Emotional Manipulation and Sub-clinical Psychopathic Traits

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Emotional Manipulation and Sub-clinical Psychopathic Traits

  1. 1. Emotional Manipulation and Subclinical Psychopathic Traits Keenan Jensen, MSFS Jeff Elison, PhD Southern Utah University
  2. 2. What is Psychopathy? <ul><li>Psychopathic Personality Traits </li><ul><li>General lack of emotions and guilt
  3. 3. Manipulative nature
  4. 4. Shallowness
  5. 5. Superficial (“charm”)
  6. 6. Impulsivity
  7. 7. Unrealistic heightened sense of self. </li></ul><li>Psychopathic Behavioral Manifestations </li><ul><li>High need for stimulation
  8. 8. Poor behavioral controls
  9. 9. Parasitic lifestyle
  10. 10. Promiscuity and high drug/alcohol use (irresponsibility) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Why worry about it? <ul><li>1% of the population in the U.S.
  12. 12. 2% of the population in the U.K.
  13. 13. Responsible for 30-50% of crime </li></ul>Proportion of Population Percentage of Crime
  14. 14. Machiavellianism <ul><li>Machiavellianism stems from the writings of Nicolo Machiavelli
  15. 15. “ The ends justify the means”
  16. 16. Machiavellianism generally correlates highly to Psychopathy ( r = .31-.59, Paulhus et al., 2002, McHoskey et al., 1998)
  17. 17. Construct Overlap with Psychopath?
  18. 18. Social Manipulation </li></ul>
  19. 19. Are psychopaths capable of emotional manipulation? <ul><li>Emotional Manipulation correlates to Machiavellianism ( r = .40, Austin et al., 2008)
  20. 20. Emotional Capabilities of psychopaths as measured by the PCL-R currently debated. </li><ul><li>Emotional Perception seems to remain normal
  21. 21. Empathic abilities and Emotional Understanding seem to be a key breakdown in the emotional levels of psychopaths </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Measures <ul><li>Self Report of Psychopathy Scale (SRPS) </li><ul><li>16 Personality Items such as “Success is based on the survival of the fittest; I am not concerned about the losers”
  23. 23. 10 Behavioral Items such as “I find myself in the same kind of trouble time after time”
  24. 24. Personality Subscale α = 0.84; Behavioral Subscale α = .71 </li></ul><li>Emotional Manipulation Scal e </li><ul><li>24 Emotional Manipulation Items such as “I can simulate emotions like pain and hurt to make others feel guilty.”
  25. 25. 7 Concealment Items such as “When someone has made me upset or angry, I tend to downplay my feelings.”
  26. 26. Emotional Manipulation Subscale α = 0.90; Concealment Subscale α = 0.73 </li></ul><li>Machiavellianism Personality Scale </li><ul><li>16 Social Manipulation Items such as “I am willing to sabotage the efforts of other people if they threaten my own goals”
  27. 27. Combined Score α = 0.85 </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Measures (continued) <ul><li>Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) </li><ul><li>7 Empathic Concern Items such as “I often have tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me.”
  29. 29. 7 Perspective Taking Items such as “I try to look at everybody’s side of a disagreement before I make a decision”
  30. 30. Emotional Concern α = 0.81; Perspective Taking α = 0.81 </li></ul><li>Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding (BIDR) </li><ul><li>20 Impression Management Items such as “I always obey laws, even if I’m unlikely to get caught”
  31. 31. 20 Self-Deceptive Items such as “I am a completely rational person”
  32. 32. Impression Management Subscale α = 0.80, Self-Deceptive Enhancement Subscale α = .65 </li></ul><li>Emotion Perception Task </li><ul><li>24 Photos displaying basic emotions (Happiness, Sadness, Anger, Fear, Disgust and Neutral)
  33. 33. 100 ms allotted for each photograph, Unlimited time to identify emotion and rate intensity.
