psychology | September 26, 2019

Do Narcissists Ever Grow Up? Scott Barry Kaufman Explores for Scientific American

While our personality traits tend to remain stable over the course of our lives, we do mature as we age. But what about narcissism? Cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman explores the research in his latest paper.  

“Entitlement is the narcissism facet most toxic for maintaining satisfying relationships and is associated with expecting special treatment, devaluing others, and being disagreeable,” writes Scott Barry Kaufman in Scientific American. But there are facets of narcissism that are not necessarily negative, and are in fact, welcomed: “Leadership is considered the most adaptive facet of narcissism and is associated with a desire to lead, high self-esteem, and goal persistence.”


According to the research, people do tend to become less narcissistic over the course of young adulthood to middle age. Vanity and leadership are the two facets of narcissism that fluctuate most in response to life events. Significant life events such as job investment, long-term relationships, family, or relgion can cause significant personality change, and “this seems to apply to narcissism as well. While narcissism predicts the likelihood of certain outcomes, commitments to things that take us outside of ourselves can also curb our narcissism.”


To read the full article, click here.


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