Machiavellianism, typically studied alongside psychopathy and narcissism in the context of the Dark Triad, is characterized by planfulness, ability to delay gratification, interpersonal exploitativeness, amorality and ambition. Unfortunately, current measures of Machiavellianism suffer from two problems. First, they assess a construct consistent with expert conceptualizations of psychopathy than with conceptualizations of Machiaveliianism (Miller et al., 2017; Vize et al., 2018). The table above presents expert ratings of Machiavellianism and psychopathy on the 30 facets of the FFM along with correlations between the facets and four measures of Machiavellianism--MACH IV, Short Dark Triad, Dirty Dozen, and the Five Factor Machievellianism Inventory. As can be seen in the similarities at the bottom of the table, the FFM profiles for the MACH IV, SD3, and DD Machiavellianism scales resemble expert profiles for psychopathy more than they resemble expert profiles for Machiavellianism. Examination of the correlations reveals that this is due to the fact that these three inventories assess low Conscientiousness (i.e., poor impulse control) rather than high Conscientiousness. The second problem is that SD3 and DD treat Machiavellianism as a unidimensional construct despite the fact that research suggests it contains multiple aspects, including interpersonal antagonism, planfulness, and agency (using the language of the FFM).
To remedy these problems, we developed the Five Factor Machiavellianism Inventory (Collison et al., 201) based on the expert ratings presented above. The FFMI consists of 13 subscales which are underlaid by 3 higher-order factors--Antagonism, Agency, and Planfulness. We also developed a super short form.