Narcissistic Processes: Optimistic Expectations, Favorable Self-Evaluations, and Self-Enhancing Attributions

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Abstract

Three studies investigated the relationship between narcissism (as measured by the Narcissistic Personality Inventory; Raskin & Hall, 1979) and three forms of self-enhancement. In Study 1, narcissism positively correlated with predictions of own final course grades, but not with actual grades received. In Study 2, narcissism positively correlated with estimated current course grades; high narcissists tended to overestimate their grades, while low narcissists tended to underestimate them. In Study 3, narcissism was associated with optimistic expectations for own performance on a laboratory interdependence task and with attributions of a successful task outcome to own ability and effort, but it did not correlate with attributions to a partner’s ability or effort, suggesting self-aggrandizement but not other-derogation. Narcissism was also associated with weaker gratitude and liking. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for the origins and generality of self-enhancement and for the relationship between narcissism and self-functioning in the social domain.

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