Swiping away the moments that make up a dull day: Narcissism, boredom, and compulsive smartphone use

Albert J. Ksinan, Jiří Mališ, Alexander T. Vazsonyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Research has shown a relationship between two types of narcissism (grandiose and vulnerable) and social media use, often in the context of using smartphones. This work has also provided evidence that narcissistic individuals might be more prone to feelings of boredom. However, few studies have tested the association between grandiose and vulnerable narcissism and smartphone use. In the present study, it was hypothesized that both grandiose and vulnerable narcissism would be associated with greater compulsive smartphone use. Further, it was hypothesized that experiencing boredom might partially explain this association. Based on self-report data from late adolescents and early adults (N = 532), findings from structural equation modeling showed that grandiose narcissism was positively associated with compulsive smartphone use, while the effect of vulnerable narcissism was fully mediated by boredom. Both types of narcissism and boredom explained 28.5% of variance in compulsive smartphone use. Findings provide novel insights into the link between narcissism, boredom, and the compulsive use of smartphones, with differential effects for grandiose versus vulnerable narcissism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2917-2926
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by funds from the John I. and Patricia J. Buster Endowment to the third author.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Boredom
  • Grandiose narcissism
  • Indirect effect
  • Smartphones
  • Vulnerable narcissism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)


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