded" people but they also appear to experience intensive emotions in their social relationships. At the same time they are skilled at concealing these emotions that may promote the successful deception. In spite of the former theoretical expectations, Machiavellians poorly perform mindreading tests, but they can make relatively accurat judgments about their potential victims' typical personality character. They wish immediate reward but they are able to adjust their decisions to the actual demands of the social situation, on long run. All of these characteristics may coincide with the Machiavellian intelligence hypothesis stating that manipulation played a crucial role in the evolution of primate cognitive abilities. The exploitation of the group members might be a strong selectionary force during human evolution that led to the development of flexible decision making, to the permanent monitoring of others, and to the precise evaluation of the particular features of the social environment.
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