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Narcissists are thought to exhibit "narcissistic rage," an explosive mix of anger and hostility arising from threats to narcissists' fractured sense of self. Building on clinical views of narcissism, we present empirical evidence on the nature and sources of narcissistic rage. Findings from 4 studies reveal narcissistic vulnerability (but not grandiosity) as a powerful driver of rage, hostility, and aggressive behavior, fueled by suspiciousness, dejection, and angry rumination. Consistent with theorizing about narcissistic rage, Study 1 showed that vulnerable (but not grandiose) narcissism predicted more anger internalization and externalization, as well as poorer anger control. Study 2 revealed vulnerable narcissism as a stronger indicator of shame and aggressiveness, especially hostility and anger. Study 3 identified distrust of others and angry rumination as key factors accounting for vulnerable narcissists' reactive and displaced aggression. Study 4 provided behavioral evidence that vulnerable (but not grandiose) narcissism amplifies reactive and displaced aggression in the face of provocation. Taken together, the findings not only establish narcissistic vulnerability as a key source of narcissistic rage but also reveal an important pathway to narcissistic aggression that does not involve competitiveness or exploitativeness. In addition, the results support clinical views of narcissistic aggression and implicate deficient self-esteem as an important driver of aggressive behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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... An important factor that protects grandiose narcissists from experiencing anger and hostility is likely their low neuroticism (Czarna et al., 2019). Accordingly, grandiose narcissists do not respond aggressively to minor provocations but resort to aggression mostly when faced with strong direct threats to their agentic self or status (Krizan & Johar, 2015;Bettencourt et al., 2006;Rasmussen, 2016). Their aggressive responses might thus be calculated tactics aimed at restoring their superiority rather than outbursts of unrestrained, uncontrollable rage fueled by shame and anger (Barry et al., 2007;Fossati et al., 2010;Krizan & Johar, 2015). ...
... Accordingly, grandiose narcissists do not respond aggressively to minor provocations but resort to aggression mostly when faced with strong direct threats to their agentic self or status (Krizan & Johar, 2015;Bettencourt et al., 2006;Rasmussen, 2016). Their aggressive responses might thus be calculated tactics aimed at restoring their superiority rather than outbursts of unrestrained, uncontrollable rage fueled by shame and anger (Barry et al., 2007;Fossati et al., 2010;Krizan & Johar, 2015). This view, known as the threatened egotism model, assumes that acts of aggression by grandiose narcissists are motivated by inflated self-esteem and entitlement rather than shame (Bushman & Baumeister, 1998;Morf & Rhodewalt, 2001). ...
... Vulnerable narcissists' emotional lability may manifest in a tendency to experience overwhelming shame and hubristic pride (Krizan & Johar, 2015;Tracy et al., 2011). In their case, hubristic pride often serves as a defense from chronic excessive shame. ...
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The three goals of this chapter are to introduce readers to construct of narcissism, to review the literature on the evolutionary origins of narcissism, and to review the literature on narcissism and emotions. Narcissism will be discussed as both a personality trait that is comprised by grandiose and vulnerable expressions, as well as a personality disorder characterized by extreme levels of narcissistic personality combined with impairment. Some discussion throughout will be devoted to whether grandiose and vulnerable expressions of narcissism should be conceptualized as relatively stable and separable traits versus oscillating narcissistic states. Evolutionary topics discussed will include the heritability of narcissism, the genetic foundations (or lack thereof) of narcissism, evolutionarily grounded strategies, including mating and survival strategies, that may have facilitated sexual and natural selection of narcissistic traits, as well as critiques of existing theory in this literature. The emotion section will focus on the emotional experiences of narcissists, paying particular attention to how these experiences contrast depending on whether narcissism is more grandiose or vulnerable. Attempts will be made throughout the chapter to identify connections between the conceptual, evolutionary, and emotion literatures.
