Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Tillman, J. G. 2010. Megalomania. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
The Oxford English Dictionary (1978) defines megalomania as “the insanity of self-exaltation; the passion for ‘big things'” (p. 308). Megalomania is characterized by an inflated sense of self-esteem and overestimation by persons of their powers and beliefs. Often associated with delusions, psychotic processes, or extreme forms of narcissism, megalomania may refer to delusions of grandeur, with a pathological overvaluation of ideas, or plans for remaking the world in accord with the person's own wishes and fantasies. Representing a form of denial and disavowal of the limitations of the self, of the existence of death, and of the power of the constituted social order, the megalomaniacal state may involve omnipotence and grandiosity taken to an extreme. People suffering from megalomania privilege their thinking to a degree where shared reality is abandoned and attempts are made to dominate others.