Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Narcissistic personality disorder


In two studies, we investigated how bitter taste preferences might be associated with antisocial personality traits. Two US American community samples (total N = 953; mean age = 35.65 years; 48% females) self-reported their taste preferences using two complementary preference measures and answered a number of personality questionnaires assessing Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, everyday sadism, trait aggression, and the Big Five factors of personality. The results of both studies confirmed the hypothesis that bitter taste preferences are positively associated with malevolent personality traits, with the most robust relation to everyday sadism and psychopathy. Regression analyses confirmed that this association holds when controlling for sweet, sour, and salty taste preferences and that bitter taste preferences are the overall strongest predictor compared to the other taste preferences. The data thereby provide novel insights into the relationship between personality and the ubiquitous behaviors of eating and drinking by consistently demonstrating a robust relation between increased enjoyment of bitter foods and heightened sadistic proclivities.

Concepts: Psychology, Personality psychology, Taste, Preference, Neuroticism, Antisocial personality disorder, Big Five personality traits, Narcissistic personality disorder


This research was aimed to provide a comprehensive test of the classic notion that narcissistic individuals are appealing as short-term romantic or sexual partners. In three studies, we tested the hypotheses that narcissism exerts a positive effect on an individual’s mate appeal and that this effect is mediated by high physical attractiveness and high social boldness. We implemented a multimethod approach and used ratings of opposite sex persons (Study 1), ratings of friends (Study 2), and records of courtship outcomes in naturalistic interactions (Study 3) as indicators of mate appeal. In all cases, narcissism had a positive effect on mate appeal, which was mainly due to the agentic self-enhancement aspects of narcissism (rather than narcissists' lacking communion). As predicted, physical attractiveness and social boldness mediated the positive effect of narcissism on mate appeal. Findings further indicated that narcissism was more strongly linked to mate appeal than to friend appeal.

Concepts: Individualism, Individual, Narcissistic personality disorder, Narcissism, Narcissus


Narcissism scores are higher in individualistic cultures compared with more collectivistic cultures. However, the impact of sociocultural factors on narcissism and self-esteem has not been well described. Germany was formerly divided into two different social systems, each with distinct economic, political and national cultures, and was reunified in 1989/90. Between 1949 and 1989/90, West Germany had an individualistic culture, whereas East Germany had a more collectivistic culture. The German reunification provides an exceptional opportunity to investigate the impact of sociocultural and generational differences on narcissism and self-esteem. In this study, we used an anonymous online survey to assess grandiose narcissism with the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) and the Pathological Narcissism Inventory (PNI) to assess grandiose and vulnerable aspects of narcissism, and self-esteem with the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE) in 1,025 German individuals. Data were analyzed according to age and place of birth. Our results showed that grandiose narcissism was higher and self-esteem was lower in individuals who grew up in former West Germany compared with former East Germany. Further analyses indicated no significant differences in grandiose narcissism, vulnerable narcissism or self-esteem in individuals that entered school after the German reunification (≤ 5 years of age in 1989). In the middle age cohort (6-18 years of age in 1989), significant differences in vulnerable narcissism, grandiose narcissism and self-esteem were observed. In the oldest age cohort (> 19 years of age in 1989), significant differences were only found in one of the two scales assessing grandiose narcissism (NPI). Our data provides empirical evidence that sociocultural factors are associated with differences in narcissism and self-esteem.

Concepts: Germany, Western Europe, Narcissistic personality disorder, West Germany, German reunification, East Berlin, Narcissism, States of Germany


We present a process model that distinguishes 2 dimensions of narcissism: admiration and rivalry. We propose that narcissists' overarching goal of maintaining a grandiose self is pursued by 2 separate pathways, characterized by distinct cognitive, affective-motivational, and behavioral processes. In a set of 7 studies, we validated this 2-dimensional model using the newly developed Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry Questionnaire (NARQ). We showed that narcissistic admiration and rivalry are positively correlated dimensions, yet they have markedly different nomological networks and distinct intra- and interpersonal consequences. The NARQ showed the hypothesized 2-dimensional multifaceted structure as well as very good internal consistencies (Study 1, N = 953), stabilities (Study 2, N = 93), and self-other agreements (Study 3, N = 96). Narcissistic admiration and rivalry showed unique relations to the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), the Big Five, self-esteem, pathological narcissism, and other narcissism-related traits like Machiavellianism, psychopathy, self-enhancement, and impulsivity (Study 4, Ns = 510-1,814). Despite the positive relation between admiration and rivalry, the 2 differentially predicted general interpersonal orientations and reactions to transgressions in friendships and romantic relationships (Study 5, N = 1,085), interpersonal perceptions during group interactions (Study 6, N = 202), and observed behaviors in experimental observations (Study 7, N = 96). For all studies, the NARQ outperformed the standard measure of narcissism, the NPI, in predicting outcome measures. Results underscore the utility of a 2-dimensional conceptualization and measurement of narcissism. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, Human behavior, Antisocial personality disorder, Narcissistic personality disorder, Narcissism, Narcissistic parents, Jointness