  34. 34. α = .82, Mean misidentification = 7.58 or 31.6% of all photographs </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Hypothesis 1 <ul><li>Psychopathic trait scores will be correlated positively to Emotional Manipulation. </li></ul>Hypothesis 2 <ul><li>Emotional Perception task scores will be correlated with Emotional Manipulation </li></ul>
  36. 36. r = (+) Psychopathic Personality Traits Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Emotional Manipulation Psychopathic Behavioral Traits
  37. 37. r = ( + ) Emotional Manipulation Emotional Perception Task
  38. 38. Hypothesis 3 <ul><li>Psychopathic trait scores will be correlated positively to Machiavellianism </li></ul>Hypothesis 4 <ul><li>Psychopathic trait scores will be correlated negatively to Empathy </li></ul>
  39. 39. r = ( + ) Psychopathic Personality Traits Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Machiavellianism Psychopathic Behavioral Traits
  40. 40. r = ( - ) r = ( - ) Psychopathic Personality Traits Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Empathy
  41. 41. Hypothesis 5 <ul><li>Scores on the Emotional Perception task mediate the path from Psychopathic traits to Emotional Manipulation </li></ul>Hypothesis 6 <ul><li>Machiavellianism mediates the path from Psychopathic traits to Emotional Manipulation </li></ul>
  42. 42. r = ( + ) r = n.s. r = ( ? ) Psychopathic Personality Traits Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Emotional Manipulation Emotional Perception Task Psychopathic Behavioral Traits
  43. 43. r = ( + ) r = n.s. r = ( + ) Psychopathic Personality Traits Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Emotional Manipulation Machiavellianism Psychopathic Behavioral Traits
  44. 44. Hypothesis 7 <ul><li>Empathy partially mediates the path from Psychopathic traits to Emotional Manipulation </li></ul>Hypothesis 8 <ul><li>The model will converge will Psychopathic traits predicting Emotional Manipulation. Emotional Perception, Machiavellianism, and Empathy will mediate the path from Psychopathic traits to Emotional Manipulation. Relationships with Impression Management will indicate possible spurious relationships. </li></ul>
  45. 45. r = ( - ) r < zero-order correlations r = ( - ) r = ( - ) Psychopathic Personality Traits Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Emotional Manipulation Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Empathy
  46. 46. r = ( - ) r = ( + ) r = n.s. r = ( - ) r = ( + ) r = ( - ) r = ( - ) r = ( - ) r = ( + ) r = ( - ) r = (+) r = ( ? ) Psychopathic Personality Traits Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Emotional Manipulation Machiavellianism Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Empathy Impression Management Emotional Perception
  47. 47. Hypothesis 9 <ul><li>The relationships with Psychopathic traits, Machiavellianism, Empathy and Emotional Manipulation are partially spurious due to Impression Management. </li></ul>
  48. 48. r = ( - ) r = ( + ) r = n.s. r = ( - ) r = ( + ) r = ( - ) r = ( - ) r = ( - ) r = ( + ) r = ( - ) Psychopathic Personality Traits Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Emotional Manipulation Machiavellianism Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Empathy Impression Management
  49. 49. Participants <ul><li>N = 163
  50. 50. Mean Age = 21.38 years of age
  51. 51. 66 Males (40.5%), 97 Females (59.5%)
  52. 52. Primarily Psychology undergraduates, mostly Freshman </li></ul>
  53. 53. Results <ul><li>H1 upheld </li><ul><li>Personality psychopathic trait scores are indeed correlated to emotional manipulation
  54. 54. Personality traits </li><ul><li>Emotional Manipulation subscale r = .38, p < .01
  55. 55. Concealment subscale r = .19, p < .05 </li></ul><li>Behavioral traits </li><ul><li>Emotional Manipulation subscale r = .19, p < .05
  56. 56. Concealment subscale r = .22, p < .01 </li></ul><li>Controlling for IM and SDE </li><ul><li>Personality and Emotional Manipulation r = .23, p < .01
  57. 57. Personality and Concealment of Emotions r = .19, p = .03
  58. 58. Behavior and Concealment r = .23, p < .01
  59. 59. The relationship between Psychopathic Behavior and Emotional Manipulation lost significance. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  60. 60. Results <ul><li>H2 not supported </li><ul><li>No relationships were found with the Emotional Perception task
  61. 61. Reliability was adequate ( α = .82), however on average 31.6% of photographs were misidentified
  62. 62. Emotional Perception removed from further analysis. </li></ul></ul>
  63. 63. Results <ul><li>H3 upheld </li><ul><li>Psychopathic traits do indeed correlate positively with Machiavellianism
  64. 64. Personality traits and Machiavellianism r = .63, p < .01
  65. 65. Behavioral traits and Machiavellianism r = .28, p < .01
  66. 66. After controlling for IM and SDE </li><ul><li>Personality traits r = .50, p < .01
  67. 67. Behavioral traits r = .14, p < .05 </li></ul><li>Subscales combined due to moderate correlations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>rs = .28-.46 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  68. 68. Results <ul><li>H4 upheld </li><ul><li>Empathy (EC + PT) has a negative correlation to Psychopathic traits
  69. 69. Psychopathic Personality and Empathy r = -.56, p < .001
  70. 70. Psychopathic Behavior and Empathy r = -.34, p < .001
  71. 71. Controlling for IM and SDE </li><ul><li>Personality r = -.46
  72. 72. Behavior r = -.22 </li></ul><li>Personal Distress and Psychopathic Behavior r = .19, p < .05 </li></ul></ul>
  73. 73. Results <ul><li>H5 not tested </li><ul><li>Emotional Perception was not tested since Hypothesis 2 was not supported.
