ArticlePDF Available

Conversational narcissism

Authors:

Abstract

Conversational narcissism is typified by an extreme self‐focusing in a conversation, to the exclusion of appropriate concerns for the other. Whether conceptualized as a conversational style, possessed to varying degrees by various individuals, or as a conversational feature associated with various situational demands, conversational narcissism has important implications for the structure, goals, and outcomes of conversation. Results of six studies reported here revealed that people had behavioral referents for the term “conversational narcissism” such as boasting, refocusing the topic of the conversation on the self, exaggerating hand and body movements, using a loud tone of voice, and “glazing over” when others speak. The behavior of individuals role‐playing narcissistic conversational behavior was consistent with the recalled referents. Further, people enacting narcissistic conversational behaviors were rated significantly lower on social attraction than people not acting narcissistic. While conversational narcissism is generally perceived as a negative social strategy, respondents reported a number of contexts in which focusing attention on the self (to the exclusion of the other) is an appropriate move. Taken together, the data suggest that conversational narcissism is determined interactively, by the needs and conversational goals of both participants.
... Narcissists attempt to control personal interactions to assert their dominance over others and to reinforce a positive self-image (Morf and Rhodewalt, 2001). A primary means of narcissistic control is through conversation, for purposes including self-enhancement (DeWall et al., 2011) and exploitation of the listener (Vangelisti et al., 1990). Verbal cues of narcissism include frequent self-reference through personal pronouns (Chatterjee and Hambrick, 2007;DeWall et al., 2011) and language that reinforces the speaker's status and power (Vangelisti et al., 1990;Kacewicz et al., 2014). ...
... A primary means of narcissistic control is through conversation, for purposes including self-enhancement (DeWall et al., 2011) and exploitation of the listener (Vangelisti et al., 1990). Verbal cues of narcissism include frequent self-reference through personal pronouns (Chatterjee and Hambrick, 2007;DeWall et al., 2011) and language that reinforces the speaker's status and power (Vangelisti et al., 1990;Kacewicz et al., 2014). ...
Article
Global capital markets rely heavily on independent and skeptical auditors as gatekeepers to provide assurance that corporate financial reports are free of material fraud. The rise of narcissism among the ranks of both client and audit professionals challenge this gatekeeper function. In addition, auditor moral disengagement may undermine auditor skepticism, further eroding public confidence in the integrity of financial reporting and the audit process. We conduct a quasi-experiment with 118 auditors from three international audit firms. In a simulated interview with a client CFO, we examine whether auditors underestimate risks of fraudulent financial statements due to the interactive effects of (1) client narcissism (manipulated verbally and nonverbally) and (2) auditor narcissism. We also examine the influence of auditor moral disengagement on client risk assessments. Results indicate that CFO verbal and nonverbal narcissism significantly influenced auditors’ assessment of management-related client risk. Moreover, auditor narcissism was found to interactively influence client risk inferences such that auditors higher in narcissism exhibited narcissistic tolerance (lower risk assessments) when the hypothetical CFO displayed high verbal narcissism. Auditor moral disengagement was negatively associated with client risk assessments. We discuss the implication of these findings on future audit judgment research, audit firm policy and training on maintaining auditor skepticism, and the audit oversight role of standard-setters.
... Because their own self-image is fragile, they require constant admiration and attention. The four main characteristics of narcissism, as identified by Vangelisti, Knapp and Daly [100], are self-importance, exploitation, exhibitionism and impersonal relationships. It has been suggested that the new media have had the effect of making society as a whole increasingly narcissistic [101,102]. ...
... It was found that Gen Y is more prone to exhibitionism and more nonchalant toward surveillance as a means of self-promotion, as compared to older generations. Therefore, based on the fact that exhibitionism is one of the dimensions of narcissism [100,106], we may formulate the following hypothesis: ...
Article
On-demand radio has radically changed the definition and essence of the radio landscape, providing consumers greater flexibility to manage their content consumption anytime and anywhere. Since on-demand radio is a relatively new way to consume radio, it is important to understand how different consumer groups adopt and use this innovation. The main purpose of the study was to evaluate differences between three generational cohorts: Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y in the effects of personality traits and digital skills on on-demand radio usage. The research was conducted by means of an internet survey among a representative sample of the Jewish population in Israel. Different patterns of effects of personality traits between generations were found. For Baby Boomers, a positive association between digital skills and the frequency of on-demand radio use was found. Among Generation X, hedonism and multitasking were positively correlated with on-demand radio use, while need for social approval was negatively correlated with the dependent variable. Among Generation Y, a positive correlation between need for social approval and frequency of on-demand radio use was found. Based on our findings, we propose a generational approach to marketing strategy for on-demand radio and suggest specific practical implications.
