Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Alexandra E. Roach
Objective: In this study, I worked to examine possible core features in narcissism. Researchers largely accept that there are at least two main dimensions of narcissism, grandiosity and vulnerability. However, these two dimensions have very different presentations in individuals, with very different personality factors, interpersonal traits, and relationships to other psychopathology. This raises the question of whether grandiosity and vulnerability are two versions of the same disorder, or if they would be better understood as different pathologies. This study examines whether the features of entitlement and antagonism can be used to distinguish grandiosity and vulnerability as both unique versions of narcissism separate from other similar disorders. Method: A sample of undergraduate students completed measures of grandiose and vulnerable narcissism, antagonism, entitlement, borderline features, and psychopathy. Two separate linear regression models were run for grandiose and vulnerable narcissism to measure what variables best accounted for the variance within those domains. Results: Psychopathy and antagonism were significant predictors of grandiose narcissism, and entitlement appeared to be nearing significance as a predictor. Borderline features and entitlement were significant predictors of vulnerable narcissism, and antagonism failed predict any additional variance in the model. Conclusions: These results reinforce a dimensional understanding of personality disorders. Further, this study contradicted prior research in the sense that antagonism failed to add meaningful predictive value to models of both grandiose and vulnerable narcissism. However, entitlement came close to being a significant predictive factor for both dimensions of narcissism, suggesting it may be the core factor that should be used to distinguish narcissism from other disorders.
Repp, Zane M., "Examining Entitlement and Antagonism as Distinguishing Features of Narcissism" (2020). USC Aiken Psychology Theses. 50.