Study finds narcissism is triggered by insecurity, not grandiosity

The study was authored by Mary Kowalchyk, Helena Palmieri, Elena Conte, and Pascal Wallisch.

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Narcissism is not driven by grandiosity, but by insecurity, according to new research in Personality and Individual Differences.

Led by first author Mary Kowalchyk of New York University, the study included close to 300 participants, most of which were female in early adulthood.

For the study, the participants were instructed to answer a series of questions through cyberspace. The end-result of the study was to extensively examine narcissistic personality disorder using FLEX (perFormative seLf-Elevation indeX).

From the results: “We find that FLEX correlates highly with narcissism, but not psychopathy. We conclude that narcissism corresponds most closely to vulnerable narcissism and is characterized by self-elevating behaviors that are well captured by FLEX.”

The study was authored by Mary Kowalchyk, Helena Palmieri, Elena Conte, and Pascal Wallisch.

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