Machiavellianism in strangers affects cooperation

Lyons, Minna and Aitken, Sue (2008) Machiavellianism in strangers affects cooperation. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 6 (3). pp. 173-185. ISSN 1789-2082

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People form impressions of others in relation to how trustworthy they are, and let these judgments affect their subsequent behaviour. There is some evidence that people can accurately predict who cooperates in an experimental setting. However, it is unclear what kind of cues lead to correct predictions. This study reports findings of a Prisoner’s Dilemma game between pairs of strangers ( N = 40) and pairs of friends ( N = 40). It was found that the personality construct of Machiavellianism in the partner predicted perceptions of trustworthiness. People rated high-Machs as less likely to cooperate, but only in pairs of strangers. In addition, duration of eye gaze of a stranger had a positive correlation with predictions of cooperation, but smiling strangers were rated as less likely cooperators. Machiavellianism in strangers was not related to non-verbal communication. It is possible that we have evolved the capacity to detect how Machiavellian a stranger is, but the exact mechanism is still unknown.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Machiavellianism, non-verbal communication, cooperation, Prisoner’s Dilemma
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Users 3 not found.
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2014 15:36
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2014 16:27

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