The self-presentation profile of grandiose narcissism

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University of Alabama Libraries

Although it is generally accepted that grandiose narcissism is related to using self-presentation tactics, many fundamental questions about this issue remain unanswered. For example, among 12 common self-presentation tactics, which are typical of grandiose narcissism? Is grandiose narcissism related to assertive self-presentation, defensive self-presentation, or both? How does the pattern of self-presentation-tactic use differ between grandiose narcissism and two conceptually-overlapping traits – vulnerable narcissism and self-esteem? What are some reasons why narcissism might relate to the increased use of self-presentation tactics? In this dissertation, these questions were addressed across two studies. In both studies, grandiose narcissism was related to increased use of assertive but not defensive self-presentation tactics. This self-presentation style differed from vulnerable narcissism (Study 1), which was related to both assertive and defensive tactic use, and also from self-esteem (Study 1 & 2), which was negatively related to using either type of self-presentation tactic. The relation between grandiose narcissism and assertive self-presentation-tactic use was not strongly influenced by temperament-based factors (e.g., BIS/BAS, impulsivity; Study 1). Instead, the relation between grandiose narcissism and increased use of assertive tactics was influenced by unique expectations that assertive self-presentation tactics are effective for making a positive impression on others (Study 2).

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