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With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies? Intragroup Concomitants of Collective Narcissism

Gronfeldt Gunnarsson, Bjarki Thor (2023) With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies? Intragroup Concomitants of Collective Narcissism. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.100601) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:100601)

Language: English

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Collective narcissism is a defensive belief in ingroup's greatness which is contingent on external validation. A vast literature documents a robust relationship between collective narcissism and outgroup hostility. The goal of this thesis was to explore the intragroup concomitants of collective narcissism, which are less well understood. In the theoretical Chapter 1, national narcissism is reviewed as a predictor of support for illiberal politics, such as support for totalitarian policies and populist political leaders. While national narcissism has similarities with other predictors of illiberalism, such as social dominance orientation, it is unique in its support for costly policies that aim to bolster the nation's image. Subsequent chapters study empirically how national narcissism relates to attitudes (Chapter 2) and decision-making (Chapter 3) aiming to reinforce the ingroup's image at the expense of ingroup members' well-being. Chapter 2 found that national narcissism was related to willingness to sacrifice ingroup members as a form of image management. These relationships were mediated by concerns about the country's reputation. Chapter 3 reports both cross-sectional and experimental evidence that national narcissism (and defensive ingroup identity more broadly) is related to a tendency to maximise the difference in outcomes received by the ingroup versus the outgroup. This economically irrational strategy entails accepting loss of ingroup profit if an outgroup loses even more. Chapter 4 relies on data collected among active partisans and found that partisan narcissism related to using secrecy, deception and political blood-sport in political work, a strategy known as politicking. Cumulatively, the findings suggest that those high in collective narcissism use the ingroup as a source of group-based ego enhancement (Chapters 2-3) and seem to be willing to impose these desires with force (Chapter 4).

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Cichocka, Aleksandra
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.100601
Uncontrolled keywords: collective narcissism, illiberalism, ingroup sacrifice, maximising the difference, politicking
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Funders: University of Kent (
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2023 15:59 UTC
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2023 10:36 UTC
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