Machiavellianism, Schadenfreude, rule-breaking, aggressivity, superiority, predictive model


Scientific literature on the dark triad and antisocial behavior has recently attracted the interest of researchers to effectively understand the complexities of human aggressiveness. In addition, studies showed that rule-breaking, physical violence, and social hostility represented three aspects of antisocial behavior, underlying of the Machiavellian correlation of specific deviant and antisocial behaviors, such as workplace difficulties, disruptive and counter-productive job action, and deception. Mach IV scale, initially created by Christie and Geis, is commonly employed for the measurement of Machiavellianism. However, this scale was criticized for its psychometric characteristics. While the construction was conceived as multidimensional, and the scale was congruent with measures of interpersonal tactics, a cynical view of humanity, and disregarding morality, it was generally utilized as a one-dimensional test. In order to clarify the evaluation of the sub-facet pessimistic perception of human existence, we explore the idea of Shadenfreude, described as the gratification gained by another from the suffering of another individual. Our research utilized convenience sampling technique, targeting a pool of 390 participants from Romania. For measuring Shadenfreude, this research has used a single item research question, along with other psychological dimensions measurements, in an online survey shared on social media platforms. Our research investigated if the difficulties in following the rules, superiority, and aggressivity are powerful predictors of schadenfreude. The obtained results validate our hypothesis, confirming that if an individual is characterized by a high level of difficulties in following the rules, superiority and aggressivity, there is a 16% probability that the person will develop a schadenfreude attitude towards peers. Discussion and implications are presented.

Author Biography

Dana RAD, Aurel Vlaicu University Arad

Dana Rad, PhD. is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Educational Sciences, Psychology and Social Sciences at Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad, Romania.


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