Ratings of affective and interpersonal tendencies differ for grandiose and vulnerable narcissism: A replication and extension of Gore and Widiger (2016)

Courtland S. Hyatt, Chelsea E. Sleep, Donald R. Lynam, Thomas A. Widiger, W. Keith Campbell, Joshua D. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Theoretical conceptions of narcissism have long been characterized by two seemingly opposing poles: grandiosity and vulnerability. The goal of the current study was to investigate the extent to which traits associated with one profile are perceived to co-occur with the other within an individual. Method: Lay raters (N = 862; 56% female; 80% Caucasian; Mage = 37) recruited from Amazon's MTurk were assigned to one of four conditions in which they rated how often a series of narcissistic traits were displayed by a prototypical grandiose narcissist, a vulnerable narcissist, a close friend, or themselves. Vulnerable narcissism items were specifically worded to assess internalizing- versus externalizing-based emotional responses. Results: Results suggest that grandiosely narcissistic individuals are seen as responding angrily to ego-threatening situations, whereas vulnerably narcissistic individuals are seen as responding with a broader array of negative emotions, including anger, sadness, and shame. In contrast, vulnerably narcissistic individuals were not rated as consistently demonstrating behaviors, attitudes, or cognitions associated with grandiose narcissism. Conclusions: Grandiose and vulnerable narcissistic individuals both exhibit anger in response to ego threat, but sadness/shame responses are more characteristic of vulnerable narcissism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-434
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Personality
Volume86
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords

  • ego threat
  • grandiosity
  • narcissism
  • vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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