Wednesday, 25 July 2018

A brief tale of the two faces of narcissism and the two facets of pride

Personality and Individual Differences Volume 126, 1 May 2018, Pages 104-108 Personality and Individual Differences Author links open overlay panelRadosławRogozaaMaria MagdalenaKwiatkowskaaChristopher MarcinKowalskibSławomirŚlaskia a Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, ul. Wóycickiego 1/3, 01-938 Warsaw, Poland b Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada Received 4 December 2017, Revised 12 January 2018, Accepted 20 January 2018, Available online 3 February 2018. crossmark-logo Get rights and content Highlights • Admiration positively predicts authentic pride. • Rivalry negatively predicts authentic pride. • Admiration and rivalry positively predict hubristic pride. • Narcissism may be functional to some extent despite being malevolent personality trait. Abstract Existing research suggests that narcissism is moderately associated with authentic pride and weakly associated with hubristic pride. In the current paper, we investigate whether the differentiation of the two faces of narcissism (i.e., admiration and rivalry), provides an alternate account of the relationships between these variables. We hypothesised that such differentiation would result in a contradictory pattern of relations with authentic pride, whilst both narcissistic strategies would be positively correlated with hubristic pride. The study was conducted on an adult sample using the Authentic and Hubristic Pride Scale and Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry Questionnaire. The hypotheses were tested using a structural equation model, which was well fitted to the data. The results supported our expectations regarding the mutual suppression effect of the two faces of narcissism on the relation with authentic pride as well as the common direction of the relations with the hubristic pride. Previous article in issue Next article in issue Keywords Narcissism Pride NARQ 1. Introduction Modern times are frequently described as facing a narcissism epidemic (Twenge & Campbell, 2009), which emphasizes that the problem with narcissists and their behaviour is an ongoing issue for everyday functioning of modern societies; however, research suggests that there is a small decline in the overall narcissism level over the past 20 years (between 1990 and 2010; Wetzel et al., in press). Despite this decline, understanding narcissism is still an important issue which is expressed in a growing realm of research (e.g., the seminal work of Raskin & Terry, 1988; according to Google Scholar was cited 272 times just in 2017). Within the literature, two forms of narcissism can be identified: grandiose and vulnerable narcissism (Wink, 1991). Grandiose narcissism is interpreted as a personality trait in the general population, whilst vulnerable narcissism is associated more with clinical manifestations of narcissism (Cain, Pincus, & Ansell, 2008). Moreover, grandiose narcissism is associated with greater social poise and self-assurance, while vulnerable narcissism, as the label suggests, is associated with emotional sensitivity (Wink, 1991). Since we are interested in personality, we decided to study the general population and investigate grandiose narcissism only. Thus, whenever we mention narcissism in this manuscript, we refer to grandiose narcissism. 1.1. Two faces of narcissism Narcissism can be interpreted as a construct with two faces: the bright face of admiration representing grandiose and the dark face of rivalry representing the antagonistic aspects of narcissism (Back et al., 2013). Despite this distinction, the majority of existing research focuses mostly on the grandiose dimension (e.g., Ackerman et al., 2011), regardless of the fact that the antagonistic aspect of narcissism has a different impact on underlying behavioural processes (Leckelt, Küfner, Nestler, & Back, 2015). Both dimensions are composed of three basic components: affective-motivational, cognitive, and behavioural; for admiration these components are striving for uniqueness, grandiose fantasies, and charmingness, respectively; for rivalry these components are striving for supremacy, devaluation of others, and aggressiveness, respectively (Back et al., 2013). This disentanglement, which takes into account both bright and dark characteristics of grandiose narcissism, clarified many existing ambiguities, such as why the correlation between narcissism and self-esteem is not as high as expected; Back et al. (2013) argued that it was due to the suppression effect resulting from a different pattern of relationships with admiration (positive) and rivalry (negative). Also, the two faces of narcissism turned out to have a different nomological network in relation to basic values and personality traits (Rogoza, Wyszyńska, Maćkiewicz, & Cieciuch, 2016). Both of the narcissistic features significantly differ from each other in terms of its correlates; for example, admiration is related to rather stable high self-esteem while rivalry is linked to low and fragile sense of self-worth (Geukes et al., 2017). Similarly, regarding interpersonal outcomes, since admiration is associated with being charming and making a great first impression, rivalry is associated with arrogance and aggressiveness as the long-term cost, which discredits narcissists in the eyes of others (Leckelt et al., 2015); consequently, these two faces may also be referred to as the bright and the dark sides of narcissism (Back et al., 2013). With regard to other personality traits, narcissism has been found to be positively correlated with extraversion (0.36) and negatively correlated with agreeableness (−0.37) (Vernon, Villani, Vickers, & Harris, 2008), but when narcissism is separated into rivalry and admiration, these correlations are more informative. For example, admiration is found to be correlated primarily with high extraversion while rivalry is found to be correlated primarily with low agreeableness (Back et al., 2013; Leckelt et al., in press; Rogoza, Wyszyńska, et al., 2016). 