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Narcissism and Discrepancy Between Self and Friends' Perceptions of Personality


  • Sun W. Park,

    Corresponding author
    1. Northeastern University
    Current affiliation:
    1. Korea University
    • Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Sun W. Park, Department of Psychology, Korea University, 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, 136-701, South Korea. Email: [Correction added on 03 March 2014, after first online publication: first author's affiliation and correspondence address have been updated.]

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  • C. Randall Colvin

    1. Northeastern University
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  • This study was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant MH54543 to C. Randall Colvin.


Most research on narcissism and person perception has used strangers as perceivers. However, research has demonstrated that strangers' ratings are influenced by narcissists' stylish appearance (Back, Schmukle, & Egloff, 2010). In the present study, we recruited participants and their close friends, individuals whose close relationship should immunize them to participants' superficial appearance cues. We investigated the relation between narcissism and personality ratings by self and friends. Participants (N = 66; 38 women; Mage = 20.83 years) completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (Raskin & Terry, 1988) and described their personality on the 100-item California Adult Q-Sort (CAQ; Block, 2008). Participants' personality was also described on the CAQ by close friends. The “optimally adjusted individual” prototype was used to summarize participant and friend personality ratings (Block, 2008). Participants with high narcissism scores were ascribed higher optimal adjustment by self than by friends. Narcissistic individuals' self-ratings were extremely positive and more favorable than friends' ratings of them.