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Abstract

These studies investigate a personality and behavior pattern called aberrant self-promotion, conceptualized as a subclinical form of psychopathy. Aberrant self-promoters (ASPs) are theoretically defined as individuals characterized by a narcissistic personality configuration in combination with antisocial behavior. The first study verifies the existence of persons who manifest the ASP pattern. The second study validates the pattern, using as criteria the Revised Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-R) interview and records of antisocial behavior. In the first study a 179-item questionnaire, composed of five personality instruments, was administered to two separate samples of normal subjects (N = 214 and 367). ASPs were targeted by three methods: cluster analysis, item factor analysis, and person factor analysis. In Sample 1 the three methods demonstrated a convergence of 92 per cent in identifying the same individuals as ASPs; in Sample 2 the convergence rate was 94 per cent. In the second study 32 ASPs targeted in Study 1 were compared to 30 non-ASPS. The ASPs had significantly higher scores on the PCL-R and had committed significantly more antisocial acts than the non-ASPS. The general discussion focuses on the practical, theoretical, and measurement implications of considering aberrant self-promotion a distinct psychological motif.