The Paradox of In-Group Love: Differentiating Collective Narcissism Advances Understanding of the Relationship Between In-Group and Out-Group Attitudes


  • Portions of this article were presented at the annual meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, in San Francisco, July 2010. Studies 2 and 5 were supported by British Academy grant SG090532 awarded to Agnieszka Golec de Zavala. Michał Bilewicz and Aleksandra Cichocka were supported by the Foundation for Polish Science (FOCUS program).
  • We would like to thank Christopher M. Federico, John T. Jost, Robert Schatz, and Virginia Newton for their very helpful comments on earlier versions of this article.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Agnieszka Golec de Zavala at CIS/ISCTE IUL, Avenida das Forças Armadas, Edificio ISCTE, 1649 026 Lisboa, Portugal. Email:



The present studies test the hypothesis that the overlap between collective narcissism and positive in-group identification conceals the opposite relationships these variables have with out-group derogation.


Five surveys were conducted in different cultural and national contexts, using different samples and different intergroup contexts (Study 1, Polish student sample, N = 85; Study 2, British student sample, N = 81; Study 3, Polish representative sample, N = 979; Study 3, Polish student sample, N = 267 and Study 5, British student sample, N = 241).


The results of suppression analyses systematically indicate that when the positive relationship between collective narcissism and in-group positivity is controlled for, the non-narcissistic in-group positivity predicts less out-group negativity, whereas collective narcissism predicts more out-group derogation.


The results advance our understanding of constructive and destructive forms of in-group positivity and their different consequences for intergroup attitudes.