Motivational drives and Machiavellianism : their interaction and influence on career choice : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Psychology at Massey University
The present study examined the relationships between the motivational drives of need for achievement, need for autonomy, need for affiliation and need for dominance, the demographic variables of age and sex and the personality trait of Machiavellianism. Further, the influence of these variables on the course of study of university students was examined. Previous research has produced mixed findings with regard to the relationship of motivational needs with Machiavellianism and their influence on career choice. The Mach IV scale and the Manifest Needs Questionnaire were administered to 494 undergraduate university students. Different student disciplines were compared on the motivational drive variables and Machiavellianism. Analysis partially supported the common stereotype that business students, and marketing students in particular are more Machiavellian than non business students. Results from the nursing and social work students supported the stereotype of 'caring professions' being higher in the need for affiliation. Nursing and science students had a higher need for achievement than other students and business students scored higher in the Leadership Motive Pattern than education or social work students. Machiavellianism was positively related to the need for power and the need for autonomy as well as McClelland's Leadership Motive Pattern. Machiavellianism was negatively correlated with need for affiliation, need for achievement and age. Males rated as being more Machiavellian, having a higher need for power, a higher need for autonomy, a higher Leadership Motive Pattern and a lower need for affiliation than females. Findings supported the proposal that high Machiavellians possess the same motivational drives that have been associated with effective leadership. A call is made for future research to pursue a longitudinal approach to understanding the changing nature of Machiavellianism over time. Additionally more research needs to be done on the low internal consistency ratings obtained in the affiliation sub-scale of the Steers and Braunstein (1976) Manifest Needs Questionnaire and to a lesser extent the autonomy sub-scale.