Psychopathy and Machiavellianism in Two Judicial Samples: Inmates and Attorneys

Diana Todeancă, Andrei Dumbravă


The present study examined the specific features of psychopathy and Machiavellianism in two judicial samples, one of inmates and one of attorneys. Participants included 225 prisoners (135 males and 90 females) and 38 lawyers (16 males and 22 females) that completed Hare Self-Report Psychopathy Scale Version III (SRP-III) and Mach-IV scale for Machiavellianism. We expected that psychopathic manifestations would be more prevalent in the prison sample and that lawyers would have Mach scores similar to inmates, due to their constant interaction with the criminal environment. Surprisingly, results showed that male attorneys scored higher than male inmates on the “Interpersonal Manipulation”, “Callous Affect”, “Erratic Lifestyle” subscales, and Machiavellianism, while in the female sample, the differences confirmed our expectations. These findings suggest that psychopathic and Machiavellian characteristics could not always be directly linked to criminal behavior and that psychopathic personality features can emerge in the absence of antisocial behavior.

psychopathy, Machiavellianism, inmates, lawyers

Andrei Dumbravă – Al. I. Cuza University, Iaşi, Romania, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences

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