خودشیفتگی و خودناتوان سازی: پیوند خودبزرگسازی با رفتار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|32182||2006||21 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11413 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Research in Personality, Volume 40, Issue 5, October 2006, Pages 573–597
Two experiments tested the hypothesis that narcissistic men as defined by the NPI (Narcissistic Personality Inventory; Raskin & Hall, 1979) would self-handicap more than low-NPI individuals because it makes it easy to claim potentially undeserved credit for success. In both experiments, high and low narcissistic men received either response contingent or noncontingent success feedback on a test of intelligence and then provided an opportunity to self-handicap prior to a second evaluation. In both studies, high-NPI men self-handicapped significantly more than low-NPI men regardless of the contingency of the performance feedback. Narcissistic self-handicapping appeared to be motivated by a self-aggrandizing attributional style rather than by self-presentational concerns or the desire to self-enhance. Findings are discussed with regard to the role of self-esteem instability and the motive to self-protect in both narcissism and self-handicapping.
In recent years there has been a growing interest in narcissism as a personality trait in sub-clinical populations (Emmons, 1987; see Rhodewalt & Sorrow, 2003, for a review). This interest has resulted in development of face valid self-report measures of narcissism (Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI); Raskin & Hall, 1979), and an extensive body of validation research (see Rhodewalt & Sorrow, 2003, for a review). Building upon contemporary clinical theory that casts narcissism as essentially a cognitive-affective preoccupation with the self (Akhtar and Thompson, 1982, Kernberg, 1975 and Westen, 1990), Morf and Rhodewalt, 2001, Rhodewalt, 2001, Rhodewalt, 2005 and Rhodewalt and Morf, 2005 have attempted to organize the features of narcissism—egocentric self-absorption, self-aggrandizement and self-importance, attention and admiration seeking, emotional reactivity, entitlement, exploitiveness, and lack of empathy—within a model of dynamic self-regulation. The model depicts narcissistic self-regulation as being in the service of creating and maintaining desired self images. Narcissists use a set of interpersonal (i.e., strategic self-presentations) and intrapersonal (i.e., self-aggrandizing attributions) strategies to enable them to experience flattering social feedback and boost self-esteem. A theme running through this work is that although narcissists’ self-images are positive, they are also fragile and easily threatened. Their constant desire for positive self-evaluation leads them to view themselves and their accomplishments as superior to others or superior to objective indices of the attribute in question (Gabriel, Critelli, & Ee, 1994; John & Robins, 1994). Research indicates that narcissists’ self-evaluations are likely to be inflated and fragile because they are gleaned from evidence that is not fully contingent on actual performance. However, this manufactured high self-esteem is fragile, unstable, and defensive (Rhodewalt and Morf, 1998 and Rhodewalt et al., 1998). For example, when high and low narcissistic men, as identified by the NPI (Raskin & Hall, 1979) experienced identical, staged social interactions with a potential dating partner, high-NPI men concluded from the interaction that the woman was more romantically attracted to them than did low-NPI men (Rhodewalt & Eddings, 2002) . Kernis and Sun (1994) found that compared to low-NPI individuals, high NPIs rated positive feedback as more valid and positive evaluators as more competent, whereas negative feedback was viewed as less valid and the negative evaluator as less competent. More central to the present research, narcissism has been linked directly to the tendency to make “self-aggrandizing” attributions (Rhodewalt and Morf, 1995 and Rhodewalt and Morf, 1998). When asked to explain hypothetical positive events happening to them and to make attributions for those events, narcissists were found to make more extreme internal, global, and stable attributions for success than did less narcissistic respondents (Rhodewalt & Morf, 1995). In subsequent research (Rhodewalt & Morf, 1998), high-NPI participants made more extreme attributions to ability after receiving experimentally manipulated, response noncontingent success feedback than did low-NPI participants. Taken together, these findings suggest that narcissists seek to self-enhance by viewing all positive feedback as evidence for their competence, attractiveness, and superiority even when the feedback is not contingent on their actual competency or performance (Kernis and Sun, 1994, Rhodewalt and Morf, 1998 and Wallace and Baumeister, 2002). It is likely then, that the narcissist’s positive self-views are built upon a rather insecure knowledge base and, consequently, are easily threatened. There is evidence that this is true. Both experimental and correlational studies find that although narcissists have high self-esteem, their self-esteem is unstable and highly reactive to positive and negative social feedback (Rhodewalt et al., 1998 and Rhodewalt and Morf, 1998). One striking paradox of narcissistic behavior is the apparent incongruency between their highly positive self-images and their hyperresponsiveness to threat. The model proposed by Morf and Rhodewalt (2001) hypothesizes that narcissists, when threatened, will engage in defensive interpersonal behaviors in order to preserve these positive but insecurely held self-conceptions. Establishing the link between positive but fragile self-conceptions and defensive behavior is the goal of the present study. Our central question is: What do narcissists do when there is a potential threat to their positive but fragile self-views? One option available to people in such predicaments is to enact some form of self-handicapping behavior (Jones & Berglas, 1978; see Rhodewalt & Tragakis, 2002, for a review). Self-handicaps are impediments to successful performance created or claimed by the self-handicapper prior to a performance. These impediments allow the individual to discount the negative ability implications of failure and to augment or enhance the ability implications of success (Jones & Berglas, 1978). Jones and Berglas (1978) theorized that self-handicapping would be most prevalent among those whose competency images were built upon capricious histories of success. Narcissists appear to be such people. Narcissists should find several features of the self-handicapping strategy attractive. First, self-handicapping permits the preservation of desired but fragile self-images. We contend that narcissists manipulate and skew social feedback in order to build and hold competency self-images that are not tied to actual accomplishment (Rhodewalt & Tragakis, 2002). As a consequence, these self-images are insecure and easily threatened. It is our hypothesis that the narcissistic tendency to make self-aggrandizing performance attributions for all positive feedback, regardless of its veracity, should increase the likelihood that they will engage in self-handicapping behavior when called upon to provide evidence of the desired attribute or ability. We predict that narcissists, because they are typically more focused on feedback’s valence than they are on its validity, will show a preference for self-handicapping regardless of the contingency of the feedback. In contrast, individuals low in narcissism will display a preference for self-handicapping only when their prior success was based on response noncontingent performance feedback, consistent with the typical findings in this area. Self-handicapping has been described as a “double-edged sword” (Feick & Rhodewalt, 1997) in that it permits image protection in the event of failure and image enhancement in the event of success. This “double-edged” feature of self-handicapping should be particularly attractive to narcissists, who seek both to be admired by others (Rhodewalt, 2005) and to be superior to others (Morf, Weir, & Davidov, 2002). In fact, Wallace and Baumeister (2002) demonstrated that narcissists put forth more effort when the task afforded an opportunity for self-enhancement by being challenging and having a low probability of success than they did when the task did not afford self-enhancement opportunities because it was easy. Less narcissistic individuals did not modulate their effort in response to self-enhancement opportunities. We agree with Wallace and Baumeister’s (2002) contention that narcissists are motivated to do well when self-enhancement is a possibility but also note that performance settings that are challenging, with a low probability of success, also make failure less diagnostic with respect to one’s competency because failure can be attributed to task difficulty. In brief, self-handicapping should be especially prevalent among narcissists because it allows them to protect positive but insecure self-images and because self-handicapping affords nondiagnostic self-enhancement opportunities.