... În situația în care ascultătorul este centrat pe propriile trăiri interne, el deviază, inevitabil, de la rolul de ascultător receptiv, devenind incapabil să urmărească receptarea plenară a mesajului. • Să manifestăm narcisism conversațional (Vangelisti, Knapp, & Daly, 1990). ...
... To draw attention to their superiority, narcissists often brag (Buss & Chiodo, 1991) and exaggerate their positive attributes (Collins & Stukas, 2008). Offline, narcissists might try to stand out by dominating social interactions, for example by interrupting or stirring the direction of conversations toward their accomplishments (Vangelisti, Knapp, & Daly, 1990). Online, narcissists might similarly try to stand out by dominating social-media newsfeeds with frequent posts of their exercise habits, diets, and personal achievements (Marshall, Lefringhausen, & Ferenczi, 2015;McCain & Campbell, 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
We propose a self-regulation model of grandiose narcissism. This model illustrates an interconnected set of processes through which narcissists (i.e., individuals with relatively high levels of grandiose narcissism) pursue social status in their moment-by-moment transactions with their environments. The model shows that narcissists select situations that afford status. Narcissists vigilantly attend to cues related to the status they and others have in these situations and, on the basis of these perceived cues, appraise whether they can elevate their status or reduce the status of others. Narcissists engage in self-promotion (admiration pathway) or other-derogation (rivalry pathway) in accordance with these appraisals. Each pathway has unique consequences for how narcissists are perceived by others, thus shaping their social status over time. The model demonstrates how narcissism manifests itself as a stable and consistent cluster of behaviors in pursuit of social status and how it develops and maintains itself over time. More broadly, the model might offer useful insights for future process models of other personality traits.
... To draw attention to their superiority, narcissists often brag (Buss & Chiodo, 1991) and exaggerate their positive attributes (Collins & Stukas, 2008). In their offline interactions, narcissists might try to stand out by dominating social interactions, for example by interrupting or stirring the direction of conversations towards their accomplishments (Vangelisti, Knapp, & Daly, 1990). In their online interactions, narcissists might similarly try to stand out by dominating social media newsfeeds with frequent posts of their exercise habits, diets, and personal achievements (Marshall, Lefringhausen, & Ferenczi, 2015;McCain & Campbell, 2016). ...
Preprint
We propose a self-regulation model of grandiose narcissism. This model illustrates an interconnected set of processes through which narcissists (i.e., individuals with relatively high levels of grandiose narcissism) pursue social status in their moment-by-moment transactions with their environments. According to the model, narcissists select situations that afford status. Narcissists vigilantly attend to cues related to the status they and others have in these situations. Based on these perceived cues, narcissists appraise whether they can elevate their status or reduce the status of others. In accordance with these appraisals, narcissists engage in self-promotion (admiration pathway) or other-derogation (rivalry pathway). Each pathway has unique consequences for how narcissists are perceived by others, thus shaping their social status over time. The model we offer helps understand how narcissism manifests itself as a stable and consistent cluster of behaviors in pursuit of social status and how it develops and maintains itself over time. More broadly, the model might offer useful insights for future process models of other personality traits.
... For example, although Brandi was able to maintain the topic on sports, she failed to recognize and appreciate Angella's enthusiasm and self-disclosure about her dream career in sports. Failing to perform social norms through discursive practices can carry negative implications in interpersonal contexts (e.g., being self-centered) and can result in others' compensatory behaviors (e.g., retaliatory tactics or conversational avoidance; Vangelisti, Knapp, & Daly, 1990). Angella's interpersonal distancing in later interactions (excerpt 3) may be a result of Brandi's failure to appreciate her passionate selfdisclosure earlier (excerpt 2). ...
Article
Previous studies suggest non-native speakers (NNSs) use cover strategies to achieve a positive public self-image despite their lack of comprehension when interacting with native speakers (NSs). This study examines the interpersonal implications and NSs’ interactional dilemma in minimizing NNSs’ face threats while addressing potential miscommunication and lack of understanding in the discursive process. We arranged 14 unacquainted NS–NNS pairs (n = 28) to engage in nondirected, informal conversations (mean = 44.3 minutes; SD = 10.3). Follow-up interviews with five NSs were conducted (mean = 16.6 minutes; SD = 3.54). We used Interactional Sociolinguistics to identify four types of NSs’ reactions when NNSs’ cover strategies or lack of understanding become noticeable: (1) collaborating and finding commonalities; (2) interpersonal distancing through NSs’ repairs; (3) othering of NNSs; and (4) engaging in patronizing talk. Our findings highlight that cover strategies can result in problematic consequences even when they were initially successful: NSs’ accommodations are not always helpful in reducing possible miscommunication or in developing relationships. NS–NNS power differences are negotiated, resisted, and challenged through interactions.
