Aversive trait predictors of impression management

Date

4/25/2022

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Abstract

Manipulation of self-presentation through impression management is prevalent in all of society. Individuals with aversive personality traits, such as narcissism and psychopathy, are widely known to be expert manipulators, and research suggests that these traits may be correlated with a heightened number of self-presentation tactics in everyday life. The current study investigates the relationship between impression management and a selection of aversive personality traits, including narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, histrionism, dishonesty, and exploitative behavior. The purpose of this study is to explore what aversive personality traits can tell us about online and in-person impression management. A total of 272 participants completed an online survey consisting of the Short Dark Triad (SD3) scale, Brief Histrionic Personality Scale (BHPS), Lying in Everyday Situations (LiES) scale, the Revised Lie Acceptability Scale, the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MCSDS), and the Interpersonal Exploitative Scale (IES). Impression management was measured using the Impression Management Styles (IMS) scale and online impression management using the Perceptions of Online Self Scale (POSS). I hypothesized that those high in narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, histrionism, dishonesty, and exploitative behavior would report higher levels of impression management both in-person and online. Both online and in-person impression management showed a significant relationship with Machiavellianism, psychopathy, histrionism, dishonesty, and exploitative behavior. There was also a significant relationship between in-person impression management and narcissism.

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Keywords

Impression management, Self-presentation, Aversive personality traits, Dishonesty, Histrionism

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