Nathaniel Phillips—Honors in Psychology

Machiavellianism, Authoritarianism, and Emotion Processing. Past research has shown that individuals high in Machiavellianism also show self-report emotion deficits (Phillips & Vitale, 2006; Wastell & Booth, 2003). The current research expanded on this idea to test those high in Machiavellianism for emotional deficits in automatic processing. Additionally, Machiavellianism was compared to measures of political attitudes. In Study 1, 75 male and female undergraduates took the Mach-IV, TAS-20, TMMS, Radicalism-Conservatism Scale, and the lexical decision task. Findings showed a replication of past research of Machiavellianism and self-report emotion deficits, but no correlation between Machiavellianism and political views or a link between Machiavellianism and the behavioral measure of emotion processing were found. In Study 2, 58 male undergraduates took the Mach-IV, RWA, and facial emotion recognition task. No correlation was found between Machiavellianism and authoritarianism, but those high in Machiavellianism responded significantly more slowly to emotions of sadness on the computer task. Implications and future directions are discussed.