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Description: Somewhere in the aftermath of the American election (November 3, 2020) there will be (maybe) a point where the outgoing president acknowledges his loss. At least that is how it has gone in every previous American Presidential election. But, as of today, November 14, 2020, Donald Trump has not yet conceded the election to Joe Biden. Recounts and possible lawsuits legally defined options in the United States but, well, just but, might there be some reasons, beyond reason, that President Trump has not yet conceded? We do not have the necessary access for assessment purposes but we, Psychologists, have some theories and some research that provide possible hypotheses as to why someone might have difficulty acknowledging defeat. So, what sorts of options might Psychology have to offer in this area? Once you have your candidate options in mind read the article linked below for a discussion of two or three options.

Source: Why can’t some people admit defeat when they lose? Evita March, The Conversation.

Date: November 9, 2020

Photo Credit: Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Article Link:

The interplay of narcissism and cognitive dissonance is quite a combination. Unlike optimism, which can be viewed as a mindset that along with problem solving and goal-focus can help people move forward when challenged, the narcissism/dissonance combo can lock individuals into a pattern of behavior that moves sometime significant distances away from reality. Together these two concepts can provide a possible explanation for ongoing behavior that defies reasonable reflection, something we have seen a LOT of over the past 4 years.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How is narcissism defined?
  2. What is cognitive dissonance and how might it be applied to recent American post-election events?
  3. How might narcissism and cognitive dissonance be combined to provide a hypothesis for recent Trump behavior?

References (Read Further):

Okimoto, T. G., Wenzel, M., & Hedrick, K. (2013). Refusing to apologize can have psychological benefits (and we issue no mea culpa for this research finding). European Journal of Social Psychology, 43(1), 22-31. Link

Miller, J. D., Hoffman, B. J., Gaughan, E. T., Gentile, B., Maples, J., & Keith Campbell, W. (2011). Grandiose and vulnerable narcissism: A nomological network analysis. Journal of personality, 79(5), 1013-1042. Link

Stoeber, J., Sherry, S. B., & Nealis, L. J. (2015). Multidimensional perfectionism and narcissism: Grandiose or vulnerable?. Personality and Individual Differences, 80, 85-90. Link

Besser, A., & Priel, B. (2010). Grandiose narcissism versus vulnerable narcissism in threatening situations: Emotional reactions to achievement failure and interpersonal rejection. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 29(8), 874-902. Link

Cooper, J. (2007). Cognitive dissonance: 50 years of a classic theory. Sage. Link