The Effect of Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry on Speaking Performance

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  • 2019 Narcissism_and_Public_Speaking_Performance

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Objective. A narcissistic individual can seek to maintain his/her grandiose self-view through different processes associated with assertive self-enhancement (narcissistic admiration) or antagonistic self-protection (narcissistic rivalry). Here, we examine how admiration and rivalry affect anxiety and performance in a speaking task. Because the behaviours associated with narcissistic rivalry are motivated by ego threat, we further examined the moderating effect of self-affirmation, a process designed to reduce ego threat, on performance.
Method. We assigned 90 Thai students to a self-affirmation or control group and asked them to deliver a short speech. We assessed speech performance through self-report and observer ratings, and state anxiety using self-report.
Results. Narcissistic admiration was adaptive for speech performance and predicted higher self and observer-rated speech performance and lower anxiety. In contrast, narcissistic rivalry was associated with greater anxiety but was unrelated to speech performance. Self-affirmation moderated the effect of narcissistic rivalry on self-rated speech performance but in an unexpected direction such that rivalry was negatively related to speech performance following self-affirmation.
Conclusion. These results add to the developing literature on the behavioural correlates of narcissistic admiration and rivalry, with admiration reflecting the more socially adaptive component of grandiose narcissism.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109624
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Early online date4 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
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