INFLUENCE OF NEGATIVE SELF-PORTRAYAL AND DEPERSONALIZATION ON NARCISSISM

INFLUENCE OF NEGATIVE SELF-PORTRAYAL AND DEPERSONALIZATION ON NARCISSISM

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TABLE OF CONTENT

Title                                                                                                Page

Title Page    -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        i

Certification -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        ii

Dedication  -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        iii

Acknowledgements        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        iv

Table of Contents -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        vi

List of Tables        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        ix

Abstract      -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        x

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study     -           -           -           -           -           -           1

1.2       Statement of the Problem    -           -           -           -           -           -           17

1.3       Purpose of the Study            -           -           -           -           -           -           19

1.4       Significance of the Study    -           -           -           -           -           -           20

CHAPTER TWO

2.1       Theoretical Framework       -           -           -           -           -           -           21

2.1.1   Theories of Narcissism        -           -           -           -           -           -           21

2.1.11 Psychoanalytic Theory and Narcissism    -           -           -           -           22

2.1.1.2 Kernberg’s Narcissistic Theory    -           -           -           -           -           24

2.1.2   Theory of Negative Self Portrayal -           -           -           -           -           26

2.1.2.2 Self-Discrepancy Theory and Negative Self Portrayal  -           -           26

2.1.3   Theory of Depersonalization          -           -           -           -           -           27

2.1.3.1 Self Categorization Theory and Depersonalization       -           -           27

2.2       Empirical Review     -           -           -           -           -           -           -           29

2.2.1   Depersonalization and Narcissism -           -           -           -           -           29

2.2.2   Negative self-Portrayal and Narcissism    -           -           -           -           31

2.3       Research Hypothesis           -           -           -           -           -           -           37

2.4       Operational Definition of Terms    -           -           -           -           -           38

2.4.1   Depersonalization    -           -           -           -           -           -           -           38

2.4.2   Negative Self Portrayal       -           -           -           -           -           -           38

2.4.3   Narcissism     -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           39

CHAPTER THREE: METHOD

3.1       Participants  -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           40

3.1.1    Setting           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           40

3.1.2   Design            -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           43

3.1.3    Statistics       -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           43

3.1.4 Instruments     -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           44

3.1.5    Procedure     -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           45

 

CHAPTER FOUR

4.1       Results           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           46

CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

5.1       Discussion     -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           50

5.2       Conclusion    -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           52

5.3       Implication/ Recommendations     -           -           -           -           -           53

5.4       Recommendations   -           -           -           -           -           -           -           54

5.5       Limitations of the Study/Future Suggestions       -           -           -           55

5.6       Future Suggestions   -           -           -           -           -           -           -           55

References    -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           57

Appendices   -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           61

 


 

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1:  Table of Mean (x) showing the role of Depersonalization and Negative self-portrayal on Narcissism -           -           -           -           45

Table 2: A 2 x 2 ANOVA Summary Table showing the role of

 depersonalization and negative self-portrayal on narcissism    -           48

 


 

ABSTRACT

The study investigated the influence of negative self-portrayal and depersonalization on  narcissism. One hundred and eighty five (185) undergraduates  were recruited as participants in the present study from two tertiary institutions (University of Uyo and Akwa Ibom State university) consisting of 85 females and 100 males were randomly selected from the two tertiary institutions  in  Akwa Ibom State namely: University of Uyo, Uyo and Akwa Ibom State University, Abak Campus. Their age range from 16 – 45 and their mean age was 38.5. A cross sectional design was adopted for the study. Three instruments were used in the study: Negative Self-portrayal Scale (NSPS) developed by Moscovitch and Hyyder (2012), Adolescent Dissociative Experience Scale (ADES) developed by Armstrong, Putamen, Carlson, Libero & Smith in 1997 and Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) developed by Ames, Rose and Anderson (2006). A two way Analyses of Variance (ANOVA) was used to analyse the data. The result showed that there is no significant influence of depersonalization on narcissism [F (1, 185) = 2. 75, p > .05].  The result also showed that there is no significant influence of negative self-portrayal on narcissism [F (1, 185) = 1.10, p > .05]. The result also revealed that there is no interaction influence between negative self-portrayal and depersonalization  on narcissism. It was therefore concluded that negative self-portrayal and depersonalization are not crucial variables that influence narcissism. The results were discussed in line with empirical findings and implications and recommendations for future study were made.

                                                                                                                             

 

 

 

 

 


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

Personality is an inherent part of human nature. When personality features become more extreme and abnormal, they have the ability to manifest themselves as personality disorders. One of the most prominent abnormalities in personality characteristics is narcissism, which is among the most difficult to treat and thus in need of greater research (Stovall, King, Wienhold, & Whitehead, 2000).

The concept of narcissism has been trending on psychological literature and people all over the world have been seen to portray characters of narcissist. However, narcissism can be traced to the Greek myth of Narcissus and its retelling in Homeric hymns. Narcissism has a relatively long history as a psychological construct as well, beginning with (Havelock, 1898) and early psychoanalytic theorists (e.g., Freud 1914) through the development of object relations and self psychological theories (Kernberg 1967; Kohut 1968) and later ascribed to Axis II of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition (DSM-III; American Psychiatric Association, 1980) as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Since the publication of DSM- V, both clinical interest and psychological research on narcissism have increased. There is now a broad theoretical and empirical literature on narcissism that spans the related fields of clinical psychology, psychiatry, and social/personality psychology. However, this literature is poorly calibrated across the disciplines (Cain et al., 2008, Miller &Campbell 2008), and despite narcissism’s longevity as a construct in psychology and psychiatry, action must be taken to resolve disjunctions and integrate findings in future conceptualizations of pathological narcissism, otherwise continuing disparate efforts will impede progress toward a more sophisticated understanding of this complex clinical construct.