1.2. Two facets of pride Tracy and Robins (2007) demonstrated that pride has a two-dimensional structure comprising authentic (referring to the genuine feelings of self-worth) and hubristic pride (referring to the distorted and self-aggrandized self-views). Pride, although not biologically conditioned, has been considered to be one of the basic self-conscious emotions (Tracy and Robins, 2004, Tracy and Robins, 2006). Nevertheless, compared to other emotions (e.g., shame or guilt), the full picture of this phenomenon is complex (Tracy & Robins, 2006) because as a result of evolutionary heritage, pride can be manifested through a wide range of distinct outcomes (e.g., dominance or prestige; Shariff, Tracy, Cheng, & Henrich, 2010). Authentic pride is a sense of pride that is usually based on specific accomplishments and stem from attributions of internal, unstable, and controllable causes (e.g., effort; Tracy, Cheng, Robins, & Trzesniewski, 2009; Tracy & Robins, 2007). This type of pride is often accompanied by true feelings of self-worth. Extant empirical research suggests that authentic pride is linked with a selfless attitude, engagement in ethical (moral) behaviour (Bureau, Vallerand, Ntoumanis, & Lafernière, 2013; Sanders, Wisse, Van Yperen, & Rus, 2016), positive affect, sensitivity to rewards (such as respect of others), self-control (Carver, Sinclair, & Johnson, 2010), well-being (Orth, Robins, & Soto, 2010), and both harmonious and obsessive passion (Bureau et al., 2013). Authentically proud individuals make a likeable impression and their entirety arouses admiration of others. Consequently, their admirers are motivated for self-improvement through benign envy (Lange & Crusius, 2015; Lange, Paulhus, & Crusius, in press). In contrast, hubristic pride is linked to a wide range of so-called maladaptive outcomes (Tracy et al., 2009; Tracy & Robins, 2007) such as impulsivity and aggression in seeking power and dominance (Carver et al., 2010), as well as immoral behaviour preceded by obsessive passion (Bureau et al., 2013). Hubristic pride is typified by more global sense of pride that often involves a distorted and boastful sense of self (Tracy & Robins, 2007). This type of pride stems from attributions of stable, and global causes (e.g., intelligence; Tracy et al., 2009). Furthermore, manifestations of hubristic pride might lead to a less likeable impression in the eyes of other people (Lange & Crusius, 2015) and in the long-term perspective it is negatively related to well-being (Orth et al., 2010) and relationship quality (Tracy et al., 2009). Pride has been investigated in relation to the Big Five personality traits. Authentic pride has been found to be significantly positively correlated with extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability (the reverse of neuroticism; all correlations were of moderate strength). While hubristic pride has been found to be significantly negatively correlated with agreeableness (moderately correlated) and conscientiousness (weakly correlated; Tracy & Robins, 2007). 1.3. Two faces of narcissism and the two facets of pride Although research on the relation between narcissism and the two facets of pride has already been conducted (Tracy et al., 2009; Tracy & Robins, 2007), in the current paper we investigate whether the differentiation of the two faces of narcissism shed a new light on these observed relationships. Initially, narcissism was predicted to be highly related to hubristic pride, but according to previous research, it was linked to both facets (the relation was moderate, and higher for authentic pride; Tracy & Robins, 2007). Research has already demonstrated admiration and rivalry's utility in disentangling the relations between narcissism and other variables (e.g., personality traits and basic values; Back et al., 2013; Rogoza, Wyszyńska, et al., 2016). Thus, the existing research investigating the relationship between narcissism (with more traditional conceptualizations and measures of narcissism) and pride, suggesting a weak relation with authentic pride and low relation with hubristic pride (Tracy et al., 2009; Tracy & Robins, 2007), may be somewhat misleading. The relations with basic personality traits also seems to support this claim as general narcissism is related to both high extraversion and low agreeableness (Vernon et al., 2008), while authentic pride is related to high extraversion and high agreeableness (Tracy & Robins, 2007); thus, the differentiation of admiration, which is related primarily with high extraversion and