Individual differences in manipulation: further studies of an emotional manipulation scale.
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Selfridge, Amy Louise
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Emotional manipulation is a strategy used by individuals to force the environment into compliance with their goals (St Clair, 1966). This study assessed the factor structure, validity and test-retest reliability of an emotional manipulation measure (Austin, Farrelly, Black & Moore, 2007). The scale was found to be valid when compared with a manipulation tactics scale (Buss, Gomes, Higgins & Lauterbach, 1987a) and also showed test-retest reliability. However the three factor structure discovered by Austin et al (2007) was not replicated as only a single ‘emotional manipulation’ factor emerged. This may have been due to limitations with the current sample and therefore the scale requires further testing until a clear factor structure emerges. The study also used a measure of personality to assess individual differences in manipulation as have been found previously (Austin et al, 2007; Butkovic & Bratko, 2007). It was found that those lower in Conscientiousness and Openness tend to report more use of manipulation. Also, overall females reported more use of manipulation than males and no effects of age were found. Therefore the current study highlights that there are individual differences in emotional manipulation but the results may be affected by socially desirable responding as all of the measures used were self-reports. Finally it is still unclear whether those who report more manipulative behaviour are actually more successful manipulators in real life.