Pathological Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.
Annual Review of Clinical Psychology (Impact Factor: 12.67). 12/2009; 6(1):421-46. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.121208.131215
Source: PubMed


We review the literature on pathological narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and describe a significant criterion problem related to four inconsistencies in phenotypic descriptions and taxonomic models across clinical theory, research, and practice; psychiatric diagnosis; and social/personality psychology. This impedes scientific synthesis, weakens narcissism's nomological net, and contributes to a discrepancy between low prevalence rates of NPD and higher rates of practitioner-diagnosed pathological narcissism, along with an enormous clinical literature on narcissistic disturbances. Criterion issues must be resolved, including clarification of the nature of normal and pathological narcissism, incorporation of the two broad phenotypic themes of narcissistic grandiosity and narcissistic vulnerability into revised diagnostic criteria and assessment instruments, elimination of references to overt and covert narcissism that reify these modes of expression as distinct narcissistic types, and determination of the appropriate structure for pathological narcissism. Implications for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the science of personality disorders are presented.

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    • "This can potentially also contribute to self-referential processing bias[37,38]. These studies suggest a neurological core for noticeable fluctuations in NPD patients' internal control and control of emotions, which are specifically related to instability in self-esteem and underlying vulnerability in NPD[4]. Another study measuring psychophysiological reactivity in non-clinical subjects meeting DSM IV NPD criteria[39]identified sympathetic activation and negative reactions to happy stimuli, and indifference to fearful and sad stimuli. "
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    ABSTRACT: This review is focused on integrating recent research on emotion regulation and empathic functioning with specific relevance for agency, control, and decision-making in narcissistic personality disorder (NPD, conceptualized as self direction in DSM 5 Section III). The neuroscientific studies of emotion regulation and empathic capability can provide some significant information regarding the neurological/neuropsychological underpinnings to narcissistic personality functioning. Deficiencies in emotion processing, compromised empathic functioning, and motivation can influence narcissistic self-regulation and agential direction and competence in social interactions and interpersonal intimate relationships. The aim is to expand our understanding of pathological narcissism and NPD and suggest relevant implications for building a collaborative treatment alliance.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016
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    • "Narcissistic vulnerability is characterized by social withdrawal and emotional dysregulation, following the painful disappointment of entitled expectations and selfenhancement failures (Miller et al., 2011). Though vulnerability shares some features with grandiosity (i.e., sense of entitlement, grandiose fantasies), the two were found to be distinct constructs (Pincus & Lukowitsky, 2010), and have shown different, sometimes opposite, relationships with various normative behaviors and psychopathological outcomes (e.g., Miller, Gentile, Wilson, & Campbell, 2013). While research suggests that individuals with narcissistic traits scored higher on aggression (Kim, Namkoong, Ku, & Kim, 2008) and narcissistic exploitativeness was positively related to traditional bullying (Ang, Ong, Lim, & Lim, 2010), only a handful of studies have examined the links between narcissism and cyberbullying. "
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    ABSTRACT: Homosexual individuals are exposed to high levels of victimization. However, no studies have examined personality risk factors for cyberbullying victimization and offending among this population. This study investigated the relationships between pathological narcissism and cyberbullying victimization and offending among homosexual and heterosexual participants in online dating websites. Participants included 347 Israeli adults who completed a series of self-reported questionnaires. Our results show that homosexual men and women reported higher levels of cyberbullying victimization relative to heterosexual women. The groups did not differ in cyberbullying offending. Furthermore, homosexual men reported higher levels of pathological narcissism grandiosity relative to homosexual women. Pathological narcissism vulnerability and grandiosity were positively related to cyberbullying victimization, but not to offending, as well as to cyberbullying dating victimization and offending. Importantly, the group (homosexual male vs. other groups) moderated the association between pathological narcissism vulnerability and cyberbullying victimization. These findings highlight the differential associations between the two facets of pathological narcissism and cyberbullying victimization and offending among homosexual men and women, and lend empirical support to the high risk for cyberbullying victimization of homosexual men with pathological narcissistic vulnerability traits who are actively participating in the online dating sphere.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Computers in Human Behavior
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    • "preferring instead a view of narcissism that allows for two facets often referred to as grandiose and vulnerable narcissism (Brown, Budzek, & Tamborski, 2009; Cain, Pincus, & Ansell, 2008; Pincus & Lukowitsky, 2010). Grandiose narcissism reflects traits related to grandiosity, aggression, and dominance, whereas vulnerable narcissism reflects a more defensive and insecure grandiosity that may serve to mask or obscure feelings of inadequacy and negative affect (Brown et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Studies that have implicated facets of narcissism in women's body image have not differentiated between normal and pathological forms of narcissism. To rectify this omission, 404 British women completed measures of narcissism (normal and pathological, vulnerable and grandiose), drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, and actual-ideal weight discrepancy. Multiple regressions indicated that pathological forms of narcissism, but not normal narcissism, significantly predicted negative body image. In addition, facets of pathological narcissism and normal-vulnerable narcissism significantly predicted weight discrepancy. Our findings suggest that, when measured concurrently, pathological but not normal narcissism is associated with negative body image.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Personality and Individual Differences
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