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April 1972

The Manipulative Personality

Author Affiliations

West Haven, Conn

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;26(4):318-321. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750220028005

The diagnoses of sociopathy and antisocial personality have often been based on a mixture of psychological features and a record of offenses against society. Just as with other personality disorders, however, many people bearing these diagnoses have in common a particular personality organization. This organization is based on dynamics involving a very fragile narcissism which must be bolstered by contempt for others and a need to put something over on other people. I term this organization "manipulative personality." This personality type is not limited to people who commit offenses against society; in many walks of life this type of personality is adaptive and may be less apt to come to our attention.