Ego-Boosting Hormone: Self-Reported and Blood-Based Testosterone Are Associated With Higher Narcissism

Marcin Zajenkowski, Gilles E. Gignac, Radosław Rogoza, Jeremiasz Górniak, Oliwia Maciantowicz, Maria Leniarska, Peter K. Jonason, Konrad S. Jankowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Grandiose narcissism is defined as increased motivation for status and viewing oneself as entitled and superior to others. We hypothesized that these tendencies might be associated with basal levels of testosterone because testosterone is considered the most social hormone—driving dominance and the motivation to achieve social status. We distinguished between two facets of grandiose narcissism: agentic (i.e., the tendency to self-promotion in order to win others’ admiration and social influence) and antagonistic (i.e., a reactive strategy used to restore threatened status). In 283 adult men, we examined the association between these facets of narcissism and blood-tested and self-reported testosterone levels. Agentic narcissism—the default narcissistic strategy—was positively associated with both testosterone indicators. Moreover, self-reported and objectively measured testosterone were positively correlated. These findings extend previous work by showing that the facets of narcissism have distinct hormonal underpinnings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1024-1032
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

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