... Accordingly, the reaction and intense anger in response to perceived interpersonal slights and injury will inevitably result in a phenomenon referred to as "narcissistic rage" (Krizan & Johar, 2015). Narcissistic rage is thought to be instigated by underlying feelings of shame and inferiority experienced as extremely severe, culminating in intense anger at the perceived sources of shame. ...
... Narcissistic rage is thought to be instigated by underlying feelings of shame and inferiority experienced as extremely severe, culminating in intense anger at the perceived sources of shame. These intolerable emotions, if prolonged, may result in chronic rage reactions, which further aggravate existing feelings of guilt and shame, in turn fueling anger and ultimately creating a self-perpetuating "shame-rage spiral" (Krizan & Johar, 2015). Although such behavior captures narcissistic rage as a state of explosive anger, narcissists may also respond to provocations and insults in a passiveaggressive manner (Miller et al., 2010;Roark, 2012). ...
... Such findings provide further support to the notion that narcissistic injury is not necessarily symptomatic of narcissism as a full-fledged personality disorder. In this study, narcissistic partners were described as experiencing chronic rage reactions in both overt and covert forms, adding further credence to the existence of explosive and passiveaggressive types of rage identified in previous research (Krizan & Johar, 2015;Miller et al., 2010;Roark, 2012). Interestingly, the literature has repeatedly noted that angry outbursts are almost intrinsic to the narcissistic personality. ...
... At the same time, they tend to also hold a sense of being deprived of 'deserved' admiration and gratification, which together makes them particularly prone to seek out vengeance and to engage in aggression (Brown, 2004;Bushman, Bonacci, van Dijk, & Baumeister, 2003;Twenge & Campbell, 2003). Relatedly, 'narcissistic rage' has been described as a defence mechanism in order to deal with feelings of deep-rooted shame, which arise when narcissists feel deprived of validation and gratification and thus, the grandiose perception of the self is threatened (Kohut, 1972;Krizan & Johar, 2015). ...
Thesis
Progress within the field of radicalisation is evident. Yet while research increasingly adopts a quantitative approach to studying radicalisation processes, there is no sound empirical evidence base on the risk and protective factors for violent extremism and much research is not fit for practice. Day-to-day risk assessment and management of individuals deemed to be a potential risk to national security forms a core component of counter-terrorism. Each phase of counter-terrorism risk assessment and management requires state-of-the-art science for the identification of putative risk and protective factors, and to understand how such factors are functionally linked to violent extremism. This thesis provides a unique contribution to these research endeavours in several important ways. First, in order to explain why individuals radicalise, we have to turn our focus towards those risk factors and underlying mechanisms, which explain why and how certain individuals come to develop extremist propensities. Thus, this thesis’ main aim is to study risk and protective factors for the development of violent extremist propensities. Second, terrorism studies is over-reliant on secondary data. By conducting two unique large-scale nationally representative general population surveys, this thesis contributes towards establishing a robust empirical knowledge base. These are one of the first such surveys conducted within the field of violent extremism research. Third, radicalisation trajectories and engagement in violent extremism are characterised by complex constellations of risk as well as protective factors. Risk factors for one risk specification may not equally apply to others and the conditional and contextual nature of various factors need to be taken into consideration, which necessitates more complex analyses of patterns of relationships. This thesis draws on a range of structural equation models, conditional mediation models and interaction analyses, which allow for a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms and complex configurations of various risk and protective factors. The analytical designs embedded throughout this thesis are some of the first to test such interactions in an empirical manner. Fourth, this thesis uses an integrative framework which examines not just risk but also protective factors for violent extremism and draws on a wide range of validated theories from different disciplines to strengthen the explanation of relationships between factors. By utilising models with several risk/protective factors, this thesis overcomes some of the 'problem of specificity', as it delivers plausible answers as to why the vast majority of individuals, who are experiencing particular conditions or grievances do not develop violent extremist intentions. Such research designs may be able to identify those factors that can inform prevention and intervention programs. Fifth, radicalisation is a complex and multifaceted process with diverse pathways and outcomes to it. This inherent complexity renders radicalisation, as a construct, difficult to operationalise. A