Manipulation tactics of patients with neurotic disorders in everyday life and during therapy

Psychiatr Pol. 2016;50(1):65-76. doi: 10.12740/PP/39841.
[Article in English, Polish]


Objectives: The objective of the study was to examine the repertoire and intensity of manipulation tactics of neurotic patients in everyday life and during therapy, as well as diagnosing the intensity of Machiavellianism in neurotic patients.

Methods: There were 111 study subjects: 44 patients with diagnosed neurotic disorders, 44 people from the control group and 23 therapists. The manipulation tactics were measured by means of survey methods of E. Mandal and D. Kocur and Machiavellianism was measured using the MACH-IV scale of M. Christi and F. Geis.

Results: In comparison to people from the control group, the patients were more willing to use manipulation tactics such as guilt induction, threatening to break up the relationship, and self-mutilation but less willing to use supplication/begging. The intensity of tendency to undertake manipulation was higher in everyday life than during therapy. The Machiavellianism of patients was positively correlated with the tendency to employ manipulation tactics. Differences within the scope of general Machiavellianism between the patients and the control group were not noted.

Conclusions: The manipulation tactics of neurotic patients are of morbid nature. They are related to anxiety, feeling of guilt and hostility. The tendency to manipulate correlates with Machiavellianism.

Keywords: Machiavellianism; manipulation; neuroticism.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Defense Mechanisms*
  • Extraversion, Psychological
  • Female
  • Guilt
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Machiavellianism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Neurotic Disorders / therapy
  • Self Efficacy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires