According to the classical view Machiavellian people are not (or less) emotionally involved in social situations. Their interpersonal relationships can be characterized by the lack of a warm and intimate emotional climate. They focus to the cognitive aspects of the situation they face, that is they are directed by the need of understanding and assessing it. Due to their affective distance they are able to keep "coldheaded" and think logically even in emotionally intense circumstances. The question arises what is behind their behavior: whether the lack of induced emotions or they do have emotions but they have a strong cognitive control over them. In this experiment we registered participants' brain activation during an emotionally evocative task that requires different and flexible interpretations of the same event. The two different interpretations induced two different emotional states. In response to the emotional reframing task we found enhanced activation in the machiavellians' hippocampus, insula, posterior cingulated cortex and cuneus. The machiavellians' neural activity appears in brain regions that are responsible for cognitive processing (hippocampus, cuneus) such as attention, memory, perception and inhibition of irrelevant information. Whilst, other regions (e.g. insula, posterior cingular cortex) are related to emotion regulation. Our results can modify the classical view about machiavellians' emotional processing. They indeed keep emotional distance from a situation, however, they do have intense emotions that can have an impact of their decision-making processes, too.
|Translated title of the contribution||The relationship of emotion regulation and Machiavellianism in the light of neural activation: An fMRI experiment|
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||Magyar Pszichologiai Szemle|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2015|
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