key part of conducting quantitative research is the development of adequate and validated instruments. Thus, by developing and validating psychometrically sound instruments, this thesis contributes towards rigorous quantitative research on violent extremism. This thesis addresses these issues through a number of novel research designs. First, I conduct a systematic review and synthesise the existing evidence on quantitative risk and protective factors for different radicalisation outcomes. However, several gaps as well as conceptual and methodological issues are identified, which are addressed in the following chapters. Second, I conduct a German nationally representative survey on violent extremism, and I apply structural equation modeling to employ a conceptually integrated approach to studying the individual and environmental-level determinants of differential vulnerability to extremism. The findings demonstrate the profound effect of person-environment reciprocity and, thereby, highlight key individual, developmental and social mechanisms involved in the development of extremist propensities. Increasingly, we are witnessing a seeming convergence between belief in conspiracy theories and ideological extremes. However, there is a dearth of empirical research on the relationship between conspiracy beliefs and violent extremism. Therefore, third, this thesis conducts a unique quantitative analysis on this relationship and the findings highlight the contingent effects of risk and protective factors, which are defined as ‘interactive’ or ‘buffering’ protective factors. This has major implications in regard to prevention strategies of ‘at-risk’ populations. Fourth, based on a large-scale UK nationally representative survey, I develop and validate a novel psychometric tool to measure individuals’ misogynistic attitudes. Fifth, recent incidents have demonstrated that misogynistic beliefs can lead to acts of mass violence. This thesis provides the first survey-based study on the relationship between misogyny and violent extremism by examining the underlying mechanisms and contingent effects linking misogyny to (extremist) violence. Collectively, the dissertation’s results demonstrate that multiple factors likely contribute to individual pathways into violent extremism. No single risk or protective factor exists that can explain its genesis. This has significant implications for practice and policy. Preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) programs must take account of the constellation of multiple factors that interact with (and sometimes enable or disable one another) rather than solely focusing upon single risk factors. These findings stress the need to implement evidenced based prevention and interventions programs, which have to address these risk factors early on, before they properly take hold and become so deeply ingrained that they are almost intractable. Therefore, increased focus of P/CVE interventions should be put on the indirect, long-term and life-course oriented protective factors.
... For example, people who score high on sadism measures tend to display more displaced aggression after ruminating on their anger than when they do not (Burris & Leitch, 2018). Similarly, because high scorers on narcissism engage in anger rumination and may be mistrustful of others' intentions, they tend to engage in more displaced and reactive aggression (Krizan & Johar, 2015). Individuals high on either psychopathy or Machiavellianism experience poorer quality of sleep, a relationship mediated by anger rumination (Yang, Zhu, Sai, Zhao, & Wu, 2019). ...
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This paper revisits the ongoing debate regarding the uniqueness of each of the Dark Tetrad traits. Extending Jones and Neria's (Personality and Individual Differences, 86, 360-364, 2015) research, we investigated how these traits are differentially related to aggressive tendencies and whether these relationships are mediated by anger rumination. Data were collected from 314 university students who completed online self-report measures on the Dark Tetrad traits, trait aggression, and anger rumination. Psychopathy had the strongest correlation with physical aggression, while hostility was most strongly related to Machiavellianism. Supplementary analyses revealed that anger rumination mediated the relationship between psychopathy and aggressive tendencies while also playing a mediatory role between Machiavellianism and some expressions of trait aggression. Similar mediation patterns were observed for sadism. While sadism and psychopathy were very similar, these results support that the Dark Tetrad traits should also be viewed as unique constructs even as they are intercorrelated. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
... This finding contributes to the literature in a new way. Krizan and Johar (2015) reported that vulnerable narcissism is significantly associated with overall aggressiveness, physical aggression, and verbal aggression but not with anger Attentional Impulsivity Grandiose Narcissism Vulnerable Narcissism Fig. 4. Attentional impulsivity as a function of vulnerable narcissism and grandiose narcissism. Transportation Research Part F 77 (2021) 246-256 expression with the vehicle. ...
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