Healthy narcissism is what we all acquire when we are born, we all want to be the center of attention when we are younger. Healthy narcissism involves a secure sense of self, pride based on realistic achievement, ability to recover quickly from disappointment or failure, or the ability to find comfort and support in relationships. Unhealthy narcissism is when a person can not get out of the mindset that they are the center of the universe, a common reason people still have this mindset is their culture and their upbringing. Unhealthy narcissism traps an individual in a shallow world of overconfidence therefore an individual has a very hard time developing loving and caring relationships with other people.
According to the DSM-IV-TR NPD begins early in adulthood and has to display at least five of the above criteria to be diagnosed as this personality disorder. Narcissists have positive views of themselves on the outside (conscious) but on the inside these people have negative thoughts (unconscious).
Narcissistic personalities are very easy to become intrigued by and these people are very charming to talk to at first glance and in the initial conversation, the relationship and the way the second party of the relationship perceives it start to change when the narcissistic personality comes out farther. An experiment was conducted where a group of psychology freshmen judged each other by their initial introductions. Three results were found in this study, “First, narcissism leads to popularity at first sight. Second, the aspects of narcissism that are most maladaptive in the long run (exploitativeness/entitlement) proved to be most attractive at zero acquaintance. Third, an examination of observable verbal and nonverbal behaviors as well as aspects of physical appearance provided an explanation for why narcissists are more popular at first sight” ( Back, M., Schmukle, S., Egloff, B. 2010). Narcissist all have very addictive personalities and when you meet them for the first time they are very charming, well spoken, and well dressed, this makes you want them living in your neighborhood because they do give off a very good first impression. When actually getting to know someone with this personality disorder it gets harder and harder to talk to them because all they want to talk about is themselves and that is all they are interested in hearing about.
How do we determine what people really feel about themselves deep down inside? This type of thinking is called implicit cognition, which focuses on attitudes that make people feel the way they do which ultimately relates to the self esteem (Foster, 2008). In order to tap into how high or low a person’s self esteem is there is a test called the implicit associations test (IAT), “The IAT works by recording how fast you can categorize things and essentially measures how quickly you categorize good words with "like me" and bad words with "not like me."
While taking this evaluation, test takers rarely know that they are being assessed for how high or how low their self esteem is, which is why this is unlike explicit self esteem test which come out and ask you if you believe your self esteem is high or low. The implicit self esteem evaluation gives a clearer idea of self esteem due to the reason that test takers do not know they are being assessed for this and therefore they answer more honestly and openly. This assessment relates to narcissist personalities in a great way because even though this group of people tell and show everyone that they are feeling great and they have very high self esteem, when the IAT is conducted the results of the test show that they do not have very high self esteem at all and in fact dislike themselves deep down inside.
The drawback to this sort of assessment is that the IAT is not always accurate depending on the wording of the questions in the assessment. The assessment usually uses communal words which imply a connection between people, “One thing that we know about narcissists is that they are not communally oriented. They're all about themselves. Indeed, past research shows that narcissists don't think very positively of themselves in terms of their relationships with others (i.e., communally)” (Foster, 2008). When using communal words the IAT test could turn bias because the association with those words would show low implicit self esteem. When the communal words were changed and do not apply a connection between two people the results of the IAT showed high implicit self esteem. When changing the communal wording the results of the assessment changed which makes us think that we cannot be sure that the IAT test works and can determine self esteem levels, but this is like every aspect of psychology we can never be sure if our assessments or theories work until we give them a try.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Margarete Chubbuck Psy 492 Advanced general psychology Argosy University August 14, 2011
What is narcissism? This is a personality disorder that involves people that are very arrogant and consumed with themselves Healthy and unhealthy narcissism Conscious and the unconscious
Diagnostic Statistical Manual Criteria A great sense of self importance Dreams of unlimited success, power, beauty, or perfect love Belief that they are special and unique Need for excessive admiration Sense of entitlement Will take advantage of others to achieve their own ends Lack of empathy and failure to identify with the feelings or needs of others Often envious and think others are envious of them Arrogant, haughty behavior
Communal and agentic domains Positive views involving agentic domains but negative views involving communal domains Agentic domains- status and intelligence Communal domains- kindness, morality, interpersonal relationships
General consensus Self absorbed Only care about themselves Can not maintain a healthy relationship Is this really the truth or deep down inside do narcissists dislike themselves?
Implicit associations test (IAT) Self esteem measurement Categorizing words “like me” and “not like me” Test takers rarely know they are being assessed for self esteem Associate “bad” words= low implicit self esteem Associate “good” word= high implicit self esteem
Using communal words Communal words refer to a connection between two people, as we know narcissists are not good at making those intimate connections therefore using communal words in the IAT will rate the implicit self esteem lower.
Conclusion To conclude, narcissists have a very high rate of divorce and not being able to keep long term intimate relations with another persons, there are very self absorbed and thus far there in no certain cure for this personality disorder because it is hard to change the way someone perceives themselves and presents themselves to the world around them. There has been test conducted on this type of person to see what they really think about themselves but they are not all accurate because there is always the chance of false information from the person taking the assessment.
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