Emotional manipulation : factor analysis of a self-report measure. Links to emotional intelligence, Machiavellianism and personality
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The current emotions research literature emphasises positive understanding and management of others’ emotions. However, a more negative type of management of others may occur. A 41-item self-report emotional manipulation questionnaire was completed by 158 participants. Participants also filled out self-report personality, Machiavellianism and Emotional Intelligence (EI) scales. Exploratory factor analysis of the emotional manipulation scale suggested a hierarchical factor structure with a General Manipulation factor and four lower-level factors which were named Behavioural Displays of Emotion, Playing on Others’ Emotions, Non Manipulation and Reason. All factors correlated significantly with Extraversion in the direction of the more extraverted, the more likely to manipulate. The General Manipulation, Behavioural Displays of Emotion and Playing on Others’ Emotions factors correlated positively and significantly with Machiavellianism, and Reason correlated significantly and negatively with Machiavellianism. Non Manipulation and Reason were the only factors found to correlate significantly with EI and these relationships were negative and positive respectively. Gender was found to exert an effect only on the Reason factor, with males scoring significantly higher than females. Scale reliabilities were high for all factors. Correlations between measures of personality, Machiavellianism and EI were largely in accordance with theoretical expectations. The results suggest that emotional manipulation as measured by this scale is more closely related to Machiavellianism than EI. In addition, those high in Machiavellianism are more likely to use manipulation tactics and those high in EI will choose not to manipulate although they may well be capable. Emotional Manipulation study appears to be an intriguing new direction in individual differences research, however, more research is required before firm conclusions can be drawn.