Gregg, Aiden P. and Sedikides, Constantine
Implicit self-esteem and narcissism: rethinking the link.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Several studies have found that explicit and implicit self-esteem interact to predict narcissism. These findings have been interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that narcissists have high but fragile self-esteem. However, we contend that these findings are neither empirically consistent nor conceptually coherent. We instead hypothesize that explicit and implicit self-esteem should predict narcissism independently, respectively in a positive and negative direction. In a large multi-session study, we examined the interrelationships between narcissism, explicit self-esteem, and three indices of implicit self-esteem (showing good psychometric properties and some convergent validity). No evidence emerged that explicit and implicit self-esteem interacted to predict narcissism. However, as predicted, two measures of implicit self-esteem were inversely related to narcissism. Potential explanations for divergent findings are considered.
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