The View From the Looking Glass: How Are Narcissistic Individuals Perceived by Others?


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Department of Psychology, Oakland University, 212A Pryale Hall, Rochester, MI 48309. Email:


Previous studies have found that narcissistic individuals are often viewed negatively by those who know them well. The present study sought to extend these previous findings by examining whether normal and pathological aspects of narcissism were associated with perceiver ratings of narcissistic characteristics and aggression. This was accomplished by having each of our undergraduate participants (288 targets) recruit friends or family members to complete ratings of the target who recruited them (1,296 perceivers). Results revealed that perceived entitlement was strongly associated with perceived aggression. Further, self-reported levels of pathological narcissism moderated these results such that vulnerable narcissism exacerbated the association between perceived entitlement and aggression, whereas grandiose narcissism mitigated the association. The discussion will focus on the implications of these results for understanding the various features of narcissism.