Psychology today narcissism quiz

The Narcissism Test | Psychology Today

Narcissism is hot. Which should make narcissists very happy.

But it's also widely—and wildly—misunderstood, due in large part to widespread caricatures of narcissists, who are invariably depicted as vain, primping braggarts.

The problem is that many narcissists, particularly the more introverted ones, who pride themselves not on looks, but on being sensitive and misunderstood, couldn't give a fig about fame or money. You might not even realize you've met one. And people end up falling unhappily in love with quieter narcissists, confused by their fate, because their distress stems from a brand of unhealthy narcissism they never knew existed. To date, in fact, there are three kinds of narcissism, which I describe in Rethinking Narcissism: The BadAnd Surprising GoodAbout Feeling Special. We may start finding more.

Then there's the problem of that pesky qualifier, unhealthy.

Many would object, saying that narcissism is inherently unhealthy. And certainly the most popular narcissism assessment to date, the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), assumes that all narcissism is bad; each and every point you score on the test inches you closer to being branded a "narcissist." The problem is even the NPI picks up healthy components of narcissism; there's hard evidence that one piece of the inventory, which captures extroverted leaders more than disagreeable blowhards, is associated with being a happy, healthy, if somewhat more ambitious human being.

So to summarize: three kinds of narcissism; healthy and unhealthy narcissism; and a bunch of measures that capture arrogance and grandiosity of various kinds—one of which accidentally captures healthy narcissism.

Which got me and my colleagues, Professor Stuart Quirk of Central Michigan University and doctoral candidate Shannon Martin, thinking about all the confusion and problems with the current measures. Can't we have one measure— just one—that captures the core of narcissism, both healthy and unhealthy?

One day while poring through the journals, I had an epiphany. The one thing all narcissism has in common is self-enhancement (the belief that we're special in some way, better than average, or to quote University of Washington psychologist Jonathan Brown, "exceptional or unique." It appears that people who self-enhance feel happy, optimistic, resilient and don't slip into arrogance and solipsism. Unless that is, they self-enhance all the time. That's what narcissists do.

And what about people who don't self-enhance at all? It turns out they're not an especially happy bunch. They view themselves as a problem much of the time and might even be depressed. In my practice, what I've seen is that people who never or rarely self-enhance also tend to end up in relationships with narcissists.

So what, I proposed, would happen, if we placed narcissism along a continuum of health, where never feeling special (failure to self-enhance) was as problematic as feeling special all the time?

And thus was born the Narcissism Spectrum Scale. All the confusion cleared up.

Source: Shelton Interactive

What we found, after testing adults from all over the world and using various other measures of health and pathology, were three distinct patterns of behavior, all related to narcissism (or the lack of it):

  • Echoism, in which people never or rarely feel special, focus on others too much, at the expense of their own needs, and might even feel depressed or anxious.
  • Healthy narcissism, in which people are empathic, ambitious, confident, and capable of giving and receiving help.
  • Extreme narcissism, in which people are manipulative, argumentative, approval-seeking, and suffer from fluctuating self-esteem.

We found something else, too. Something that took us a little by surprise.

We found that 1% of the people who took the NSS scored below average on extreme narcissism but extremely high on healthy narcissism. What we found, in other words, were healthy narcissists: people who light up the room, inspire instead of undermining others, and view themselves, the world, and the people around them through extremely rose-colored glasses.

So where do you fall in the spectrum? Too high or too low? Take the narcissism test and find out. You'll receive research-backed tips and feedback afterward.

Or try taking the test by rating someone else—many people have—and see how they come out.

Who knows? Maybe you or someone you know is one of the lucky 1%.

A version of this article previously appeared in the Huffington Post. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter for more tips and advice.

How Narcissistic Are You? | Psychology Today

Source: ShotPrime Studio/Shutterstock

Think about your own behavior and personality in light of the following questions. If it helps, use a 1-7 scale, with 1 being "Definitely not characteristic of me at all" and 7 being "Yup, that's me alright!"

  • I tend to want others to admire me.
  • I tend to want others to pay attention to me.
  • I tend to expect special favors from others.
  • I tend to seek prestige or status.

These items comprise the narcissism subscale of Jonason and Webster's (2010) Dirty Dozen measure of a cluster of traits that psychologists call the "Dark Triad." In combination, the elements of the Dark Triad—comprised of narcissism (characterized as having an overly strong focus on oneself), Machiavellianism (a tendency to manipulate others for one's own gain), and psychopathy (a tendency to have little regard for the feelings of others)—represent a dark approach to one's social world, which often looks like someone advancing things for him or herself at a cost to others.

Much attention has been given to the concept of narcissism in the popular media. In fact, a quick Google search that I just performed (on 1/16/2019) turned up more than 300,000 entries for "Psychology Today" and "narcissism!" Narcissism is a big topic of interest these days.

