Mirror Mirror: The role of self-monitoring and sincerity in emotional manipulation

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This study examined for the first time the relationships between self-monitoring, sincerity, and emotional manipulation, by investigating whether sensitivity to social cues and to appropriate emotional expression would facilitate the use of emotion in malevolent contexts. Participants (N = 170 student and community members) completed online measures of self-monitoring, sincerity, and emotional manipulation in a cross-sectional, correlational design. As predicted, high self-monitoring (of self-presentation) and low sincerity were significantly associated with emotional manipulation. Lower levels of conscientiousness and agreeableness also predicted emotional manipulation. Although the current research is exploratory, it is concluded that attention to, and control of, emotional expression, in combination with an insincere approach, are central to emotional manipulation.


School of Psychology

Document Type

Journal Article

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ERA Access