Narcissism and Other-Derogation in the Absence of a Threat to Self-Esteem

Abstract

Previous research has found that narcissists have a tendency to put others down when their self-esteem is threatened. The present study investigated whether narcissists would still derogate others when they do not feel threatened. In the first study, participants (N = 79) watched videos of four targets and rated their personalities using a 100-item questionnaire (California Adult Q-Sort; Block, 2008). Clinicians previously determined how positive or negative each personality trait is. Participants also took a questionnaire to measure narcissism (Narcissistic Personality Inventory; Raskin & Hall, 1979). Results showed that participants who were more narcissistic rated the targetÍs personality more negatively, indicating that narcissists do put others down even when their self-esteem is not under threat. In the second study, the participants (N = 66) rated the personality of their acquaintance using the same personality measure and completed the narcissism measure. Once again, the more narcissistic the participants were, the more negatively they rated their friendÍs personality, confirming the narcissistsÍ tendency to derogate others in the absence of a threat to self-esteem.