According to a new study, when evaluating others, narcissists are less likely to be bothered by narcissism in the people they’re evaluating.
Narcissism, or an inflated sense of vanity and self-importance, is often viewed negatively. Previous studies have shown mixed results, however, about how narcissists view others. This series of studies aimed to clear up some of the confusion using a variety of methods—including social media.
The research, published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, consisted of three separate studies designed to determine the relationship between evaluator narcissism and target narcissism.
The first study looked at 75 undergraduate psychology students. The students first took the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) and then rated the likeability of 16 hypothetical people—8 narcissists and 8 non-narcissists. The narcissistic participants had less extreme opinions of others than the control group—they did see narcissists as “unfavorable” and non-narcissists as “favorable,” but significantly less so than the control group.
“One could reasonably have predicted that narcissists’ reactive tendencies would translate into more variability in their evaluations of different types of people,” said Harry M. Wallace, corresponding author, “but the opposite occurred.”