... "Dark" personalities, especially narcissists and psychopaths, constantly attempt to control personal interactions to assert their dominance and superiority over others (Morf and Rhodewalt 2001). A primary means of interpersonal control is through conversation (Vangelisti, Knapp, and Daly 1990). Verbal cues of "dark" traits include frequent self-reference through personal pronouns (DeWall, Buffardi, Bonsera, and Campbell 2011) and language that reinforces the speaker's status and power, including verbal aggression toward others (Stucke and Sporer 2002;Kacewicz, Pennebaker, Davis, Jeon, and Graesser 2014;Jones and Neria 2015). ...
Article
We examine the combined influences of 1) auditor perceptions of client CFO agency and communion and 2) auditor narcissism on auditors’ assessments of financial fraud risk. In an experimental setting, we manipulate levels of client CFO agency and communion (AC) using a rich textual description of both verbal and nonverbal cues, and measure auditor narcissism using the Foster et al. (2015) Grandiose Narcissism Scale. One hundred twenty audit seniors from three of the Big 4 firms and three other international firms participated in a two-phase study. In phase 1, we confirmed that our verbal and nonverbal manipulations of client CFO agency and communion influenced auditor assessments of AC as expected. In phase 2, we find that the phase 1 assessments of CFO AC interact with auditor narcissism to jointly influence auditor fraud risk judgments in predicted patterns. These findings contribute significantly to the literature on auditor fraud risk assessments and auditor-client interactions, and indicate that auditor narcissism plays a non-trivial role in the evaluation of evidence (including client personality characteristics) that have been linked to risky or fraudulent financial reporting practices. We discuss the implications of our findings for auditors and standard setters along with suggestions for future research.
Article
Examined the ecological validity of role-played dating interactions. 45 male undergraduates, categorized into low-, medium-, and high-frequency dating groups (Social Activity Questionnaire), participated in 4 heterosexual social (heterosocial) situations in a laboratory. Two situations were role plays simulating dating interactions, and 2 were more naturalistic waiting-period interactions. Controls for confederate familiarity and role-play order were used. Judges rated Ss as more skillful in role plays than waiting periods and rated low-frequency daters as more anxious than high-frequency daters. High-frequency daters rated themselves as more skillful than did low-frequency daters. Ss rated the waiting-period interactions as more like "real life" and their behavior in waiting periods as more representative of everyday heterosocial interactions. However ANOVAs did not result in major differences between role plays and waiting periods, and correlational analyses indicated that the relative ranking of Ss was similar in role plays and waiting periods. Implications for the use of role-play assessments in the heterosocial skill area are discussed. (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
The study reports a factor analytic investigation of the interpersonal attraction construct. Two‐hundred and fifteen subjects completed 30 Likert‐type, seven‐step scales concerning an acquaintance. Factor analysis indicated three dimensions of the interpersonal attraction construct which were labeled “task” “social” and “physical.” The results of this study and four replications suggest that the resulting 15‐item instrument can be expected to measure reliably three dimensions of interpersonal attraction.
Article
The purpose of this research was to examine the narcissistic tendency of middle-aged women compared with other age groups. The narcissistic tendencies of adolescent and pregnant women had already been found (Hosoi, 1981a, 1981 b). A questionnaire was administered to 386 subjects aged 18–49 (336 females and 50 males). Three factors were found by factor analysis. The narcissistic tendencies toned by “self-love” and “exhibition” were clearly found for two groups of midde-aged women (aged 35–39 and 45–49) as in adolescents. The narcissistic tendencies toned by “sameness”, found for male adolescents and middle-aged women, were alike. © 1984, The Japanese Psychological Association. All rights reserved.
Article
The manner in which the concept of reciprocity is implicated in functional theory is explored, enabling a reanalysis of the concepts of "survival" and "exploitation." The need to distinguish between the concepts of complementarity and reciprocity is stressed. Distinctions are also drawn between (1) reciprocity as a pattern of mutually contingent exchange of gratifications, (2) the existential or folk belief in reciprocity, and (3) the generalized moral norm of reciprocity. Reciprocity as a moral norm is analyzed; it is hypothesized that it is one of the universal "principal components" of moral codes. As Westermarck states, "To requite a benefit, or to be grateful to him who bestows it, is probably everywhere, at least under certain circumstances, regarded as a duty. This is a subject which in the present connection calls for special consideration." Ways in which the norm of reciprocity is implicated in the maintenance of stable social systems are examined.