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Аndreyuk K.O., Sokolova E.T. (2019). Clinical and psychological regulators of Machiavellianism in normal subjects and in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], (12)4, 35–45.

Abstract

Background. Machiavellianism is viewed as a manipulative personal mindset, consistently connected to failure of self-awareness and destruction of close interpersonal relationships, which finds indirect proof in the studies of Machiavellianism and other traits of the Dark Triad in healthy population. Additionally, the role of Machiavellianism in the regulation of various forms of social behaviour characterized by various degrees of regulation, complexity, emotional closeness is not yet studied well enough. Machiavellianism and other forms of manipulative behaviour are expected to be viewed as adaptive strategies in regulating interpersonal relationships in situations of uncertainty, will be expressed differently in the relatively normal and clinical populations depending on emotional engagement, tolerance to uncertainty and values.

Objective. The objective of the study was to identify the input in the expression of Machiavellianism, estimated by Mach-4 scale (by R. Christie, F. Geis, adapted by V.V. Znakov, 2000), of such psychological features as empathy (Measure of Emotional Empathy, by A. Mehrabian, N. Epstein, adapted by U. Orlov, U. Emelianov, 1986), attitude to uncertainty (A New Questionnaire of Uncertainty Tolerance/ Intolerance, by T.V. Kornilova), value orientations (Justice-Care Questionnaire, by S. V. Molchanov, 2005), as well as clinical schizotypal traits (SPQ-74, by Raine A., adapted by S.N. Enikolopov and A.G. Efremov, 2001).

Design. The sample included 80 patients with schizophrenia disorders (F 20.0, F 25.0, F 21.0) and 40 participants without psychiatric diagnoses. The patients were divided into two groups. In the group of patients with paranoid schizophrenia there were males (50%) and females (50%); in the group of patients with schizotypal disorders there were males (45%) and females (55%). The participants without psychiatric diagnoses included males (37.5%) and females (62.5%). The mean age of the participants was 30±5. Each patient was undergoing individual research. At the moment of the study, the patients were hospitalized in the Mental Health Research Center, Moscow, Russia. Results. The regression analysis showed that the lack of empathy, i.e. emotional engagement in the process of interpersonal communication was one of the main regulators of Machiavellianism both in the control (p<.05) and the clinical (p<.001) groups. At the same time, the pronounced schizotypal traits, which are connected to emotional relational aspect of clinical symptoms (suspicion, restricted affect, social anxiety), characterized the climate of the interpersonal communication. Being not the leading ones, they provided the basis for exacerbation of manipulative tendencies. In the control group, “interpersonal intolerance to uncertainty” was the additional factor of Machiavellianism indicator (p<.05). Those patients who have difficulty bearing the ambiguity of relationships were prone to manipulate others. Low “intolerance to uncertainty” in the clinical groups may also strengthen the Machiavellianism indicator (p<.01), which is proved by the links with some aspects of moral self-awareness, based on disregard of traditional ethical norms, laws and orders in decision-making in interpersonal communication.

Conclusion. Among the studied parameters, the regulation of Machiavellianism expression both in clinical and in the control groups is determined by empathy and intolerance to uncertainty. Value priorities and clinical traits, while connected to Machiavellianism, do not allow the authors to conclude on the amount of input of the specific indicator on the manipulative behaviour. The discovered constellations of dyadic relationship quality of Machiavellianism may help to elaborate individual strategies of effective communication with patients with schizophrenia disorders in the framework of psychotherapeutic and rehabilitative programs.

Received: 10/29/2019
Accepted: 11/06/2019
Pages: 35-45
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2019.0404

Sections: General Psychology;

PDF: /pdf/npj-no36-2019/npj_no36_2019_035-045.pdf

Keywords: machiavellianism; empathy; tolerance to ambiguity; moral consciousness; schizophrenia disorders;

Available Online 31.12.2019

Table 1. Differences between groups based on average Machiavellian scores

Group

Mean Mach-4 scale

Group

Mean Mach-4 scale

t-criterion

Patients with paranoid schizophrenia

71,15

Patients with schizotypal disorders

81,05

-2,838**

Patients with schizotypal disorders

81,05

Control Group

74,80

1,860

Control Group

74,80

Patients with paranoid schizophrenia

71,15

-1,334

NB. Italics highlight the value at the level of the trend (p = 0.067); ** - significance level p <0.01.

Table 2. Results of correlation analysis in patients with paranoid schizophrenia

Scale

Restricted Value

Empathy

Machiavellianism

Based on Law and Order

Strange speech

0,471**

-0,358*

-0,066

0,042

Social anxiety

0,470**

-0,393*

0,086

0,047

Interpersonal Relationship Factor

0,585**

-0,345*

-0,136

0,155

Empathy

-0,391*

1

-0,334*

0,119

Taking into account the rights and freedoms of another person

-0,272

0,480**

-0,412**

0,448**

Machiavellianism

0,077

-0,334*

1

-0,410**

Lack of close friends

0,567**

-0,385*

-0,024

-0,041

NB. The table shows the correlation coefficients. Significant correlations

Table. 3. Results of correlation analysis in patients with schizotypal disorders.

Scales

Machiavellianism

TUN

ITUN

Instrumental Exchange

Ideas of Relationship

Empathy

Suspicion

Empathy

-0.556**

-0.065

0.158

-0.438**

0.200

1

-0.358*

ITUN

-0.338*

-0.007

1

0.042

-0.170

0.158

-0.076

Suspicion

0.373*

-0.452**

-0.076

0.214

0.342*

-0.358*

1

Reliance on law and order

-0.372*

0.123

0.458*

0.073

-0.167

0.286

0.196

Desire to be

nice with others

-0.219

0.086

0.527**

0.059

0.005

0.145

-0.024

I-centred and focused on one’s interests

0.352*

-0.281

-0.126

0.108

0.252

-0.324*

0.412**

Taking into account rights and freedoms of another person

-0.196

0.159

0.091

0.005

-0.336*

0.278

-0.292

Interpersonal Intolerance to Uncertainty

0.039

-0.084

0.295

0.523**

0.009

-0.385*

0.139

Pre-Conventional Level of Moral Consciousness

0.028

0.097

0.202

0.839**

-0.035

0.366*

0.175

Absence of Close Friends

0.282

-0.132

0.069

0.330*

0.070

-0.361*

0.403**

NB Table 3 uses correlation co-efficient *- р<0.05. ** - р<0.01.

Legend: TUN – Tolerance of Uncertainty. ITUN – Intolerance of Uncertainty.

Table 4. Results of correlation analysis in the control group

Scales

Machiavellianism

Suspicion

0.454**

Instrumental Exchange

0.321*

Taking into account rights and freedoms of another person

-0.356*

Post-Conventional Level of Moral Consciousness

-0.399*

NB Table 3 uses correlation co-efficient *- р<0.01. *- р

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For citing this article:

Аndreyuk K.O., Sokolova E.T. (2019). Clinical and psychological regulators of Machiavellianism in normal subjects and in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], (12)4, 35–45.

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