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Let go of your (inflated) ego: caring more about others reduces narcissistic tendencies

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narcissism, communal focus, communal self-statements, interdependent self-construal, changes in narcissism, narcissist, caring about others

Abstract (summary)

Narcissists are known for having excessively positive self-views, but an equally defining characteristic of narcissism may be a disregard of other people. Could encouraging people to care more about others, or feel more connected to them, reduce narcissism? We describe a series of studies demonstrating that a more communal focus on others reduces narcissistic tendencies. In particular, repeating communal selfstatements (i.e., “I am a caring person”), recalling a time when one was caring, feeling empathy, focusing on monetary expenditures (which increases a sense of dependence on others), and interdependent selfconstrual all situationally reduce narcissism. These effects occur on a small scale but are significant because they establish that communal focus causes changes in narcissism. They also suggest that narcissism may have a state-like or context-dependent component, fluctuating across time and situations. Everyone may have the propensity to be narcissistic, but caring more about others may help to curb narcissism.

Publication Information

Jordan, C. H., Giacomin, M., & Kopp, L. (2014). Let go of your (inflated) ego: Caring more about others reduces narcissistic tendencies. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 8, 511–523. doi: 10.1111/spc3.12128


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