rivalry, which is related primarily with low agreeableness (Rogoza, Wyszyńska, et al., 2016) might be more informative. More precisely, similarly as in the case of self-esteem (Back et al., 2013) we expect a suppression effect between admiration (positive), rivalry (negative), and authentic pride, which would be responsible for the inflation of the correlation strength in studies which did not differentiate the two faces of narcissism (Tracy et al., 2009; Tracy & Robins, 2007). Moreover, because narcissism is to do with on oneself (albeit rivalry is even more straightforward about this particular aspect; Back et al., 2013; Morf & Rhodewalt, 2001) we expect that both the dark (with stronger) and the bright side of narcissism (with a weaker positive relation) will be related with hubristic pride. This would be consistent with the results of Cheng, Tracy, and Henrich (2010) who found that the two facets of pride are associated with different routes to social status. Specifically, authentic pride was primarily associated with prestige (status based on recognition of skills, knowledge, or accomplishment), while hubristic pride was primarily associated with dominance (status based on intimidation and coercion. Moreover, authentic pride was also correlated, albeit weakly, with dominance, while hubristic pride was weakly negatively correlated with prestige. Because narcissistic admiration is defined as the tendency to approach social status through self-promotion (e.g., displays of success or competence), and narcissistic rivalry is conceptualized as an antagonistic and defensive means of avoiding failure (e.g., displays of aggression; Back et al., 2013), there are clear conceptual similarities between admiration and prestige, and rivalry and dominance. 2. Current study The purpose of the present study is to investigate the differential impact of the two faces of narcissism, namely, narcissistic admiration and rivalry on the two types of pride: authentic and hubristic. We hypothesise (1) a contradictory direction of the relation between authentic pride with admiration (positively) and rivalry (negatively related); and (2) to provide support for the hypothesis that narcissism is ultimately self-focused, which will be expressed in positive relations of both narcissistic faces with hubristic pride (albeit with stronger relation for rivalry). These hypotheses will be tested using a complex structural equation model that includes the assessment of measurement models of employed measures allowing for better control of measurement error and shared variance. 3. Method 3.1. Participants and procedure Within the study, a total of N = 245 adults aged between 18 and 40 years (M = 23.75; SD = 4.43) and residents of Poland participated (31.8% were male). The data was gathered online and the link to the study was distributed on Facebook groups representing different local communities. Upon consent for participation in the study respondents were administered a larger set of measures, including the measurement of narcissism and pride. All of the respondents had an opportunity to participate in a draw in which we gave away petite material rewards (e.g., board games). 3.2. Measures The Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry Questionnaire-Short (NARQ-S; Leckelt et al., in press) is a six-item questionnaire derived from a full 18-item version of NARQ (Back et al., 2013; Polish version: Rogoza, Rogoza, & Wyszyńska, 2016). It has a two-dimensional structure comprising admiration (sample item: I manage to be the center of attention with my outstanding contributions) and rivalry (sample item: I want my rivals to fail), and consists of a six-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (not agree at all) to 6 (agree completely). Test items within a scale reflect basic NARC components (i.e., grandiosity, striving for uniqueness, and charmingness – representing admiration; devaluation, striving for supremacy, and aggressiveness – representing rivalry). The NARQ-S was tested in convenience and representative samples, which indicated that it is a sound and valid measure of the narcissistic admiration and rivalry; its two-dimensional structure was confirmed using confirmatory factor analysis and it correlates with the Narcissistic Personality Inventory and its facets (Ackerman et al., 2011; Raskin & Terry, 1988) in a theoretically consistent manner (i.e., admiration correlated with Leadership/Authority and Grandiose Exhibitionism, while rivalry correlated with Entitlement/Exploitativeness). Moreover it exhibited a similar nomological network (in regard to the self-esteem, Big Five and Dark Triad traits; Leckelt et al., in press). Owing to the good psychometric properties of the NARQ-S (Leckelt et al., in press) and because of the fact that presented research was a part of a larger study, we decided to use this version instead of the full-length NARQ (Back et al., 2013). In the current study, the reliability estimates of both scales were in line with those reported by Leckelt et al. (in press); that is good for admiration (α = 0.76) and mediocre for rivalry (α = 0.57); both of them were supplemented with good distribution statistics (Sadmiration = −0.27; Kadmiration = −0.26; Srivalry = 0.19; Krivalry = −0.35). The participants scored significantly higher on admiration (M = 3.34; SD = 1.09) than on rivalry (M = 3.15; SD = 1.11) at t(244) = 2.40; p = 0.020. The Authentic and Hubristic Pride Scale (AHPS; Tracy & Robins, 2007; Polish version: Ślaski, Rogoza, & Strus, 2017) is a self-report measure of the two facets of pride. It comprises 14 pride-related words (seven for authentic, sample word: accomplished and seven for hubristic, sample word: snobbish) to which, within a variant measuring trait-pride, participants rate the extent to which they ‘generally feel this way’ using a five-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (extremely). The factor structure of AHPS was tested via confirmatory factor analysis which has confirmed the existence of separate dimensions (Tracy & Robins, 2007). In the current study, both scales turned out to be very good in their measurement with α = 0.90 for authentic and α = 0.85 for hubristic pride, also supplemented with good estimates of the distribution statistics (Sauthentic_pride = −0.39; Kauthentic_pride = −0.18; Shubristic_pride = 0.88; Khubristic_pride = 0.34). Respondents obtained significantly higher scores on authentic pride (M = 3.08; SD = 0.83) than on hubristic pride (M = 1.99; SD = 0.74) at t(244) = 16.52; p < 0.01. 4. Results As a preliminary check, a common method variance test was run independently for each measure using single common latent factor (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, & Podsakoff, 2012). Results revealed that whereas narcissism scores were partially influenced by this form of bias, it did not affect the scores of pride. Next, to test the hypotheses, we ran a structural equation model (estimates are presented in Fig. 1). Fig. 1 Download high-res image (188KB)Download full-size image Fig. 1. Structural equation model of admiration and rivalry predicting authentic and hubristic pride. All pathways are standardised and significant at p < 0.001 regressions (except for the correlation between authentic and hubristic pride at p = 0.060). The model was well-fitted to the data (χ2(162) = 304.49; p < 0.001; CFI = 0.927; RMSEA = 0.060; RMSEA 90%CI [0.049–0.070]; p = 0.059; SRMR = 0.069). The measurement model of NARQ-S had no correlated error covariances and a mean strength of factor loadings equalling 0.65. The correlation between latent scores of admiration and rivalry was modest. Two pairs of error covariances (one per scale) were added to the measurement model of AHPS. The two facets of pride were found to be uncorrelated. The mean strength of the factor loadings of AHPS was good, equalling 0.70. Authentic pride was on one hand, positively related to admiration, while on the other it was negatively related to narcissistic rivalry, which confirmed the first hypothesis. The direction of the relation of hubristic pride with admiration and rivalry was congruent and positive and the strength of this relation was significantly stronger for rivalry (Z = 4.77; p < 0.001), which confirmed the second hypothesis. 5. Discussion In the current paper, we investigated how differentiation of the two faces of narcissism (i.e., admiration and rivalry; Back et al., 2013) would compare to already reported relations between the two facets of pride and narcissism as conceptualized as a unidimensional construct (Tracy et al., 2009; Tracy & Robins, 2007). Extant research has demonstrated that admiration and rivalry, despite being positively related, have a different nomological network and for some variables (e.g., self-esteem), the direction of relations is contradictory; thus resulting in a suppression effect when analysed jointly (Back et al., 2013; Rogoza, Żemojtel-Piotrowska, Rogoza, Piotrowski, & Wyszyńska, 2016). We hypothesised that similarly as in the case of other variables, in relation to the two facets of pride grandiose and antagonistic expressions of narcissism would also reveal differential relations. We analysed our data using structural equation modelling, which overcomes difficulties of the traditional correlational analyses as it takes into account the measurement error and the shared variance between variables. The assessment of the common method variance revealed that it regarded only narcissism, and especially narcissistic rivalry, which corroborates to the results reported by Kowalski, Rogoza, Vernon, and Schermer (2018) whom suggested that antagonistic traits, which may be regarded as sub-clinical (Paulhus & Williams, 2002) are generally less socially desirable. The results turned out to support the first hypothesis suggesting the differential impact of the faces of narcissism as admiration was positively related with both facets of pride, whereas rivalry was only positively related to the hubristic, but negatively with the authentic pride. Also, we demonstrated a suppression effect as the direction with the authentic pride was contradictory for the two faces of narcissism; controlling for this effect resulted in a higher relation between narcissism and pride than in other empirical studies (Tracy et al., 2009; Tracy & Robins, 2007). Finally, our results confirmed the second hypothesis that in the end, narcissism is all about the narcissistic individual; despite a positive relation with authentic pride, admiration was also positively related with hubristic pride. Although both models are two-dimensional, there is a crucial