Manipulation and Impression Management

Topics: Communication, Sociology, Social psychology Pages: 5 (1677 words) Published: September 25, 2014
Manipulation and Impression Management can have negative and positive traits within interpersonal communication.

Emotional intelligence and impression management is often used to manipulate and deceive people. Though this can be viewed as a positive trait, it has negative outcomes for the person being deceptive. While deception is common in everyday social interactions its prevalence is less widely discussed. This essay will define impression management, deception and how individuals manipulate information about themselves so that others view them more positively. Secondly, it will define deception, interpersonal communication and self-awareness. Next, it will identify three types of deceptive impression management and why people will use these traits on others. Finally, it will discuss why manipulation and impression management are not positive traits within interpersonal communication.

Impression management is a goal-directed conscious or unconscious process in which a person attempts to influence the perceptions of other people about a person, object or event; they do so by regulating and controlling information in social interaction. It is usually used synonymously with self-presentation, in which a person tries to influence the perception of their image. Deception can be defined as the communication of information to a person with intent of creating a false understanding on the part of the other person. Lying, is a form of deception, requires the expression of an actual statement known to be untrue. Interpersonal communication is the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages: it is face-to-face communication. Interpersonal communication is not just about what is actually said – the language used – but how it is said and the non-verbal messages sent through tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures and body language. Lastly, self-awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self-awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment.

Impression management refers to the processes a person goes through to communicate the impression they want other people to have of them. This is a really strange area because it has so many ethical implications; in many cases these strategies are used to fool people. Impression management is usually done in one of three ways: Authentically: - the way a person sees themselves,

Ideally: - the way a person wants others to see them, and
Tactically: - the way a person presents or “craft” themselves in a way they believe others want them to be. A person will use a different persona depending on the situation. For instance, a person might use the authentic self in a social situation, the ideal self in a job interview, and the tactical self at work.

We all aim to present ourselves in a positive light, hopefully authentically based though more often than not it will be tainted by our ideal and tactical persona; by regulating the information we put out. There are many social psychology publications available in any bookshop giving guidance on self-presentation designed to advance the self-interest of the individual. These publications provide an insight into the “gamesmanship” of interpersonal behaviour, looking at how to exert social influence by making the right impression on others. These books tell us how to dress, walk, sit, and smile in an attempt to influence how others perceive us.

Instead, impression management is a fundamental feature or characteristic of interpersonal experience. It is inconceivable to discuss human social behaviour without employing the concept. People do not deal with information randomly or dispassionately. Our opinions about what constitutes the "truth" are affected by our personal agendas. To help...

References: Carlson, J., (2012). Lying up on the job: Does deceptive impression management work? Ivey business journal: Improving the practice of management. Retrieved from
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