American Journal of Applied Psychology
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American Journal of Applied Psychology. 2015, 3(4), 109-112
DOI: 10.12691/ajap-3-4-5
Open AccessArticle

Machiavellianism and Perceived Parental Bonding: Different Socialization Pathways for Men and Women

Béla Birkás1, , András Láng2 and Tamás Bereczkei2

1Institute of Behavioral Sciences, University of Pécs, H-7624 Pécs, Hungary

2Institute of Psychology, University of Pécs, H-7624 Pécs, Hungary

Pub. Date: December 29, 2015

Cite this paper:
Béla Birkás, András Láng and Tamás Bereczkei. Machiavellianism and Perceived Parental Bonding: Different Socialization Pathways for Men and Women. American Journal of Applied Psychology. 2015; 3(4):109-112. doi: 10.12691/ajap-3-4-5


Machiavellianism can be seen as a personality indicator of fast life history strategy. Unpredictable, harsh environmental conditions tend to produce fast strategies which are associated with earlier maturation, more offspring, but less investment in them. Men tend to benefit more from fast strategy than women. We investigated, to what extent parental bonding characteristics play a role in developing high-Mach personality traits. According to gender differences we attempt to differentiate possible pathways of socialisation for men and women with Machiavellian attitudes. 175 participants (69 females) were asked to report Machiavellian attitudes (Mach-IV) and perceived parental rearing practices (Short-EMBU). For women, moderate negative correlation was found between level of Machiavellianism and level of parental (both paternal and maternal) warmth. For men on the other hand, Machiavellian attitudes correlated negatively with paternal rejection and paternal overprotection. Our results indicated that the development of Machiavellian attitudes followed different patterns in men and women. Considering the source of the above mentioned gender difference, we speculate that women could be more sensitive to emotional closeness of both their parents, whereas men tend to be more affected by paternal feedback or the lack of thereof. Consequently, there are gender differences in pathways that lead from family experiences to Machiavellian attitudes.

machiavellianism life history theory parental bonding gender differences socialization

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