“Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change” Frank Lloyd Wright(quoted in the Michigan Daily, 1998)
Do narcissists have insight into the negative aspects of their personality and reputation? Lack of self-insight is believed to be a hallmark of narcissism, which suggests that narcissists should not have insight into the negative aspects of their personality or their reputation (e.g., arrogant, disagreeable, entitled). Indeed, narcissists see themselves very positively (e.g., Clifton, Turkheimer, & Oltmanns, 2004) and are motivated to maintain their overly positive self-perceptions (Morf & Rhodewalt, 2001) which has led researchers to conclude that narcissists “…have less insight into their own condition” (Emmons, 1984, p. 297) and “…probably misunderstand how they are perceived” (Morf & Rhodewalt, 2001, p.183). The main goal of this paper is to test these conclusions by empirically examining whether narcissists have insight into their personality, especially their narcissistic characteristics, and their reputation. Throughout the paper we take a dimensional approach to narcissism and use the term ‘narcissist’ to refer to people who score high on measures of clinical or subclinical narcissism (Miller & Campbell, 2010).