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How Machiavellian are car, stock and real estate salespersons?

By reputation, stockbrokers have manipulative personalities. So do people who sell cars or buildings. Professor Abdul Aziz took the measure of these groups of professionals, hoping to see whether each lives up or down to the legend.

Aziz, who teaches business at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, together with colleagues published three studies a decade ago: Relations of Machiavellian Behaviour with Sales Performance of StockbrokersMachiavellianism Scores and Self-rated Performance of Automobile SalespersonsRelationship between Machiavellianism Scores and Performance of Real Estate Salespersons. All appear in the journal Psychology Reports.

Aziz explains that a Machiavellian person is someone who “views and manipulates others” for “personal gain, often against the other’s self-interest”….

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.

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