Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
People with high levels of narcissism possess extremely positive self-evaluations that may mask underlying feelings of inferiority and a need for love and acceptance. People with high levels of narcissism defend their inflated self-evaluations through chronic self-enhancement processes, which can have negative consequences for their relationship functioning. The current research examined the effects of acceptance affirmation on self-enhancement of people with high and low levels of narcissism. Study 1 found that affirming acceptance reduced self-enhancement on trait ratings for people with high (vs. low) narcissism when they had a low need to belong, but the acceptance manipulation increased defensive self-enhancement in people with high (vs. low) narcissism when they had a high need to belong. Study 2 revealed that people with high narcissism self-enhance (i.e., self-serving bias) at the expense of their romantic partners, but this effect is driven by lower relationship commitment and poor recent relationship quality. In addition, people with high (vs. low) narcissism's love for their romantic partner may be more influenced by situation factors. This is some of the first research that looks at how acceptance manipulations influence defensive self-enhancement in people with high narcissism, and these issues were examined in individual and interdependent contexts.
Smith, Jennifer Lee, "Reducing Narcissistic Defensiveness Through the Activation of Belonging" (2013). Dissertations. 546.
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Copyright © 2013 Jennifer Lee Smith