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Positive Self-regard and Claim to Leadership: Two Fundamental Forms of Self-evaluation



The present article examines the common factor structure of various self-evaluative personality constructs. Consistent with previous research, we found considerable redundancy between constructs. Two basic forms of self-evaluation could be distinguished: Positive Self-regard (PSR) reflects people's contentedness with themselves in comparison with their own standards. Constructs such as depression, self-esteem and neuroticism have very high loadings on this factor. In contrast, Claim to Leadership (CTL) reflects the subjective conviction that one is called to take charge and lead others. This conviction is often called ‘narcissism’. PSR mainly reflects an intra-personal kind of self-evaluation, whereas CTL reflects an inter-personal kind. Both forms of self-evaluation independently predict intellectual self-enhancement, but only one of them (PSR) also predicts self-reported mental health. Moreover, the two forms of self-evaluation are differentially associated with self-reported and peer-reported inter-personal traits (Dominance and Affiliation). Finally, the concepts of ‘Grandiosity’ and ‘Vulnerability’ from narcissism research may easily be reframed in terms of CTL and PSR. The two-dimensional framework may help overcome the conceptual confusion that exists around different forms of self-evaluation and streamline the field for future research. Copyright © 2013 European Association of Personality Psychology