Narcissism and gift giving: Not every gift is for others

Article · July 2016with354 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.02.057
Abstract
Although previous studies have suggested that narcissism and self-esteem carry different interpersonal implications, few have examined their differences in specific motivations behind relationship behaviors. This article detailed an exploratory study to identify romantic gift-giving motivations and examined their relations to the two personality constructs. Young adults in a romantic relationship completed measures of narcissism and self-esteem, and responded to questions about gift-giving motivations both in an actual past occasion and in a hypothetical future occasion. A factor analysis found three motivations for romantic gift giving: intrinsic, maintenance, and power motivation. When self-esteem, age, and sex were controlled, narcissism was positively related to maintenance motivation in the past, and maintenance and power motivation in the future. Self-esteem was negatively related to power motivation in the past and maintenance motivation in the future, controlling for narcissism, age, and sex. Our results suggest that narcissistic individuals critically differ from those with high self-esteem in their tendency to consider gift giving an instrumental act.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Debates regarding the nature of self-enhancement versus accurate self-assessment have been active among psychologists for decades. More recently, researchers have become interested in the panculturality of self-enhancement. Some researchers argue that self-enhancement is universal and present within all cultures. Others declare self-enhancement to be a Western tendency, with self-diminishment being the norm among East Asians. Importantly, the majority of such studies have not compared self-perceptions against objective external criteria, especially those with East Asians. Furthermore, the link between narcissism and self-enhancement has been largely overlooked within Korean samples. To address such gaps, we utilized scores on an objective test as a criterion to investigate the accuracy of Koreans’ self-assessments of performance, as well as how individual differences in narcissism are related to such assessments. A sample of Korean students (N = 146; 71 women) completed self-report measures of narcissism and self-esteem, and took a listening comprehension quiz. Estimated and actual scores were collected and used to compute self-enhancement scores. Results demonstrated that Koreans’ self-perceptions of performance on the quiz were quite accurate. As has been found in Western cultures, narcissism was related to self-enhancement.
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November 2016
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