Narcissism Is Not a Categorical Variable

As a researcher who often studies narcissism, I thought it would be useful to provide some insights regarding the psychometrics of narcissism as it is often measured in the behavioral sciences. One of the main things that I think people might find useful is this: Narcissism is not conceptualized as a categorical variable by researchers who study it. A categorical variable is one in which different values are different in kind. So for instance, if you were studying kinds of animals found in a pet store, you'd have cats, dogs, and guinea pigs in their own categories.

But narcissism is not like that. Researchers who study narcissism don't tend to see people as either "narcissistic" or "not narcissistic." As is the case with so many personality variables, we see narcissism as a matter of degree. In fact, we tend to see narcissism as being, roughly, "normally distributed," which is a fancy way of saying that we expect most people to score near the middle (average) of the distribution, and we expect relatively few people to score at the extremes on either end.

Narcissism Data From a Current Study

To put a face to this point, I thought it would be useful if I actually presented real data on narcissism from a recent study that was conducted by me and my research team—the New Paltz Evolutionary Psychology Lab.

In a recent study on the topic of predicting whether people would forgive others for transgressions (Geher, 2018), we asked more than 200 adult participants to complete the Dirty Dozen scale (Jonason & Webster, 2010), along with various measures of the tendency to forgive others on the heels of social transgressions.

Four items from the Dirty Dozen scale were designed to measure narcissism in particular. These items are the items that start this article, in fact. We used a 1-7 scale and asked all participants to rate the degree to which each of these items is characteristic of their degree of narcissism. The following figures show the frequency distributions for each of these items, demarcating which scores were most frequent along with how well the overall distributions map onto a mathematical recreation of the normal curve.

"I tend to want others to admire me."

Source: Glenn Geher

"I tend to seek prestige or status."

Source: Glenn Geher

"I tend to expect special favors from others. "

Source: Glenn Geher

"I want others to pay attention to me."

Source: Glenn Geher

As you can see from these figures, people score across the range of 1-7 for each of these items. It is hardly the case that people are only scoring as "1" (very uncharacteristic of me) or as "7" (very characteristic of me). In fact, you can see that for each of these figures, the most common scores are near the midpoint (or average). If the world were divided into the "narcissists" and the "non-narcissists," we would not see such patterns of statistical variability.

What "Total Narcissism" Looks Like (Statistically Speaking)

In conducting research on behavioral traits such as narcissism, we will usually sum up the scores from individual items that are designed to measure the concept and create a "total score." This score is thought to represent the overall concept—in this case, narcissism—better than any of the individual items do. And in their original psychometric work on the Dirty Dozen (2013), Jonason and Webster make a point to demonstrate that, in fact, these four items are statistically interrelated, and they demonstrate significant validity. In other words, there is some statistical evidence suggesting that these four items, when looked at in a composite manner, actually seem to measure the trait of narcissism.

Total Narcissism Scores

Source: Glenn Geher

In examining the frequency distribution for the total scores on narcissism, we again see evidence for this trait as a continuous and not as a categorical feature of human personality. Very few people score above 25. And very few people score below 5. Most people score near the average of 15.10.

What Does an Extreme Narcissist Look Like Statistically?

At this point, you may be a little confused. People talk about "narcissists" all the time. And the data I am presenting here essentially says that people come in various shades of narcissism. That's true, actually.

This said, when we think about traits in statistical terms, we often think about the degree to which a particular score is beyond a standard deviation from the mean (or the average). The standard deviation is, roughly, the typical amount that scores in the sample deviate from the mean (see Geher & Hall, 2014). Given what we know about standard deviations, only about 16 percent of scores in such a distribution are higher than a score that is one standard deviation above the mean. So once a score starts to get into that region of the distribution, we start to see it as something of an extreme score.

In the current data set, the mean for the total narcissism score is 15.10 and the standard deviation is 5.095. Thus, the score that is one standard deviation above the mean is exactly 20.195. In short, then, any total score that is above 20.195 might be said to be characteristic of someone who is "notably high in narcissism." Perhaps we can think, then, of "a narcissist" as someone who scores about 21 or higher on this scale (measured as we've measured it in the study described above).

Bottom Line

Much has been made of narcissism in the scholarly and popular psychological literature, and for good reason. This trait, which seems to often overlap with a manipulative and psychopathic approach to dealing with others, is predictive of all kinds of social and emotional outcomes.

This said, as someone who studies this trait carefully in the lab, I suggest that people take caution in thinking about narcissism as a categorical variable. It's not. As most researchers in the field will agree, narcissism is typically measured as a continuous variable—people vary from one another on this trait by a matter of degree.

How narcissistic are you? Not really very high at all? About average? Wicked high? Whatever your score, remember that most personality traits are continuous and not categorical in nature. Further, there is a good bit of evidence suggesting that personality is somewhat malleable across the lifespan (see Damian et al., 2018).

