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Science Reveals Why Some People are Selfish Jerks

New research supports the idea that selfishness is programmed into Machiavellians. These individuals exploit others’ willingness to play fair and cooperate for individual gain. In the eyes of a Machiavellian, people are tools to be used as a means to an end in fulfilling their own aims.

A questionnaire that tests for this trait finds that people who are high in Machiavellianism tend to agree with statements such as: “The best way to handle people is to tell them what they want to hear” and “It is wise to flatter important people.”