  74. 74. Emotional Perception had no significant correlations to any other variables, therefore it would be meaningless to test for mediation. </li></ul></ul>
  75. 75. Results <ul><li>H6 initially upheld </li><ul><li>Machiavellianism is indeed a mediator between Psychopathic Personality traits and Emotional Manipulation
  76. 76. Psychopathic Personality traits and Emotional Manipulation initial β = .36, p < .001
  77. 77. Test for Mediation from Psychopathic Personality traits to Emotional Manipulation </li><ul><li>Psychopathic Personality β = .004, p = .96
  78. 78. Machiavellianism β = .60, p < .001 </li></ul><li>Regression on Concealment of Emotions did not indicate any mediation by Machiavellianism.
  79. 79. Machiavellianism included in path analysis. </li></ul></ul>
  80. 80. Results <ul><li>H7 initially not supported </li><ul><li>Regression does not indicate mediation by Empathy in the path from Psychopathic Personality traits to Emotional Manipulation, however possibly mediation from Psychopathic Behavioral traits to Concealment of Emotions
  81. 81. Psychopathic Personality traits and Emotional Manipulation initial β = .38, p < .001
  82. 82. Test for Mediation from Psychopathic Personality traits to Emotional Manipulation </li><ul><li>Psychopathic Personality β = .43, p < .001
  83. 83. Empathy β = .10, p = .31 </li></ul><li>Empathy still has a significant relationship to Emotional Manipulation, despite lack of mediation </li><ul><li>Emotional Manipulation r = -.18, p < .05
  84. 84. Concealment of Emotions r = -.22, p < .01 </li></ul><li>Controlling for IM and SDE </li><ul><li>Relationship between Empathy and Emotional Manipulation becomes non-significant
  85. 85. Concealment of Emotions and Empathy r = -.20, p < .05 </li></ul><li>Empathy will be tested in the model to test for mediation between Concealment of Emotions and Psychopathic Behavior traits. </li></ul></ul>
  86. 86. Results <ul><li>H8 upheld </li><ul><li>A model converges with Psychopathic traits (Both subscales), Machiavellianism, Emotional Manipulation, Concealment of Emotions, Impression Management and Self-Deceptive Enhancement.
  87. 87. Χ² = 3.66, df = 5, p = .60, n.s. RMSEA = .000
  88. 88. No models converge with Empathy as a mediator, H7 ultimately rejected
  89. 89. Machiavellianism shows complete mediation, H6 upheld </li></ul></ul>
  90. 90. r =.05; n.s. r = .62 r = .54 r = .46 r = .29 r = -.21 r = .20 r = .49 r = .29 r = .26 Chi-Squared = 3.66, df=5, p=.60; RMSEA=0.000 Psychopathic Personality Traits Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Emotional Manipulation Machiavellianism Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Impression Management Self-Deceptive Enhancement Concealment
  91. 91. Results <ul><li>H9 partially upheld </li><ul><li>Regression and the model indicate partially spurious relationships due to Impression Management and Self-Deceptive Enhancement.
  92. 92. Machiavellianism and Psychopathic Personality </li><ul><li>Initial β = .61, p < .001
  93. 93. Controlling for IM and SDE β = .50, p < .001
  94. 94. Path model r = .54 </li></ul><li>Machiavellianism and Emotional Manipulation </li><ul><li>Initial β = .61, p < .001
  95. 95. Controlling for IM and SDE β = .51, p < .001
  96. 96. Path model r = .62 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  97. 97. Results <ul><li>H9 partially upheld </li><ul><li>Regression and the model indicate partially spurious relationships due to Impression Management and Self-Deceptive Enhancement.
  98. 98. Initial Correlation between Impression Management and Psychopathic Personality r = -.44, p < .001
  99. 99. Model does not include path between IM and Psychopathic Personality
  100. 100. Initial Correlation between Self-Deceptive Enhancement and Psychopathic Personality r = .06, n.s.
  101. 101. Model does include path from Self-Deceptive Enhancement and Psychopathic Personality r = .29 </li></ul></ul>
  102. 102. Results <ul><li>H9 partially upheld </li><ul><li>Regression and the model indicate partially spurious relationships due to Impression Management and Self-Deceptive Enhancement.
  103. 103. Psychopathic Behavioral traits and Concealment of Emotions </li><ul><li>Initial β = .22, p < .01
  104. 104. Controlling for IM and SDE, β = .19, p = .04 </li></ul><li>Psychopathic Personality traits and Concealment of Emotions </li><ul><li>Initial β = .14, n.s.
