Narcissism and the effects of ostracism within dyadic interactions

Andrew Michael Jopp, Purdue University


Recent research on narcissism has begun to examine the differences between two subtypes of narcissism, vulnerable and grandiose, and how they differ with respect to interpersonal functioning. The present study utilized a sample of undergraduate students and their respective romantic partners (N = 153 individuals) to examine grandiose and vulnerable narcissism in terms of aggression and threats to one’s fundamental needs (e.g., belonging, control, meaningful existence, self-esteem) following being ostracized by a romantic partner. It was hypothesized that individuals who are high in vulnerable narcissism, compared to those who are low in the trait, would show greater need threat and aggression following ostracism, due to their sensitivity to interpersonal threat. Conversely, we expected no difference in need threat and aggression between the ostracism and inclusion conditions as a function of grandiose narcissism. Each individual was allowed to aggress against his or her romantic partner following Cyberball-induced ostracism or inclusion. It was found that individuals displayed greater need threat following ostracism as a function of vulnerable narcissism, but not grandiose narcissism. No significant moderation effects were found between either subtype of narcissism and ostracism on aggressive responding. Results and implications for the present findings are discussed.




South, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Social psychology|Clinical psychology|Personality psychology

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