WOW: This Personality Test Shows Just How Manipulative You Are

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Test Shows Shows Just How Manipulative You Are

Warning: You may not like the results.

You've problem heard the term Machiavellian before, and it refers to someone who's sneaky, cunning and lacking a moral compass. If you're a Machiavellian, you believe that the ends absolutely justify the means and bad behavior it took to get it. In psychology, Machiavellian refers to a personality type that's manipulative, cold, selfish, and someone who has no problem using dishonesty, betrayal and treachery to get what they want. 

Yeah, it's not exactly a compliment to be labeled Machiavellian.

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was a political philosopher, author of The Prince, and someone who wrote things like "It's much safer to be feared than loved" and "If an injury has to be done to a man, it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared." When Machiavelli's first works were published, they were believed to be dangerous and immoral; thus, the word Machiavellian was created.

We can all be deceptive at times for various reasons. If you've ever called in sick when you really just needed a day to recover from your vacation or lied to your spouse, you've shown your ability to con others. Such moments of shady behavior probably don't reflect how you usually act, and you may have even felt a little guilty about it.

However, if you're someone who could be described as Machiavellian, you wouldn't have a moment of anxiety over your manipulative behavior. Machiavellians have no problem sleeping at night. 

Machiavellians fall on a spectrum going from low Machs (people who aren't that self-centered and scheming), to high Machs, to full-on manipulative jerks.

Want to know how you score on the Machiavellian scale? TAKE THIS TEST — and be honest!

The test, which comes from the book Studies in Machiavellianism, by psychologists Richard Christie and Florence Geis, takes two to five minutes to complete and is made up of 20 statements that you rate based on how accurate they are when applied to you. Some of the statements include: "Most people who get ahead in the world lead clean, moral lives," and "Anyone who completely trusts anyone else is asking for trouble."

I don't think of myself as especially manipulative, but I took the test and scored 70 out of 100. I'm one of the high Machs. It said that high Machs are people who don't believe in the goodness of the world and because of that feel compelled to manipulate. 

You get a bell-shaped graph along with your results. According to the chart, I should be I'm ashamed that I'm such a jerk.

Photo: Christie, R. & Geis, F

The chart isn't an exact view of the population, as the "people who seek out tests of Machiavellianism on the internet aren't the most likely representative of the average person," the test cautions.

Machiavellians, psychopaths and narcissists make up the Dark Triad of personality types, with Machiavellian behavior being typical of both psychopaths and narcissists. So, can I retake the test? 

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