Keynote Lecture: Benefits of parsing narcissism more finely: Moving from one to three factor models
The past 20 years has seen an upsurge in research on narcissism. One of the major during this time was the recognition of the vast heterogeneity in theoretical, etiological, and assessment models of narcissism and the problems that arise from treating narcissism in a monolithic manner. More specifically, there as a recognition of the need to distinguish grandiose and vulnerable dimensions of narcissism given the vastly different relations they bear in relation to parenting, attachment, self-esteem, basic personality traits, comorbid psychopathology, and functional outcomes. More recently, it has been suggested that these two variants might themselves be insufficient, and that three-factor models of narcissism provide an even finer grained lens through which to understand this construct. The trifurcated model of narcissism (TriNar) and the narcissistic spectrum model (NSM) settle on three largely overlapping constructs: self-centered antagonism (TriNar)/ self-important & entitlement (NSM), agentic extraversion (TriNar)/grandiosity & hubris (NSM), and narcissistic neuroticism (TriNar)/vulnerability & defensiveness. Both 3-factor models see the first factor – self-centered antagonism or self-important entitlement – as the glue that binds all presentations of narcissism together with the latter two dimensions serving to further “flavor” these presentations with regard to both intra- and inter-personal processes. For instance, the longstanding controversies as to the relation between narcissism and self-esteem can be best understood through this lens in which self-centered antagonism is unrelated, agentic extraversion is positively related, and narcissistic neuroticism in negatively related.