Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Psychol., 29 May 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00299

A new measure of interpersonal exploitativeness

Amy B. Brunell1*, Mark S. Davis2, Dan R. Schley3, Abbey L. Eng4, Manfred H.M. van Dulmen5, Kelly L. Wester6 and Daniel J. Flannery7
  • 1Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University at Mansfield, Mansfield, OH, USA
  • 2Criminal Justice Research Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
  • 3Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
  • 4College of Public Health, Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA
  • 5Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA
  • 6Counseling and Educational Development, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA
  • 7Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA

Measures of exploitativeness evidence problems with validity and reliability. The present set of studies assessed a new measure [the Interpersonal Exploitativeness Scale (IES)] that defines exploitativeness in terms of reciprocity. In Studies 1 and 2, 33 items were administered to participants. Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis demonstrated that a single factor consisting of six items adequately assess interpersonal exploitativeness. Study 3 results revealed that the IES was positively associated with “normal” narcissism, pathological narcissism, psychological entitlement, and negative reciprocity and negatively correlated with positive reciprocity. In Study 4, participants competed in a commons dilemma. Those who scored higher on the IES were more likely to harvest a greater share of resources over time, even while controlling for other relevant variables, such as entitlement. Together, these studies show the IES to be a valid and reliable measure of interpersonal exploitativeness. The authors discuss the implications of these studies.

Keywords: exploitativeness, narcissism, measurement, reciprocity, social dilemma

Citation: Brunell AB, Davis MS, Schley DR, Eng AL, van Dulmen MHM, Wester KL and Flannery DJ (2013) A new measure of interpersonal exploitativeness. Front. Psychol. 4:299. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00299

Received: 27 February 2013; Accepted: 08 May 2013;
Published online: 29 May 2013.

Edited by:

Simine Vazire, Washington University in St. Louis, USA

Reviewed by:

Erik E. Noftle, Willamette University, USA
Jeffrey R. Gagne, Boston University, USA

Copyright: © 2013 Brunell, Davis, Schley, Eng, van Dulmen, Wester and Flannery. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Amy B. Brunell, Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University at Mansfield, 1760 University Drive, Mansfield, OH 44906, USA. e-mail: brunell.2@osu.edu

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