With the results of the Texas A&M study’s findings in mind, we can draw these conclusions about how to see through the manipulation in the impression the highly psychopathic create about themselves:
- Not see their traits as problematic. There’s evidence from the self-other correlations, especially in the boldness domain, that people high in psychopathy don’t mind showing how fearless they are, even if it means they come across as dominating.
- Not care about the negative consequences of their actions. People high in psychopathy may be aware of their undesirable traits but not be particularly concerned about their impact on others.
- Try to dominate others. You’ll know if you’re in the presence of psychopathic individuals if you sense that you’re being pushed around.
- Elevate their own devious motivations. Kelley et al. concluded that the high boldness plus high impression management would lead people high in psychopathy to feel that they’re not subject to the same concerns as others. They may even give higher purposes to their behavior than their behavior would merit.
- Try to portray themselves as unusually honest. Being honest doesn’t come naturally to people high in psychopathy, but their self-distortions can lead them to think that they are. It’s easy to be swayed by this apparent high-mindedness.