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Why narcissists are unwilling to apologize: the role of empathy and guilt

Why narcissists are unwilling to apologize: the role of empathy and guilt
Why narcissists are unwilling to apologize: the role of empathy and guilt
We hypothesized that narcissists would be unwilling to apologize for their interpersonal transgressions, and that reduced levels of self-reported empathy and guilt would serially mediate this effect. Narcissism is characterized by little empathy for the victim, which reduces guilt about one's transgressions. Low guilt, in turn, is associated with unwillingness to apologize. In Study 1, we assessed dispositional narcissism, empathy, guilt, and willingness to apologize. In Study 2, we assessed dispositional narcissism and obtained state measures of empathy, guilt, and willingness to apologize. In Study 3, we manipulated narcissism and collected state measures of empathy, guilt, and willingness to apologize. Narcissism was negatively associated with (Studies 1–2) and decreased (Study 3) willingness to apologize, with this link being explained (i.e., serially mediated) by low empathy and guilt. Finally, in Study 4, we showed that antagonistic narcissism (i.e., narcissistic rivalry), but not agentic narcissism (i.e., narcissistic admiration), was negatively associated with willingness to apologize and apologizing behaviour. In all, narcissists are unwilling to apologize for their transgressions, as they experience little empathy for their victims and lower guilt.
0890-2070
385–403
Leunissen, Josephus
7f515e33-ceb7-49c8-95e9-d327a641f965
Sedikides, Constantine
9d45e66d-75bb-44de-87d7-21fd553812c2
Wildschut, Tim
4452a61d-1649-4c4a-bb1d-154ec446ff81
Leunissen, Josephus
7f515e33-ceb7-49c8-95e9-d327a641f965
Sedikides, Constantine
9d45e66d-75bb-44de-87d7-21fd553812c2
Wildschut, Tim
4452a61d-1649-4c4a-bb1d-154ec446ff81

Leunissen, Josephus, Sedikides, Constantine and Wildschut, Tim (2017) Why narcissists are unwilling to apologize: the role of empathy and guilt. European Journal of Personality, 31 (4), 385–403. (doi:10.1002/per.2110).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We hypothesized that narcissists would be unwilling to apologize for their interpersonal transgressions, and that reduced levels of self-reported empathy and guilt would serially mediate this effect. Narcissism is characterized by little empathy for the victim, which reduces guilt about one's transgressions. Low guilt, in turn, is associated with unwillingness to apologize. In Study 1, we assessed dispositional narcissism, empathy, guilt, and willingness to apologize. In Study 2, we assessed dispositional narcissism and obtained state measures of empathy, guilt, and willingness to apologize. In Study 3, we manipulated narcissism and collected state measures of empathy, guilt, and willingness to apologize. Narcissism was negatively associated with (Studies 1–2) and decreased (Study 3) willingness to apologize, with this link being explained (i.e., serially mediated) by low empathy and guilt. Finally, in Study 4, we showed that antagonistic narcissism (i.e., narcissistic rivalry), but not agentic narcissism (i.e., narcissistic admiration), was negatively associated with willingness to apologize and apologizing behaviour. In all, narcissists are unwilling to apologize for their transgressions, as they experience little empathy for their victims and lower guilt.

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Leunissen Sedikides Wildschut in press EJP - Accepted Manuscript
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Leunissen et al. in press EJP Supplemental Materials - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 8 May 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 June 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 412422
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/412422
ISSN: 0890-2070
PURE UUID: 711e0ffc-65af-4d6c-a788-c9c881475c26

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Date deposited: 17 Jul 2017 13:41
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 05:08

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