Interpersonal perception of the Machiavellian in task-oriented groups




Mock, Lou Ann Todd

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Interpersonal perception as a function of group composition in terms of Machiavellianism was investigated in an introductory social psychology course. 112 undergraduates were assigned to 4-person groups in 7 conditions on the basis of high or low scores on the Mach V scale. A semester project was assigned for completion by each of the groups. At the end of the semester the Interpersonal Check List (ICL) and sociometric questions were administered to examine group functioning, accuracy of person perception, self-descriptions, and attribution of traits. Results indicated that alteration of group composition did affect accuracy, with the most accurate condition being one in which there were high Mach males without high Mach females. Low Mach females consistently attributed socially desirable traits to both themselves and others, while the traits attributed to a high Mach female varied according to the context in which she was perceived. Group functioning in terms of group projects and attendance tended to be effected by group composition, and differences between high and low Machs appeared to be less striking than differences attributed to context and the interaction of context, sex-role stereotypes, and Machiavellianism.



Machiavellianism (Psychology), Social perception