Niccolò Machiavelli was an Italian politician and philosopher in the Renaissance who is famous for his advocacy of political ethics that views effectiveness as more important that morality. He is the source of the phrase "the ends justify the means".
In the 1960s, social psychologists Richard Christie and Florence L. Geis collected statements from Machiavelli's writings and asked people how much they agreed with each. From their research they concluded that Machiavellianism exists as a distinct personality trait. They published the MACH-IV to measure this trait in 1970 and it has been a popular instrument ever since and correlates with many things.
The test consists of twenty items. Each item is a statement that you must indicate how accurate it would be when applied to you. It should take 2 - 5 minutes to complete.
1. Never tell anyone the real reason you did something unless it is useful to do so.
2. The best way to handle people is to tell them what they want to hear.
3. One should take action only when sure it is morally right.
4. Most people are basically good and kind.
5. It is safest to assume that all people have a vicious streak and it will come out when they are given a chance.
6. Honesty is the best policy in all cases.
7. There is no excuse for lying to someone else.
8. Generally speaking‚ people won't work hard unless they're forced to do so.
9. All in all‚ it is better to be humble and honest than to be important and dishonest.
10.When you ask someone to do something for you‚ it is best to give the real reasons for wanting it rather than giving reasons which carry more weight.
11.Most people who get ahead in the world lead clean‚ moral lives.
12.Anyone who completely trusts anyone else is asking for trouble.
13.The biggest difference between most criminals and other people is that the criminals are stupid enough to get caught.
14.Most people are brave.
15.It is wise to flatter important people.
16.It is possible to be good in all respects.
17.P.T. Barnum was wrong when he said that there's a sucker born every minute.
18.It is hard to get ahead without cutting corners here and there.
19.People suffering from incurable diseases should have the choice of being put painlessly to death.
20.Most people forget more easily the death of their parents than the loss of their property.
1-strongly disagree‚ 2- moderately disagree‚ 3-slightly disagree‚ 4- neutral‚ 5- slightly agree‚ 6-- moderately agree‚ 7- strongly agree
Christie‚ R.‚ and F. L. Geis. (1970) "How devious are you? Take the Machiavelli test to find out." Journal of Management in Engineering 15.4: 17
Christie‚ R. & Geis‚ F. (1970) "Studies in Machiavellianism". NY: Academic Press.
Corral‚ Susana and Calvete‚ Esther. (2000). Machiavellianism: Dimensionality of the Mach IV and its Relation to Self-Monitoring in a Spanish Sample. The Spanish Journal of Psychology The Spanish Journal of Psychology‚ 3(1); 3-13