Machiavellianism and Adult Attachment in General Interpersonal Relationships and Close Relationships

Tamás Ináncsi, András Láng, Tamás Bereczkei


Up to the present, the relationship between Machiavellianism and adult attachment has remained a question to be answered in the psychological literature. That is why this study focused on the relationship between Machiavellianism and attachment towards significant others in general interpersonal relationships and in intimate-close relationships. Two attachment tests (Relationship Questionnaire and long-form of Experiences in Close Relationship) and the Mach-IV test were conducted on a sample consisting of 185 subjects. Results have revealed that Machiavellian subjects show a dismissing-avoidant attachment style in their general interpersonal relationships, while avoidance is further accompanied by some characteristics of attachment anxiety in their intimate-close relationships. Our findings further refine the relationship between Machiavellianism and dismissing-avoidant attachment. Machiavellian individuals not only have a negative representation of significant others, but they also tend to seek symbiotic closeness in order to exploit their partners. This ambitendency in distance regulation might be particularly important in understanding the vulnerability of Machiavellian individuals.


Machiavellianism; dismissing-avoidant attachment style; attachment-related avoidance and anxiety; general interpersonal relationships and close relationships

Full Text: PDF HTML

Citing articles (via Crossref)

  • Béla Birkás, András Láng, Norbert Meskó (2018)
    Self-Rated Attractiveness Moderates the Relationship Between Dark Personality Traits and Romantic Ideals in Women
    Psychological Reports, 121(1), p. 184(ff.)
    doi: 10.1177/0033294117738021
  • Tamás Ináncsi, András Láng, Tamás Bereczkei (2016)
    A darker shade of love: Machiavellianism and positive assortative mating based on romantic ideals
    Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 12(1), p. 137(ff.)
    doi: 10.5964/ejop.v12i1.1007
  • Loren Abell, Gayle Brewer (2017)
    Machiavellianism and Schadenfreude in Women’s Friendships
    Psychological Reports, p. 003329411774165(ff.)
    doi: 10.1177/0033294117741652
  • Guillaume Durand (2016)
    Digging in the Dark Triad: A Replication of ``Machiavellianism and Dating: Deception and Intimacy''
    The Quantitative Methods for Psychology, 12(3), p. r6(ff.)
    doi: 10.20982/tqmp.12.3.r006
  • Gayle Brewer, Charlotte Bennett, Lauren Davidson, Alisha Ireen, Amy-Jo Phipps, David Stewart-Wilkes, Bernadette Wilson (2018)
    Dark triad traits and romantic relationship attachment, accommodation, and control
    Personality and Individual Differences, 120, p. 202(ff.)
    doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2017.09.008
  • András Láng, Loren Abell (2018)
    Relationship between interparental functioning and adolescents' level of Machiavellianism: A multi-perspective approach
    Personality and Individual Differences, 120, p. 213(ff.)
    doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2017.08.043
  • Loren Abell, Gayle Brewer (2016)
    Machiavellianism, perceived quality of alternative mates, and resistance to mate guarding
    Personality and Individual Differences, 101, p. 236(ff.)
    doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.06.013
  • András Láng, Béla Birkás, László Martin, Tünde Nagy, János Kállai (2017)
    Schizotypal Traits and the Dark Triad From an Ecological Perspective: A Nonclinical Sample Study
    Psychological Reports, p. 003329411774265(ff.)
    doi: 10.1177/0033294117742655
  • Gayle Brewer, Loren Abell (2017)
    Machiavellianism, relationship satisfaction, and romantic relationship quality
    Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 13(3), p. 491(ff.)
    doi: 10.5964/ejop.v13i3.1217
  • András Láng (2018)
    Mama Mach and Papa Mach: Parental Machiavellianism in relation to dyadic coparenting and adolescents’ perception of parental behaviour
    Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 14(1), p. 107(ff.)
    doi: 10.5964/ejop.v14i1.1474
  • Gayle Brewer, Loren Abell (2017)
    Machiavellianism and romantic relationship dissolution
    Personality and Individual Differences, 106, p. 226(ff.)
    doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.11.001
  • Yixin Zhou, Kexin Wang, Shuang Chen, Jianxin Zhang, Mingjie Zhou (2017)
    The Actor, Partner, Similarity Effects of Personality, and Interactions with Gender and Relationship Duration among Chinese Emerging Adults
    Frontiers in Psychology, 8
    doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01698
  • Loren Abell, Gayle Brewer, Pamela Qualter, Elizabeth Austin (2016)
    Machiavellianism, emotional manipulation, and friendship functions in women's friendships
    Personality and Individual Differences, 88, p. 108(ff.)
    doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2015.09.001
  • Gayle Brewer, Loren Abell, Minna Lyons (2016)
    Machiavellianism, pretending orgasm, and sexual intimacy
    Personality and Individual Differences, 96, p. 155(ff.)
    doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.02.084