Toward understanding and measuring grandiose and vulnerable narcissism within trait personality models

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Abstract

Research on trait narcissism is hindered by considerable confusion over its underlying structure, especially differences between pathological and normal narcissism, and grandiose and vulnerable narcissism. To address this problem, we describe two studies that examined the factor structure of a broad range of narcissism items and the implications for current narcissism theory. In Study 1, 881 undergraduates completed a scale composed of items taken trans-theoretically from narcissism scales that targeted grandiose, vulnerable, and normal narcissism descriptions. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted and construct validity was established. In Study 2, 298 community-based participants were surveyed. Fit indices of a reduced 20-item scale and test-retest reliability were examined. Both studies supported a hierarchical structure of distinct grandiose and vulnerable factors, each with interpersonal and intrapersonal components. Thus, trait narcissism seems best described by grandiose and vulnerable dimensions, each of which can be focused toward the self or others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-511
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

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