OBJECTIVE The authors examined 3-year transitions among nonuse, asymptomatic use, and problem use of illicit drugs for U.S. adults in the general household population. METHOD Data were from the nationally representative National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, a study of 34,653 adults interviewed twice, 3 years apart. Respondents were categorized on three mutually exclusive categories of baseline drug status: past-year nonusers (N=32,675), past-year asymptomatic drug users (N=861), and past-year symptomatic drug users (N=1,117). Symptomatic drug use, or problem use, was defined as presence of one or more symptoms that operationalize DSM-IV drug abuse and dependence criteria. The authors assessed sociodemographic, health, substance use, and psychiatric covariates for association with 3-year transitions to different status categories. RESULTS Among baseline nonusers, 95.4% continued to be nonusers at follow-up, 2.1% became asymptomatic users, and 2.5% developed problem use. Among baseline asymptomatic users, 66.6% had stopped using drugs at follow-up, 14.3% continued to be asymptomatic users, and 19.1% had developed problem use. Nearly half (49.0%) of those with problem use at baseline had stopped using drugs at follow-up, 10.9% had transitioned to asymptomatic use, and 40.1% continued to have problem use. Younger age, male sex, white race, and not being married were associated with progression from nonuse to use or problem use, as were alcohol and tobacco use and disorders, major depression, and schizotypal, borderline, and narcissistic personality disorders. Panic disorder and avoidant personality disorder were associated with less progression. CONCLUSIONS Transitions in drug use status are common. The finding that alcohol and tobacco variables and co-occurring psychopathology are important correlates of transitions suggests the value of addressing all co-occurring disorders and substance use in patient assessments and treatment planning, both to prevent adverse transitions and to promote positive transitions.

Concepts: Drug addiction, Borderline personality disorder, Schizoid personality disorder, Avoidant personality disorder, Personality disorder, Antisocial personality disorder, Narcissistic personality disorder, Dependent personality disorder


There is theoretical reason to believe narcissism is associated with a number of sexual behaviors and outcomes that affect both sexual and relationship satisfaction. Nevertheless, research on the association between personality and behavior demonstrates that personality traits, such as narcissism, only predict behavior in domains that activate the components of the personality system. Given that global assessments of narcissism do not capture the extent to which the components of narcissism are activated in the sexual domain, we examined the extent to which the facets of a domain-specific measure of sexual narcissism accounted for the trajectories of own and partner sexual and marital satisfaction over the first five years of 120 new marriages. Three of the four facets of sexual narcissism (sexual exploitation, sexual entitlement, and low sexual empathy) were negatively associated with both trajectories. The fourth facet (sexual skill) was positively associated with both trajectories. Notably, sexual satisfaction mediated the effect of every facet of sexual narcissism on marital satisfaction. A global assessment of narcissism was not associated with either trajectory of satisfaction. These findings highlight (1) the importance of narcissistic tendencies for sexual processes, (2) the benefits of using domain-specific measures of personality in research on sexual behavior, and (3) the importance of examining the implications of the specific facets of personality constructs.

Concepts: Psychology, Sexual intercourse, Human sexual behavior, Human behavior, Narcissistic personality disorder, Trajectory, Trajectory of a projectile, Narcissism


The present study aimed to investigate Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD) in a German student sample over a period of one year. While mean FAD level did not increase during the investigation period, a significant increase was shown in the number of participants reaching the critical cutoff score. FAD was significantly positively related to the personality trait narcissism and to negative mental health variables (depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms). Furthermore, FAD fully mediated the significant positive relationship between narcissism and stress symptoms, which demonstrates that narcissistic people can be specifically at risk to develop FAD. Present results give a first overview of FAD in Germany. Practical applications for future studies and limitations of present results are discussed.

Concepts: Present, Time, Psychology, Personality psychology, Future, Neuroticism, Narcissistic personality disorder, Trait theory


Narcissistic individuals have highly positive self-views and overestimate their abilities. Consequently, they tend to react aggressively whenever they receive information that does not match their high self-views (ego-threat). We argue that focusing on aggression merely portrays a one-sided view of narcissistic individuals and the manner in which they counter ego-threats. We propose that following ego-threat, narcissism can also fuel performance.

Concepts: Aggression, Individualism, Narcissistic personality disorder, Narcissism


Subclinical narcissism is a personality trait with two faces: According to social-cognitive theories it is associated with grandiosity and feelings of superiority, whereas psychodynamic theories emphasize vulnerable aspects like fluctuating self-esteem and emotional conflicts. The psychodynamic view, however, is commonly not supported by self-report studies on subclinical narcissism. Personality neuroscience might help to better understand the phenomenon of narcissism beyond the limits of self-report research. While social-cognitive theory would predict that self-relevant processing should be accompanied by brain activity in reward-related areas in narcissistic individuals, psychodynamic theory would suggest that it should be accompanied by activation in regions pointing to negative affect or emotional conflict. In this study, extreme groups of high and low narcissistic individuals performed a visual self-recognition paradigm during fMRI. Viewing one’s own face (as compared to faces of friends and strangers) was accompanied by greater activation of the dorsal and ventral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in highly narcissistic men. These results suggest that highly narcissistic men experience greater negative affect or emotional conflict during self-relevant processing and point to vulnerable aspects of subclinical narcissism that might not be apparent in self-report research.

Concepts: Psychology, Cerebrum, Emotion, Brodmann area 24, Anterior cingulate cortex, Cingulate cortex, Narcissistic personality disorder, Psychodynamics


The narcissistic personality is characterized by grandiosity, entitlement, and low empathy. This paper describes the development and validation of the Single Item Narcissism Scale (SINS). Although the use of longer instruments is superior in most circumstances, we recommend the SINS in some circumstances (e.g. under serious time constraints, online studies).

Concepts: Psychology, Personality disorder, Antisocial personality disorder, Narcissistic personality disorder, Narcissism, Narcissistic parents, Superiority complex, Entitlement