Psychological manipulation

The term manipulation ( Latin for handle, artifice ) meaning in the strict sense " handling ", and is also used in the art so. In addition, manipulation is also a term from psychology, sociology and politics, and means the selective and covert influence, ie all processes, which aim to control the experience and behavior of individuals and groups and should be hidden from them ( camouflage, propaganda ). Must be differentiated, the process of manipulation and its everyday manifestations of the psychological method of experimental manipulation. In its original meaning, " handle " is manipulation in manual medicine for a number of carried out with the hand techniques that contribute to solving a deadlock.

Term development

With manipulation of a matter is referred to quite neutrally their handling and processing if necessary. So the Brockhaus from 1809 refers only to the manipulation of the keyword magnetism. About 100 years later describes Meyers encyclopedia manipulation as an art fair [n ] use of the hands; then generally as much as Geschäftskniff. The Krünitz encyclopedia gives the term a larger space, but also limited almost exclusively to the hand -conceptual aspect:

"In particular manipulation is, but the editing, touch, and deletion of a body by hand to effect beneficial changes in the same. Of the effects of gentle manipulation, as it was applied to the bey few years ago so notorious magnetizing .... From the coarser Manipuliren which apply particularly the Turks bey their baths to strengthen the muscles, is traded on the ... physical exercises. "

1985 reads Knaurs dictionary then, manipulation etc. was either handle a device sent or something or someone steer in the desired direction; influence; . control

Manipulation of people

From manipulation of a person is called when the acceptance of a bid or identification of goods and services does not lead to his advantage, but to his detriment. From immoral manipulation occurs when an attempt to persuade or convince cause economic and / or moral damage to the influencees.

Who has feelings of inferiority, lack of confidence or fear, can be fooled easily, is easy to manipulate. The manipulation of people pursuing goals and serves to influence other people in terms of their behavior. The concept of manipulation has negative connotations in this context. If a positive result is intended or achieved, it is about communication for persuasion or conviction. Manipulated people do not act out their own insights or beliefs, but other-directed. The desired steering through targeted external influences generated upon detection of mostly negative emotions, as the Manipulated into a mere puppet of the manipulators of being made and should respond only by his ideas. Manipulation may be practiced in the communication using the voice, for example, by asking the art.

As Mind- Security organized prevention of people or organizations against manipulation can be referred. Also Enlightenment and emancipation are directed against various types of manipulation. When speaking of an intended change also by the target person is more likely to speak of learning or development ( Edukation ). In information security, the manipulation of people is discussed for the purpose of obtaining unauthorized information under the term social engineering.

Daily influence

It is sometimes the thesis ( including in neuro-linguistic programming) that people manipulated each other when they communicate with each other. There are different variations in shape and strength. The minimum manipulation has existed is to move the other to listen. Consequently, this applies not only for targeted communication, but also for simple conversations. Each manipulative thus any time everyone else with whom he has to do (see also Walther G. Pinecoke ). Even in the simple model of communication the sender has an intention that wants to achieve or enforce it. Even the apparently manipulated care really only with his attitude that the manipulators behaves so. He manipulated in this sense, the fact ( objective / subjective) as seen active manipulator ( submissive / dominant). Who authorizes manipulation, they try different. Manipulation would be an everyday procedure and is merely influence is and is not, therefore, negative. First, the purpose and urgency of manipulation, for example in the form of a message of consumer advertising could enable a rating. The sociologist Herbert Marcuse was one of the most outspoken critics of advertising manipulation, which conditioned his view, the people are completely one-dimensional on consumer behavior.

How difficult it is to distinguish in everyday communicative practices to influence the conscious decision ( conviction ) and communicative practices to take advantage of weakness of will or impaired decision-making capacity, is particularly evident in stationary retail. Almost every commercial operation implements a wide range of psycho - strategic and tactical measures which at least arouse interest among the customers, however, possible to trigger a buying decision, regardless of whether they are perceived consciously or unconsciously act. You may be directed to all the senses. Trading Psychology sifts and arranges the diversity of possible influences. They range from assortment, human behavior and store atmosphere via routing of customers, flooring, placement, shelf filling or price optics to background music, scents or tastings. Become about the grocery store candy and toys in the shelf - Bückzone ( the look and grip of the children) or at the checkout ( " Quengelware " ) placed, accusations of manipulation is slightly noisy. The same critics is usually not aware that ceiling danglers, shelf talkers, deliberately built-in handle gaps in the shelf and thousands of other measures to influence as well. However, from harmful, unfair manipulation can only be spoken when it is turned off in individual cases, the will of a customer or if customers are induced to purchase, which itself can not make a free decision (children, mentally handicapped, people with dementia ). Neither passed the informed customer who - encouraged by prominent placement - spontaneously buys a travel alarm clock, be spontaneous purchase to the detriment nor is his purchase decision irrational.

Proponents manipulative practices - for example in the areas of sales, advertising and propaganda - keep the charge of unfairness and the risk of abuse of power to be negligible. It is a prejudice against which the manipulation is struggling. Manipulation is a natural human behavior.


In contrast, argued that the choice of means for a rating is significant. A manipulation that is based on deliberate deception, is problematic. In the negative sense manipulation means, for example, the reduction of free will or control of the victim or of the perpetrator by a choice of unfair, non-transparent or deceptive means which make it difficult to defense. Often it is negatively spoken of manipulation, as soon as someone regarded as a victim of manipulation.

Enlightenment and immaturity to each other in terms of manipulability in a contrast. The everyday use of manipulation does not differ much from professional forms influencing people. However, the latter involves the risk of abuse of power.

Frequently manipulative behavior is part of personality disorders.