Polish Psychological Bulletin 45 (4):453-463 (2014)

In the present paper we consider the specific relationship between communal and agentic functioning of narcissistic individuals. The study was aimed to test whether narcissist’s aggression is due to not only negative information about their agency but also positive information about their communion. Whereas the first effect is well- documented in empirical studies, the second effect has been revealed in our prior research. The results of the present study confirmed both effects: negative information about one’s agency increased aggressive tendencies and decreased state self-esteem, while positive information about one’s communion resulted only in displaced aggression. The aggressive response to positive communal information is discussed as the success-as-aflaw effect, which we mean as inverse of the failure-as-an asset effect. According to the success-as-a-flaw effect, positive outcomes in the communal domain, considered by narcissists to be an evidence of low-status, are threatening for the grandiose self, based on the domain of agency. The social cognitive and clinical approach is employed to interpret these results.
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DOI 10.2478/ppb-2014-0055
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