difference between the NARC (Back et al., 2013) and the authentic and hubristic pride model (Tracy & Robins, 2007). The NARC components are positively correlated (Back et al., 2013; Rogoza, Wyszyńska, et al., 2016), whereas the two facets of pride remain orthogonal (Carver et al., 2010; Tracy et al., 2009; Tracy & Robins, 2007), which suggests that one might be authentically but not hubristically proud; nevertheless, in narcissism admiration and rivalry go together. With regard to the behavioural processes, both constructs present a similar pattern as admiration and authentic pride are associated with making a positive impression, whereas rivalry and hubristic pride are associated with making negative impressions, especially in the long-term perspective (Lange & Crusius, 2015; Leckelt et al., 2015; Orth et al., 2010). Bearing in mind the orthogonality of the types of pride and the positive correlation between faces of narcissism and with hubristic pride, one might suggest that pride only can result in social conflict, while narcissism will usually manifest in such a way which makes it a malevolent personality characteristic. However, these results do not clearly suggest that being narcissistic is only maladaptive as according to Wetzel, Leckelt, Gerlach, and Back (2016) there are different subgroups of narcissists; apart from high narcissists who score high both on the admiration and rivalry, it is also possible to distinguish two groups of moderate narcissists: those, who are similarly characterized by both admiration and rivalry, and those who are characterized only by admiration. This categorical perspective on the interpretation of narcissism implies that people who moderately think narcissistically about oneself, but simultaneously do not devaluate other people have higher self-esteem relative to individuals who score on either high or low on narcissism. Moreover, they are also are more likely to express gratitude, to forgive, and demonstrate lower distrust (Wetzel et al., 2016). Because we found that admiration is a positive predictor of the socially positive characteristic of authentic pride, it partially supports the hypothesis that narcissism, at least in some extent, is not a completely maladaptive characteristic. Furthermore, it turned out that admiration was also a positive predictor of the more socially malevolent characteristic of malevolent pride, which contradicts such conclusion. Lange et al. (in press) described a similar problem associated with Machiavellianism and psychopathy. Displays of authentic pride increased benign envy, mediating an effect on Machiavellian behaviour, whereas displays of hubristic pride increased malicious envy, mediating an effect on Machiavellianism and psychopathy. As Machiavellianism and psychopathy (and also narcissism) are a part of a common construct of the Dark Triad of personality (Paulhus & Williams, 2002), which is characterized by callousness, manipulation and other socially aversive characteristics (e.g., grandiosity, impulsivity, entitlement; Furnham, Richards, & Paulhus, 2013; Paulhus, 2014), it might be surprising to find association between Machiavellianism and the constructive characteristics of authentic pride and benign envy (Cohen-Charash & Larson, 2017; Tracy et al., 2009). Lange et al. (in press) discuss that the reality is not always as one-sided as it is hypothesized to be as even the dark personality traits may be functional despite being malevolent. Rogoza, Żemojtel-Piotrowska et al. (2016) in regard to narcissism described a similar functional pattern. Whilst both admiration (due to e.g., grandiosity) and rivalry (due to e.g., entitlement) are malevolent to some extent, the admiration is a functional strategy of narcissism developed to deal with the costs of antagonistic rivalry. Narcissists are likely to be seen as well-adjusted, agreeable, and likeable at the moment of zero acquaintance, but these perceptions diminish and reverse over time (Paulhus, 1998). The initial benefits are accounted for by admiration, while the long-term costs are attributed to rivalry (Leckelt et al., 2015). Thus narcissists, in order to maintain their grandiose self-view are constantly searching for new victims (the functional role of admiration) because the old ones know exactly who they are dealing with (the malevolent character of rivalry; Rogoza, Żemojtel-Piotrowska, et al., 2016). Our results corroborate these findings and also suggest that the one-sided interpretations do not always reflect reality. 6. Limitations Our study does have some limitations. Firstly, the sample used was of modest size (245) and was relatively homogeneous in age (18 to 40 years; M = 23.75; SD = 4.43) and women were overrepresented (68.2% of the sample were females). Secondly, the sample was collected using Internet, which might have impacted the obtained results; this the results should be interpreted with caution and future research is needed for verification of our results; however, existing research suggests that studying Internet-based samples might be helpful in advancing personality assessment (Miller, Crowe, Weiss, Maples-Keller, & Lynam, 2017). Additionally, our measure of narcissism, although of sound psychometric properties, was the short version of the NARQ. 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