Advertisement

Select Page

Manipulators less convincing online than in person, UBC research shows

Manipulators less convincing online than in person, UBC research shows

micheal-woodworth
 If you have to negotiate business with a narcissist or psychopath, you’re better off doing it on Facebook, research from UBC’s Okanagan campus shows.

In one of the first studies of its kind, UBC researchers found that traditionally successful manipulators who are classified as being part of the Dark Triad (DT)—people with narcissistic, psychopathic or Machiavellian tendencies—don’t send very compelling online messages.

“The results of this study are pretty clear—once you remove non-verbal cues such as body language from the equation, the ability to smoke out narcissists and psychopaths becomes easier,” says UBC’s Michael Woodworth, a professor of psychology. “We can also conclude that it is very likely that the qualities that allow these people to successfully charm, manipulate, intimidate or exploit others appear to require a live, in-person audience.”

The study, titled “The Dark Side of Negotiation”, was conducted between October 2013 and February 2014 and included more than 200 Canadian university students, a proportion of who were identified as having various qualities on the DT spectrum.

After being randomly assigned to either a face-to-face or computer-mediated contact group, the students were asked to negotiate for concert tickets, either as a buyer or a seller, with the ultimate goal of achieving maximum financial benefit for themselves.

Consistent with other studies, Woodworth’s research concluded that those who ranked higher on the DT spectrum were more successful in face-to-face negotiations than they were online. Surprisingly, the research also concluded that higher-ranking DT participants were 12.5 percent less successful in online negotiations than those ranking lower on the spectrum.

Students’ placement on the spectrum varied depending on individual characteristics and attributes.

Each of the three parts of the DT has distinct traits. Psychopaths tend to lack empathy and be anti-social. Narcissists lean toward grandiosity and self-adoration. People with Machiavellian qualities are goal-oriented, calculated manipulators.

“While there has long been a fascination with DT personalities and how they can impact ‘ordinary’ people, little has been studied as to how these people behave online,” says Woodworth.

“What this research tells us is that if you want to be confident in your ability not be taken in by these types of known manipulators, you’re probably better off dealing with them online.”

Working with Woodworth on the project were honours student Lisa Crossley, graduate student Pamela Black and UBC Professor Emeritus Bob Hare. The study was published this month in the journal of Personality and Individual Differences.

Woodworth and Crossley are now conducting similar DT research involving deception.

Related Post

About The Author

Editor

Okanagan Life captures the essence of life in the Okanagan Valley with informative and entertaining features on issues that matter to people who live or vacation in this great region, plus stories on Okanagan destinations, personalities, wine, food, history, outdoor recreation and more. We're now in our 30th year of publishing. Subscribe

Current Issue

Oct-Nov-2018-Okanagan-Life-developers

Current Issue

Oct | Nov 2018 Okanagan Life

Purchase

Upcoming Events

Nov
16
Fri
7:30 pm Ballet Kelowna’s Autumn @ Kelowna Community Theatre
Ballet Kelowna’s Autumn @ Kelowna Community Theatre
Nov 16 @ 7:30 pm
Ballet Kelowna's Autumn @ Kelowna Community Theatre | Kelowna | British Columbia | Canada
Ballet Kelowna launches its 16th season of dance with Autumn, a dynamic mixed program presented at the Kelowna Community Theatre on November 16 and 17 at 7:30 pm. A multi-faceted celebration of the splendour of the[...]
Nov
17
Sat
7:30 pm Ballet Kelowna’s Autumn @ Kelowna Community Theatre
Ballet Kelowna’s Autumn @ Kelowna Community Theatre
Nov 17 @ 7:30 pm
Ballet Kelowna's Autumn @ Kelowna Community Theatre | Kelowna | British Columbia | Canada
Ballet Kelowna launches its 16th season of dance with Autumn, a dynamic mixed program presented at the Kelowna Community Theatre on November 16 and 17 at 7:30 pm. A multi-faceted celebration of the splendour of the[...]
Nov
23
Fri
6:00 pm 10th Annual Global Gala @ Delta Grand Resort
10th Annual Global Gala @ Delta Grand Resort
Nov 23 @ 6:00 pm
10th Annual Global Gala @ Delta Grand Resort | Kelowna | British Columbia | Canada
The fourth-year nursing students from the University of British Columbia (UBCO), in partnership with Okanagan-Zambia Health Initiative (OkaZHI), proudly host the 10th Annual Global Gala. The Global Gala is the formal charity event that features[...]
Nov
30
Fri
5:00 pm Summerland Festival of Lights @ Downtown Summerland
Summerland Festival of Lights @ Downtown Summerland
Nov 30 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Summerland Festival of Lights @ Downtown Summerland | Victoria | Texas | United States
Summerland will switch-on of its downtown lights on Friday, November 30. Be treated to an evening of festive fun with a country twist. Presented by the Summerland Chamber of Commerce and the District of Summerland,[...]

Error: Please enter a valid email address

Error: Invalid email

Error: Please enter your first name

Error: Please enter your last name

Error: Please enter a username

Error: Please enter a password

Error: Please confirm your password

Error: Password and password confirmation do not match