Personal control decreases narcissistic but increases non-narcissistic in-group positivity

Cichocka, Aleksandra; Golec de Zavala, Agnieszka; Marchlewska, Marta; Bilewicz, Michal; Jaworska, Manana and Olechowski, Mateusz. 2018. Personal control decreases narcissistic but increases non-narcissistic in-group positivity. Journal of Personality, 86(3), pp. 465-480. ISSN 0022-3506 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Objective: We examined the effects of control motivation on in-group positivity. Past research suggests that people compensate for low personal control by increasing support for social ingroups. We predicted that the effect of personal control on in-group positivity would depend on the type of in-group positivity. Low personal control should increase compensatory, narcissistic in-group positivity, while high personal control should increase secure, non-narcissistic in-group positivity.

Method: These hypotheses were tested in a cross-sectional survey (Study 1, n= 1083,54% female, Mage= 47.68), two experiments (Study 2, n= 105, 50% female, Mage = 32.05; Study 3, n=154, 40% female, Mage= 29.93) and a longitudinal survey (Study 4, n= 398, 51% female,Mage= 32.05).

Results: In all studies personal control was negatively associated with narcissistic in-group positivity but positively associated with non-narcissistic in-group positivity. The longitudinal survey additionally showed that the positive relationship between personal controland non-narcissistic in-group positivity was reciprocal. Moreover, both types of in-group positivity differentially mediated between personal control and out-group attitudes:narcissistic in-group positivity predicted negative attitudes and non-narcissistic positivity predicted positive attitudes.

Conclusions: These findings highlight the role of individual motivation in fostering different types of in-group positivity and intergroup outcomes.

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Additional Information:

Grant DEC-2011/01/B/HS6/04637 from the National Science Center


collective narcissism; defensiveness; in-group identification; personal control; prejudice

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13 May 2017Accepted
22 May 2017Published Online
1 June 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2017 15:20

Last Modified:

11 Mar 2021 14:20

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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