Narcissism is a personality trait associated with an inflated, grandiose self-concept and a lack of intimacy in interpersonal relationships. A popular assumption is that narcissists’ positive explicit (conscious) self-views mask implicit (nonconscious) self-loathing. This belief is typically traced to psychodynamic theory, especially that of Kohut (1966; Morrison, 1983). Empirically, this view predicts that narcissists will reveal negative self-views when these are measured with unobtrusive instruments–such as the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998)–that record people’s automatic, uncontrolled responses. We tested our logic that narcissism correlates positively with implicit agency and negatively or not at all with implicit communion in two studies. Using the IAT words from Jordan et al. (2003), we tested the link between narcissism and implicit self-esteem in a sample of undergraduates. Next, we created separate IATs to measure agentic and communal implicit self-views and tested their associations with narcissism. In sum, it may be imprecise to conceptualize narcissism as a positive explicit self-concept blanketing a negative implicit self-concept. Rather, narcissists exhibit a somewhat imbalanced self at both explicit and implicit levels, with favorable agentic self-views that are not necessarily matched by favorable communal self-views. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Implicit self-esteem refers to a person’s disposition to evaluate themselves in a spontaneous, automatic, or unconscious manner. It contrasts with explicit self-esteem, which entails more conscious and reflective self-evaluation. Both explicit and implicit self-esteem are constituents of self-esteem. Wikipedia Continue reading “Implicit self-esteem”
You probably have a pretty good idea of what a narcissist is. They’re arrogant, self-absorbed, and generally speaking they’re not too pleasant to be around–at least not for long periods of time. If you’re like most people, you probably also assume one additional thing. You probably think that narcissists dislike themselves deep down inside. In other words, narcissism is really just a mask that covers up deeply hidden insecurities and self-loathing.
If you think that this is true, then you’re in good company. This has long been a standard conceptualization of narcissism within the psychological literature. A recent study by Keith Campbell, Jennifer Bosson, Thomas Goheen, Chad Lakey, and Michael Kernis (let’s just call them Campbell et al. to keep things simple), however, challenges this assumption. Continue reading “Evidence that narcissists really do think they’re “all that.””
Despite the widely held view that narcissists have extremely high self-esteem, a new study shows that the traits of narcissism and high self-esteem are far more distinct and unrelated than conventional wisdom has led us to believe. After reviewing the research literature, investigators from several universities discerned the following differences between narcissists and those with high self-esteem: Narcissists feel superior to others but don’t necessarily like themselves. In fact, narcissists’ feelings about themselves are entirely based on others’ opinions of them. On the contrary, those with high self-esteem don’t think of themselves as superior to others, and in fact, tend to accept themselves regardless of what others think about them. ‘At first blush, narcissism and self-esteem seem one and the same, but they differ in their very nature,’ says lead researcher researcher Eddie Brummelman at the University of Amsterdam (UVA). ‘Narcissists feel superior to others but aren’t
The study of attachment has yielded important discoveries about parent-child relationships, the internal world, and psychopathology. Yet until quite recently, therapists were largely left to draw their own inferences about the clinical applications of this growing body of knowledge.
The current study tested the degree to which mindfulness in parents was directly and indirectly related to stress levels in children. A community sample of 68 parent-child dyads completed self-report surveys (Children: Mage = 10.70, SD = 2.6; 52% female, 48% male; Parents: Mage = 42.70, SD = 9.6; 72% female, 28% male). Multiple regression analyses revealed that both parent mindfulness and child mindfulness were significantly and negatively related to child stress levels. However, mindfulness in children did not mediate the relationship between mindfulness in parents and stress in children. This study contributes to the emerging literature on the effects of mindful parenting on child wellbeing and provides practical suggestions for how parents and children can increase their mindfulness.
In gender studies, the analysis of gender differences in narcissism shows that male narcissism and female narcissism differ in a number of aspects.
Jeffrey Kluger, in his 2014 book The Narcissist Next Door suggested that our society, still largely patriarchal, is more likely to tolerate male narcissism and aggressiveness than these of females. This assertion was voiced, although without definite proof, by a number of other researchers.
In 2015 a number of media outlets reported about a study at the University of Buffalo which analyzed 31 years of data of narcissism research and concluded that men consistently scored higher in the first two of three aspects of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory: leadership/authority, exploitative/entitlement, and grandiose/exhibitionism. The team leader of the research, Emily Grijalva, commented that on average this difference is slight (a one-quarter of a standard deviation) and there was almost no difference in the exhibitionism dimension (which covers such aspects as vanity, self-absorption and attention-seeking). She notices that a similar degree of difference is observed for other personality traits, e.g., slightly higher neuroticism for women or slightly higher risk-taking for men. The reasons of reported gender difference were outside the scope of the study, however the authors speculated that it is rooted in historically established social conventions about what is acceptable for a particular gender and what are the traditional social roles for genders.
A number of earlier studies (on smaller scales) reported similar bias. A further indication for the trend was a 2008 finding that the lifetime narcissistic personality disorder is more prevalent for men (7.7%) than for women (4.8%).
In my experience the numbers are about the same, maybe the article should be updated. Continue reading “Sex differences in narcissism”