I'm smart, you're dumb! Narcissistic admiration and rivalry correlate with self- and other-assessed intelligence

Marcin Zajenkowski, Gilles E. Gignac, Maria Leniarska, Anna Turek, Zuzanna Czepiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Grandiose narcissism is considered a multidimensional personality trait that consists of two facets: narcissistic admiration and rivalry. Admiration is associated with a self-enhancement and a self-promotion tendency, while narcissistic rivalry reflects a self-defensive tendency aimed to protect the threatened ego and manifests in the devaluation of others. Prior research has shown that admiration correlates positively with intelligence overestimation. However, little research has examined how grandiose narcissism is associated with the evaluation of other people's intelligence, nor the conditions in which intelligence assessment responses may be moderated. Consequently, we created two experimental situations where participants (N = 328) recalled an autobiographical memory: (1) where they felt rejected; and (2) where they felt accepted. Based on their memory of the event, they then evaluated the person's intelligence, as well as other attributes (from communal and agentic domains). Generally, people in the rejected condition evaluated others as having lower communal attributes (e.g., empathy) and lower intelligence (but not other agentic attributes), in comparison to the acceptance condition. Additionally, whereas admiration was associated positively with self-assessed intelligence, rivalry correlated negatively with the evaluation of others' intelligence across both conditions (i.e., acceptance/rejection). Thus, those with high rivalry appear to consistently hold negative views about others.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112248
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


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