            Narcissism can be conceptualized as one’s capacity to maintain a relatively positive self-image through a variety of self-, affect-, and field regulatory processes, and it underlies individuals’ needs for validation and affirmation as well as the motivation to overtly and covertly seek out self-enhancement experiences from the social environment (Pincus, 2009). Most theorists suggest narcissism has both normal and pathological expressions reflecting adaptive and maladaptive personality organization, psychological needs, and regulatory mechanisms, giving rise to individual differences in managing needs for self-enhancement and validation (Kernberg 2000, Kohut 2001, Morf 2006, Pincus 2005, Ronningstam 2009, Stone 1998). Some suggest that normal and pathological narcissism lie on a single continuum or dimension from healthy to disordered functioning (e.g., Cooper 2005, Paulhus 2005,  Onningstam2005a, Watson 2005), whereas others suggest adaptive and pathological narcissism may be two distinct personality dimensions (Ansell 2006, Pincus, 2009). The vast majority of empirical research on normal narcissism has been conducted by social/ personality psychologists measuring narcissistic personality traits in nonclinical (often student) samples.

            Despite the dispute about the changes in levels of narcissism over the past few decades in college-aged individuals, there are logical environments in which narcissism has the ability to be cultivated among students. This issue is relevant in Nigerian society today because college-aged individuals are future leaders, and narcissism is very detrimental to society as a whole and can render narcissistic students unsuccessful in their academic endeavors and beyond. Twenge is the leading psychologist in the study of narcissism in the college aged American population. Twenge’s research reveals that the rates of narcissism among the college-aged population are on the rise (Twenge & Foster, 2010; Twenge & Campbell, 2008; Twenge, Konrath, Foster, Campbell, & Bushman, 2008). Among college students, Twenge at al. (2008) conducted a meta-analysis of narcissistic personality traits as shown through scores on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. The study included the scores from four-year American institutions from the years 1979-2006. There were a total of 16, 475 participants, and the authors found an upward shift in scores on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, meaning that the average college student now embraces, on average, two more narcissistic tendencies than did his peers a couple decades ago. That is, on the average, today’s college student is at least a bit more narcissistic. Further, Twenge and Campbell (2008) conducted a study based on responses of high school seniors from the year 1975 through the year 2006 and found that, in general, narcissistic personality tendencies are on the rise in that population as well. Unrealistic expectations among this population have increased a concept that will later be discussed as a narcissistic tendency. Twenge has proposed many theories to account for an increase in narcissism, many of which center around cultural changes. Now, from a young age, Americans are taught that they are very special and unique individuals (Twenge & Foster, 2010), which may be causing increases in self-esteem, extroversion, and assertiveness, which are key elements of narcissism. Further, today’s American society places a large emphasis on materialism and wealth, thus encouraging focus on pleasures and success for individuals. Another facet of American culture today is technology. Websites such as Facebook, YouTube, Myspace, and Twitter create spaces for individuals to enhance themselves and show themselves to the rest of the country and world (Twenge et al., 2008). These changes in American culture could be facilitating a change in personality traits among young Americans, and Twenge proposes that this narcissistic shift may have negative consequences on society.

            Defining narcissism is difficult, and many researchers have presented complex ideas of its exact definition. Many have suggested that there may be a continuum of narcissistic personality tendencies (Watson et al., 2003) and that it should perhaps be measured multi-dimensionally and in conjunction with other personality trait. There are a few important traits that define narcissism, though. First and foremost, individuals high in narcissism have a grandiose sense of self importance (Brown, Budzek, & Tamborski, 2009). They believe that they are better than everybody else, and this self-concept, however unrealistic it probably is, guides them in their daily lives (Morf & Rhodewalt, 2001). As Vazire and Funder (2006) note, “much of narcissists’ cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses are in the service of defending and affirming an unrealistic self-concept”. Enhancing their self-concept underlies most everything that narcissistic individuals do. Moreover, they are constantly looking for the world to reflect back this notion of grandiosity. Narcissistic individuals depend heavily upon positive feedback from others (Rhodewalt & Morf, 2003) and are not able to tolerate things that threaten the grandiose self, such as negative, critical feedback or failure (Baker, 2005). Their quest for grandiosity may also be blinding. Robins and Beer (2001) found that people with narcissistic tendencies assess themselves more positively than their peers assess them. Again, everything is about keeping the positive self-concept intact, even if it is unrealistic. Further, narcissistic individuals tend to attribute success internally and failure externally (Morf & Rhodewalt, 2001; Rhodewalt & Morf, 2000). That is, if something goes well in their lives, they take the credit for it, whereas if something does not go well, they blame it on other factors outside of their control. This relates back to their excessive need to self-enhance and to preserve a highly positive view of themselves. Those with narcissistic tendencies are impulsive and can lack self-control (Vazire & Funder, 2006). This lack of self-control may contribute to their excessive need for self enhancement in that they are psychologically unable to stop their arrogance. Further, impulsivity is linked with an inability to delay gratification. Narcissistic people may lack the ability to delay pleasurable outcomes in the short-term in favor of gratification in the long run (Robins & Beer, 2001). This inability to delay pleasure shows up in many areas of life.





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