Moral disengagement: mediator between moral perfectionism and Machiavellian behavior among undergraduates?

Abbas Abdollahi, Fatemeh Hashemi, Hamid Rezaeian Faraji, Simin Hosseinian, Kelly A. Allen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    To better understand Machiavellian behavior among undergraduate students, the current study examines moral disengagement as a mediator in the relationship between Machiavellian behavior and two dimensions of moral perfectionism (concern over moral mistakes perfectionism and personal moral standards perfectionism). Participants were 210 undergraduate students (64% female) from three universities in Tehran, Iran, aged between 18 and 27 years old. Structural equation modeling revealed that Machiavellian behavior was negatively associated with personal moral standards perfectionism and positively associated with moral disengagement. The results of the structural model showed a non-significant relationship between concern over moral mistakes perfectionism and Machiavellian behavior. However, multi-model analysis provided evidence that moral disengagement partially mediated the relationship between personal moral standards perfectionism and Machiavellian behavior. The findings also showed that there was a relationship between concern over moral mistakes perfectionism and Machiavellian behavior through moral disengagement. The results suggest that while moral perfectionism is often accompanied with moral disengagement, Machiavellian behavior may be an explanation for individuals with these traits.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2761-2773
    Number of pages13
    JournalPsychological Reports
    Volume124
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

    Keywords

    • Machiavellian behavior
    • moral disengagement
    • Moral perfectionism
    • undergraduate

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