  105. 105. Controlling for IM and SDE β = .20, p = .03 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  106. 106. r =.05; n.s. r = .62 r = .54 r = .46 r = .29 r = -.21 r = .20 r = .49 r = .29 r = .26 Chi-Squared = 3.66, df=5, p=.60; RMSEA=0.000 Psychopathic Personality Traits Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Emotional Manipulation Machiavellianism Psychopathic Behavioral Traits Impression Management Self-Deceptive Enhancement Concealment
  107. 107. Does the Model Hold Up? <ul><li>Psychopathic traits are a predictor of Machiavellianism .
  108. 108. Machiavellianism completely mediates the path from Psychopathic Traits to Emotional Manipulation .
  109. 109. Psychopathic traits are a predictor of Empathy ; however Empathy does appear to be a mediator. No models converge with empathy as a mediator.
  110. 110. Relationships are partially spurious. Empathy and Emotional Manipulation only completely spurious relationship. </li></ul>
  111. 111. Implications & Discussion <ul><li>Those high in psychopathic traits appear to be highly capable of manipulating the situation directly, with an indirect effect on emotions.
  112. 112. The indirect effect of emotional manipulation has a hypothetical relationship of r = .33
  113. 113. Machiavellianism and Psychopathy have constructual overlap (r = .63). Highly similar, yet different constructs. </li></ul>
  114. 114. Implications & Discussion <ul><li>Emotional Manipulation and Psychopathic traits possibly controlled by Empathy. </li><ul><li>Increased levels of Empathy predict lower Psychopathic traits ( r = -.56, p < .01)
  115. 115. Increased levels of Empathy predict lower levels of Emotional Manipulation ( r = -.18, p < .05) </li></ul><li>Empathy training and increased manipulation?
  116. 116. Empathy training provides a new route to manipulation?
  117. 117. Personal Distress subscale positively correlated to Psychopathic Behavioral traits r = .19, p < .05 </li><ul><li>Social Anxiety
  118. 118. Poor perception of distress </li></ul></ul>
  119. 119. Implications & Discussion <ul><li>Psychopathic Personality traits inflated by Self-Deceptive Enhancement r = .29 </li><ul><li>Egocentricity
  120. 120. Zero-order correlations reveal opposite </li><ul><li>Psychopathic Personality and IM, r = -.44
  121. 121. Psychopathic Personality and SDE, n.s. </li></ul></ul><li>Emotional Manipulation and Empathy completely spurious, r = -.18 to -.04
  122. 122. Concealment of Emotions not affected by Impression Management or SDE, r = -.20 to -.22
  123. 123. Model does indicate a significant relationship between Concealment of Emotions and IM, r = .20 </li></ul>
  124. 124. Implications & Discussion <ul><li>Psychopathic Behavioral traits highly correlated to Psychopathic Personality traits ( r = .46)
  125. 125. Relationships with Psychopathic Behavioral traits are relatively low ( r = n.s. - .34)
  126. 126. Not controlled in this study, however Psychopathic Personality may be feeding into the relationships with Psychopathic Behavior.
  127. 127. Assessment inclusive of Psychopathic Behavioral traits is likely testing Antisocial Behavior, not psychopathy
  128. 128. Circular Argument </li></ul>
  129. 129. Limitations <ul><li>No additional information provided about emotional capabilities of those with high psychopathic traits due to lack of relationships with the Emotional Perception task </li><ul><li>Average number of misidentified emotions 7.58, 31.6% average percentage misidentified
  130. 130. Reliability adequate α =.82
  131. 131. Focus of participants varied, increasing reliability and lowering validity.
  132. 132. Environment may need to be controlled or 100 ms was not long enough </li></ul><li>Sample may have not had enough variance </li><ul><li>Academic settings
  133. 133. Lack of individuals with high psychopathic traits </li></ul></ul>
  134. 134. Future Directions <ul><li>Emotional skills and intelligence in relationship to psychopathy
  135. 135. Impression Management and psychopathy, better measure or measurement error in this study?
  136. 136. Personality emphasis in psychopathy, what are the behavioral differences in forensic and successful psychopaths </li></ul>
  137. 137. Conclusions <ul><li>Those high in psychopathic traits do not target emotions for manipulation, any effects are likely indirect.
  138. 138. Psychopathic Behavior likely manifestations of psychopathy, not psychopathy itself
  139. 139. Empathy related to both Psychopathy and Emotional Manipulation, however does not appear to be a mediator or moderator.
  140. 140. No statements about emotional capabilities can be made. </li></ul>
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