2 Key Factors Linking Narcissism and Self-Esteem Discovered

A new study has discovered a link between different forms of narcissism and self-esteem. The research, published in An International Journal of Theory and Research, found that individuals with a high level of narcissistic admiration tend to have higher self-esteem and a higher perception of their status and inclusion in society. On the other hand, those with high levels of narcissistic rivalry tend to have lower self-esteem.

The study’s results shed light on how narcissistic personality traits can interact with social perceptions to determine a person’s self-esteem.

Narcissism is a personality trait characterized by feelings of entitlement, grandiosity, and lack of empathy for others. While it is commonly believed that narcissism is linked to high self-esteem, research on this topic is not conclusive.

To clarify the relationship between narcissism and self-esteem, researchers Virgil Zeigler-Hill and Jennifer Vonk of Oakland University studied two forms of narcissism: narcissistic admiration and rivalry.

Narcissistic admiration involves emphasized self-enhancement and self-promotion, while narcissistic rivalry applies self-defense and self-protection. The researchers investigated whether these narcissistic personality traits indirectly affect self-esteem by recruiting 808 participants for a study that included a baseline assessment of their narcissism and daily assessments of their perceived social status, perceived inclusion, and self-esteem.

The study conducted by Zeigler-Hill and Vonk found a positive association between narcissistic admiration and self-esteem, perceived status, and perceived inclusion. Meanwhile, those with high levels of narcissistic rivalry showed a negative association with these variables.

A mediation analysis revealed that the heightened perceptions of status and inclusion partially accounted for the higher self-esteem among those with high levels of narcissistic admiration. On the other hand, for those with high levels of narcissistic rivalry, their self-esteem was negatively impacted by their perceptions of status and inclusion.

According to researchers Virgil Zeigler-Hill and Jennifer Vonk, individuals with high levels of narcissistic admiration have higher self-esteem as they believe others in their social environment view them as having high status.

On the other hand, those with high levels of narcissistic rivalry believe that others view them as less respectable or admirable, which leads to lower self-esteem. The results from their study support a multidimensional view of narcissism.

The researchers suggest that future studies on narcissism and self-esteem should include other aspects of narcissism, such as neurotic narcissism, to determine their connections with self-esteem compared to narcissistic admiration and narcissistic rivalry.

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