Macquarie University
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Testing the divergent validity of grandiose and vulnerable narcissism

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posted on 2022-03-29, 02:31 authored by Jessica Hughes
In psychological literature, various conceptualisations of narcissism have been at odds with each other, especially those deriving from clinical and social-personality perspectives. At the heart of this debate is the emphasis placed on either grandiosity (e.g., obvious arrogance and entitlement) or vulnerability (e.g., concealed negative emotion). Historically, models of narcissism have often attempted to separate grandiosity and vulnerability, whereas more recent models also include a common core. The aim of the present study was to examine whether grandiose narcissism and vulnerable narcissism are separate constructs by investigating their relationships with several personality factors previously linked in separate studies. Measures of narcissism and other personality factors were administered to a sample of 509 adults. Using structural equation modelling, findings revealed that grandiose narcissism and vulnerable narcissism presented contrasting relationships with extraversion, neuroticism, self-esteem and social anxiety, but were both associated with increased perfectionism. Implications of these results include the importance of the Big Five traits and self-esteem in discriminating grandiosity from vulnerability, the crucial role of perfectionism in narcissism, and social anxiety as a possible unique contributor to vulnerable narcissism. Overall, the results support the idea that grandiose narcissism and vulnerable narcissism are separate but related constructs.


Table of Contents

Testing the Construct Validity of Grandiose and Vulnerable Narcissism -- Method -- Results -- Discussion -- References -- Appendices


Bibliography pages 48-62 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Psychology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Lorna Peters


Copyright Jessica Hughes 2020




1 online resource (vi, 86 pages) illustrations

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