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Front Psychol. 2013 May 29;4:299. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00299. eCollection 2013.

A new measure of interpersonal exploitativeness.

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Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University at Mansfield , Mansfield, 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.


exploitativeness; measurement; narcissism; reciprocity; social dilemma

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