For a detailed summary of the Dirty Dozen, see this Psychology Today blog post by Susan Krauss Whitbourne.

how to find out if your boyfriend is a narcissist

Photo: Getty

The new lover seems so sensitive and understanding . .. Wait until he starts to take offense and criticize!

Self-confidence is one of the most attractive qualities of any man. But in many cases it is difficult to determine where healthy selfishness ends and narcissism begins. Is your man really in love with you? Or maybe in yourself?

We asked the experts where an "inflated" ego comes from:

“Narcissism is born in response to the environment in which the child grew up,” says Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Selfishness. - If the child is not given sufficient independence, a false "I" is created in him. In this "I" a person puts all the qualities that he would like to possess. Narcissism is just a shell, inside of which is emptiness. A narcissistic person does not know what it means to be himself. And, as a result, can not express sincere feelings.

Keith Campbell, bestselling author of When You Love Someone Who Loves Himself, says the biggest problem in a long-term relationship with a narcissist is a lack of empathy. However, this does not mean that it is impossible to meet narcissists. On the contrary, at the first stage, everything can proceed flawlessly.

- They seem sincere and open and, even with a materialistic inclination, grab your attention. It's like chocolate cake: we know it's bad for the figure, but we keep eating it because it's so delicious! Campbell explains.

- Since relationships do not stand still, over time you begin to demand from your partner more participation in your life, in your problems, and immediately you come across a wall of misunderstanding, - the author continues. - A narcissistic person has already got what he wanted, and begins to show aggression towards those who encroach on his ego.

Unfortunately, narcissistic people don't walk around with a big "H" on their chests, so it's hard to identify them right away. We offer a short quiz to help you determine if your "one and only" narcissist has the traits of a narcissist.

1. After the first date you...
A: Still trying to believe that such a unique and inimitable person paid attention to you.
B. Wow! Relax, because you are still not sure that the second date will follow the first date.
S. I am sure that you will become the love of his life.

A. For you, this is not so much a pleasure as a process of exalting him. Yes, he has an amazing body and moves like crazy.
Q. Fair play: You both give and take from each other.
C. Unforgettable! Mainly because he only works for you.

A. He quarreled with them even before he met you.
Q. Like Game of Thrones characters meeting How I Met Your Mother characters. Their relationship is full of drama, hatred, sex, lies and betrayal, but they still cannot live without each other.
C. Evil! They have known each other since school and are still discussing their nightly adventures.

4. What about cheating...
A. He cheated on you three or four times, and you know it.
Q. Both of you are not without sin, but all this is in the past.
C. He panics at even the hint of adultery, not to mention "harmless" kisses.

5. When you meet your ex-boyfriend by chance, he...
A. Immediately shows aggression and says “did you see how he looks at you?” threatens the unfortunate with physical violence. Everyone around, including your ex-boyfriend's wife and children, witness the awkward scene.
B. Just feels sorry for the guy. After all, he does not know what treasure he has lost.
C. Shows an awkward smile, but looks so pale, like he's about to pass out.

6. You just got fired. You come home in tears and he...
A. Asks you to pull yourself together and goes to watch TV.
B. Reminds you that you hated this job and wanted to quit yourself. At least you got paid a good release!
C. Helps you put together a good resume and pays for a spa weekend with your own money.

7. He spends his money…
A. On parties, expensive watches, gadgets and clothes.
B. To fix his old car, beer and pizza.
C. On you.

8. Your phone rings in the middle of the night:
A. You look out the window and see that he is standing on the threshold. You didn't text him back and he came to find out why.
B. Nothing serious, just his instincts.
C. You left a flash drive with an important client presentation at his house, and he came to return it.

Most A:
Your boyfriend is a real daffodil. He is completely selfish and doesn't care about your problems.

Most B:
You're dating a classic dude. Your relationship flows without stress, but there is obviously more coolness in them than passion.

Most C:
He loves you so much that there can be no question of any selfishness. On the contrary, he should at least sometimes pay more attention to his needs.

Eight danger signals
• He is arrogant: he is skeptical of everyone around him. Especially if these people are prettier or smarter.

• He blames anyone but himself for his own failures.

• Hypersensitivity: he constantly feels hurt and attacks back.

• He is aggressive: he divides people into upper and lower classes. He himself, of course, belongs to the first and looks at all the others with contempt

• He does not recognize your individuality: he perceives you as a thing and experiences shock and rage when you show signs of independence.

• He idealizes you, but his expectations have nothing to do with reality. He puts you on a pedestal on the first date, only to be criticized on the second.

Narcissism Test: A test of healthy self-esteem. Dropi

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/ Author: Evgeny Pyanov

One must love oneself. But everything, as you know, should be in moderation. Due to excessive pride, people often overestimate themselves and their capabilities. Take the test and find out if you can be called a narcissist.

Psychology tests #psychology #vanity #narcissism


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