On Self-Love and Outgroup Hate: Opposite Effects of Narcissism on Prejudice via Social Dominance Orientation and Right-Wing Authoritarianism

Eur J Pers. Jul-Aug 2017;31(4):366-384. doi: 10.1002/per.2114. Epub 2017 Aug 4.


Previous research has obtained mixed findings as to whether feelings of self-worth are positively or negatively related to right-wing ideological beliefs and prejudice. We propose to clarify the link between self-worth and ideology by distinguishing between narcissistic and non-narcissistic self-evaluations as well as between different dimensions of ideological attitudes. Four studies, conducted in three different socio-political contexts: the UK (Study 1, N = 422), the US (Studies 2 and 3, Ns = 471 and 289, respectively), and Poland (Study 4, N = 775), investigated the associations between narcissistic and non-narcissistic self-evaluations, social dominance orientation (SDO), right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), and ethnic prejudice. Confirming our hypotheses, the results consistently showed that after controlling for self-esteem, narcissistic self-evaluation was positively associated with SDO (accounting for RWA), yet negatively associated with RWA (accounting for SDO). These associations were similar after controlling for psychopathy and Machiavellianism (Study 3) as well as collective narcissism and Big Five personality characteristics (Study 4). Studies 2-4 additionally demonstrated that narcissistic self-evaluation was indirectly positively associated with prejudice through higher SDO (free of RWA) but indirectly negatively associated with prejudice through lower RWA (free of SDO). Implications for understanding the role of self-evaluation in right-wing ideological attitudes and prejudice are discussed. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. European Journal of Personality published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Association of Personality Psychology.

Keywords: authoritarianism; narcissism; prejudice; self‐esteem; social dominance.