The emotional manipulation–psychopathy nexus: Relationships with emotional intelligence, alexithymia and ethical position

School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove 4059, Australia
Personality and Individual Differences (Impact Factor: 1.95). 06/2010; 48(8):945-950. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.02.028
Source: OAI


This research examined for the first time the relationship between emotional manipulation, emotional intelligence, and primary and secondary psychopathy. As predicted, in Study 1 (N = 73), emotional manipulation was related to both primary and secondary psychopathy. Only secondary psychopathy was related to perceived poor emotional skills. Secondary psychopathy was also related to emotional concealment. Emotional intelligence was negatively related to perceived poor emotional skills, emotional concealment, and primary and secondary psychopathy. In Study 2 (N = 275), two additional variables were included: alexithymia and ethical position. It was found that for males, primary psychopathy and emotional intelligence predicted emotional manipulation, while for females emotional intelligence acted as a suppressor, and ethical idealism and secondary psychopathy were additional predictors. For males, emotional intelligence and alexithymia were related to perceived poor emotional skills, while for females emotional intelligence, but not alexithymia, predicted perceived poor emotional skills, with ethical idealism acting as a suppressor. For both males and females, alexithymia predicted emotional concealment. These findings suggest that the mechanisms behind the emotional manipulation–psychopathy relationship differ as a function of gender. Examining the different aspects of emotional manipulation as separate but related constructs may enhance understanding of the construct of emotional manipulation.

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Available from: Rachel Grieve, Jul 01, 2014
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    • "Natomiast negatywna korelacja pomiędzy zarządzaniem emocjami a obydwiema formami zaburzenia: psychopatią pierwotną i wtórną (odpowiadającą czynnikowi 2 PCL‑R) wystąpiła jedynie w grupie mężczyzn; u kobiet z cechami psychopatycznymi nie zano‑ towano podobnego efektu (Lishner, Swim, Hong i Vitacco, 2011). W badaniach, w których inteligencja emocjonalna traktowana była jako cecha, stwierdzono negatywną zależność pomiędzy psychopatią a inteligencją emocjonalną głównie w odniesieniu do właściwości tra‑ dycyjnie przypisywanych wymiarowi behawioralno/antyspołecznemu PCL‑R lub psychopatii wtórnej, takich jak impulsywność, agresja czy podwyższony neurotyzm (Grieve i Mahar, 2010). Zgodne z większością studiów w tym zakresie dane o negatywnej korelacji pomiędzy inteligencją emocjonalną a psychopatią uzyskali Por‑ ter, ten Brinke, Baker i Wallace (2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Problem: Most analyses of psychopathy underscore the role of those emotional deficits characteristic of this disorder. At the same time, the necessity to account for the adaptive aspects of the psychopathic personality is increasingly a subject of research. The goal of this study is delineate those traits and patterns of behavior which allow psychopathic individuals to effectively manipulate and take advantage of their social environment, in spite of the displayed abnormalities in their emotional processes. It is assumed that at a cognitive level, this role is played by emotional intelligence, while social skills, theoretically and empirically related to emotional intelligence, play this role at the behavioral level. Method: Eighty incarcerated adult males were studied, including 40 individuals with diagnosed psychopathic personality disorder. The Hare Psychopathy Checklist – Revised (PCL-R) was used to measure psychopathic characteristics (Hare, 2003). The level of emotional intelligence of the incarcerated individuals was measured by the application of the Emotional Intelligence Test (Śmieja, Orzechowski and Beuvale, 2007) which treats this as ability based, along with the Emotional Intelligence Scale – Faces test (Matczak, Piekarska and Studniarek, 2005) which is based on the recognition of facial expressions. Social competencies were measured using the self-reporting Social Competencies Questionnaire (Matczak, 2007) and the author’s own test for studying individuals’ disposition towards assertive behavior in situations of social influence. Results: In comparison to other incarcerated individuals, who are the control group, psychopaths show a higher level of emotional intelligence, but only in the relation to the emotion recognition abilities measured by the EIS-Faces test. Additionally, it turns out that interpersonal characteristics of the psychopathic personality contained in Hare’s PCL-R factor 1 are related to emotional intelligence. No relationships are found between the antisocial model of behavior (PCL-R factor 2) and the emotional intelligence of subjects. The PCL-R interpersonal facet positively correlates with the social competencies revealed in social exposure situations. The affective characteristics of psychopathy such as a lack of empathy or callousness are related rather to a low level of social competencies in inmate situations. No general relationship between psychopathy and emotional intelligence and social competencies is uncovered. Conclusions: The data obtained suggest that the possession by psychopathic individuals of certain cognitive and behavioral abilities compensate for the emotional deficits identified. The level of emotional intelligence and social competencies in individuals with a psychopathic personality structure seem to depend on the subtype of the disorder as well as on the severity of the characteristics which make up the interpersonal- affective dimension of psychopathy.
    Full-text · Book · Jan 2015
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    • "Primary and secondary psychopathy traits have both been shown to be related to general perceived manipulative ability (Grieve & Mahar, 2010). In addition, differentiations across primary and secondary psychopathy have been made through the use of two of the EMS subscales which measure poor emotion perception skills and emotional concealment ; it was found that secondary but not primary psychopathy was related to these subscales (Grieve & Mahar, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study’s primary aim was to investigate if trait anxiety and other emotion processing variables would be additive predictors that will differentially predict primary and secondary psychopathy, as previous research has yet to examine the relative contributions of these constructs in a non-criminal population. A convenience community sample (N = 470) was obtained using an online survey. Structural equation modelling analyses demonstrated that trait anxiety, reappraisal and emotional manipulation are significant predictors of primary psychopathy. Trait anxiety, emotion manipulation, poor emotional skills and general emotion dys-regulation were found to be significant predictors of secondary psychopathy. From these findings, particularly noteworthy relationships are those between trait anxiety and secondary psychopathy (16% of the variance), and emotion manipulation and primary psychopathy (17.64% of the variance). In addition, there was preliminary evidence that emotion processing variables may partially mediate the relationship between trait anxiety and psychopathy subtypes. These findings have important implications, including the relevance of the findings to psychopathy conceptualised as a personality trait and the applicability of the findings in different non-forensic settings.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Personality and Individual Differences
    • "Because low empathy is one of the primary defining characteristics of psychopathy (Hare, 1985), these previous findings suggest that alexithymia may be related to higher levels of psychopathy due to their common relation with low empathy. Research has further shown that both alexithymia and psychopathy are associated with difficulties in describing one's own feelings (Luminet et al., 1999), understanding emotional tones in language (Hervé et al., 2003), difficulties in interpreting facial expressions (Dolan & Fullam, 2006), and low scores on measures of trait EI (Grieve & Mahar, 2010; Malterer et al., 2008). As with empathy, these common correlates of psychopathy and alexithymia demonstrate a substantial conceptual overlap between the variables and point to a possible positive association between them. "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study is the first to assess phenotypic correlations between alexithymia and the Dark Triad traits of personality in a community sample, as well as the common genetic and environmental factors underlying these correlations. Participants were 232 North American adult twin pairs who completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, the MACH-IV, and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Results revealed that alexithymia correlates significantly and positively with psychopathy and Machiavellianism, and negatively with narcissism. Subsequent bivariate behavioral genetic analysis demonstrated that these phenotypic correlations were primarily attributable to common genetic and common non-shared environmental factors. The implication of these findings regarding the maladaptive functions of alexithymia within the antisocial realm of behavior and the need for replication are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Twin Research and Human Genetics
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