February 5, 2021

The Link between Narcissism and Aggression: A Meta-Analytic Review.

Kjærvik, S. L., & Bushman, B. J.

Psychological Bulletin

Abstract

This meta-analytic review examines the link between narcissism and aggression, and whether the link is stronger under provocation conditions. A total of 437 independent studies were located, which included 123,043 participants. Narcissism was related to both aggression (r = .26, [.24, .28]) and violence (r = .23, [.18, .27]). As expected, the narcissism-aggression link was stronger under provocation conditions (r = .29, [.23, .36]) than under no provocation conditions (r = .12, [.05, .18]), but was even significant in the absence of provocation. Both “normal” and “pathological” narcissism were related to aggression. All three dimensions of narcissism (i.e., entitlement, grandiose narcissism, vulnerable narcissism) were related to aggression. Narcissism was related to all forms of aggression (i.e., indirect, direct, displaced, physical, verbal, bullying), and to both functions of aggression (i.e., reactive, proactive). The relation between narcissism and aggression was significant for males and females, for people of all ages, for students and nonstudents, and for people from individualistic and collectivistic countries. Significant results were obtained in experimental, cross-sectional, and longitudinal studies, in published and unpublished studies, and in studies that assessed aggression using different types of measures (i.e., self-report, other-report, observation). Overall results were robust to publication bias and the presence of outliers. Theoretically, these results indicate that provocation is a key moderator of the link between narcissism and aggression. Individuals high in narcissism have “thin skins” and are prone to aggression when they are provoked. Practically, these results suggest that narcissism is an important risk factor for aggression and violence.

© Sophie Kjærvik 2022. Built by tomspencer.io