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Description: Do you know what makes someone a Narcissist? Or, perhaps more simply put, are you a narcissist (rate yourself on a 1 (NO) to 7 (YES) point scale). Narcissists are people who feel superior, entitled and who have a constant desire for admiration from others. Know anyone like that? If you do, with them in mind, think about the following scenario and think about how they would behave. In a decision making situation would they think and behave in an overconfident manner? Would their behaviour change, and if so how, in situations where the individual you have in mind felt powerful or were actually in a position of power (like a manager or CEO, for example)? Now that you have some hypotheses in mind how would you design a study or several studies to test them? Once you have thought about that a bit read the article linked below to see how your hypothesis and research designs compare to those of the Industrial/Organizational psychologists who looked at these questions.

Source: Why Narcissistic Leaders Are Prone to Overconfidence, Research Topics, Association for Psychological Science.

Date: January 19, 2017

Photo Credit:  Association for Psychological Science

Links:  Article Link —

So how did you do in comparison to the I/O Psychological researchers? Did you agree with how the researchers defined their variables? Did the results make sense? It seems clear that narcissism is positively related to overconfidence. It is less clear how these two variables play out when the people involved are given feelings of power.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Did you agree with how the researchers defined their variables? Did the results make sense?
  2. What about the issue of power? Were you fine with how it was defined and manipulated?
  3. Are there other questions you have about how these variables are related after reading the discussion of the four studies in the linked article? What additional studies do you think need to be done and what should we keep in mind if we wish to apply these results to corporate environments?

References (Read Further):

Dunning, D., Heath, C., & Suls, J. M. (2004). Flawed self-assessment implications for health, education, and the workplace. Psychological Science in the Public Interest5(3), 69-106. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-1006.2004.00018.x

Macenczak, L. A., Campbell, S., Henley, A. B., & Campbell, W. K. (2016). Direct and interactive effects of narcissism and power on overconfidence. Personality and Individual Differences91, 113-122. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2015.11.053

Freud, S. (2014). On narcissism: An introduction. Read Books Ltd.

Paulhus, D. L., & Williams, K. M. (2002). The dark triad of personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Journal of research in personality, 36(6), 556-563.