Real-estate agents, take note: It’s better to be feared than loved.
Research led by a professor at Morgan State University has found that brokers who score high in Machiavellian personality tests sell more real estate than their kinder, gentler colleagues.
Abdul Aziz, associate professor of management at the Baltimore school, and Jim Meeks, a senior at the time at the College of Charleston, devised a “Mach-B scale” to measure Machiavellian behavior in people across various occupations. The personality test looks for traits described in the writings of Niccolò Machiavelli, a 15th-century Italian diplomat. A Machiavellian person, Prof. Aziz explains, is emotionally detached, prone to deceive and believes that the end justifies the means, even if it is not morally right. “Machiavelli believed in using dirty tricks in order to succeed,” says Harvey Mansfield, professor of government at Harvard University and author of numerous books on Machiavelli.