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Grandiose narcissists seek status selectively

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fame, narcissism, person perception, social media

Abstract (summary)

Grandiose narcissists (individuals with a tendency to be self-focused, egotistical, and vain) overwhelmingly desire celebrity status. Here, we examined the conditions underlying narcissists’ fame motivation. In Study 1, we assessed participants’ desire to become a social media user who attained high status, tried to attain status but failed, or had no status-attainment goal. In Study 2, we assessed how participants’ self-perceived similarity to high-status targets (e.g., Hollywood/social media celebrities) influences their desire to become them. We found that participants reporting high narcissism were most motivated to become successful social media celebrities, disliking people who tried to attain status but failed more than they disliked people who had no goal for fame (Study 1). Moreover, narcissists emulated high-status targets only when they felt similar (vs. dissimilar) to them (Study 2). Thus, narcissists do not perceive all fame as equally desirable and only express a desire for fame when it is attainable.

Publication Information

Giacomin, M., Battaglini, A. M., & Rule, N. O. (2018). Grandiose narcissists seek status selectively. Social Cognition, 36, 20-42. doi: 10.1521/soco.2018.36.1.20


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