University Of Tasmania

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

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 17:24 authored by Rachel Grieve, Mahar, D
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.


Publication title

Personality and Individual Differences: An International Journal of Research Into The Structure and Development of Personality and The Causation of Individual Differences










School of Psychological Sciences


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in psychology