You Better Not Tell Me I'm Not Intelligent! Grandiose Narcissism and Reaction to Negative Intelligence Feedback
24 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2023
We examined the associations between various aspects of grandiose narcissism (i.e., agentic, antagonistic, and communal) and responses to intelligence-related feedback. Because high intelligence is regarded as an attribute that determines social status, it is attractive to narcissistic individuals. In the present study (N = 308), we tested how aspects of grandiose narcissism were associated with subjectively assessed intelligence (SAI) and anger before and after receiving bogus feedback about performance on an intelligence test. We compared the effects of the feedback’s valence (positive vs. negative) and comparison standard (oneself vs. others). In line with previous research and theorizing, agentic and communal narcissism were positively associated with SAI, regardless of the feedback type. Furthermore, antagonistic narcissism was associated with elevated levels of anger in response to negative feedback concerning performance on the intelligence test. This is consistent with the concept that the primary goal of antagonistic narcissism is protection of the grandiose self which may manifest in aggressive responses to ego-threatening information (e.g., questioning one’s competence).
Keywords: agentic narcissism, antagonistic narcissism, communal narcissism, grandiose narcissism, subjectively assessed intelligence, emotional reaction, reaction for feedback
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