Collective Narcissism and Weakening of American Democracy

Keenan, Oliver and Golec de Zavala, Agnieszka. 2021. Collective Narcissism and Weakening of American Democracy. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 21(1), pp. 237-258. ISSN 1529-7489 [Article]

[img] Text
Collective Narcissism and Weakening of American Democracy[Resubmission_preprint1].pdf - Accepted Version
Permissions: Administrator Access Only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (476kB)
Anal Soc Iss Public Policy - 2021 - Keenan - Collective narcissism and weakening of American democracy.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (459kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

The storming of the US Capitol on January 6th 2021 and voter intimidation by Donald Trump’s supporters has marked significant upheaval in American democracy. In two cross-sectional studies and one experiment, we tested the proposition that American collective narcissism is associated with support for populist leadership (particular, their message of renewed ingroup recognition) to the point of disregard for democratic procedures. In Study 1, conducted just before the 2020 Presidential elections, we examined the association of American collective narcissism with support for Trump’s re-election even if he was to violate the democratic procedures while securing it. In pre-registered Study 2, conducted just after the Capitol attack, we examined the association between American collective narcissism and support for the attacks. In Study 3, we experimentally examined a more general proposition that collective narcissism is associated with support for populist leaders and lack of support for democratic procedures, in a minimal group setting deprived of any associations with particular political context. The results of the three studies converge to indicate that collective narcissism is most strongly (beyond variables commonly implicated in support for right-wing populism) associated with populist leadership to the extent of disregarding democratic norms.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Additional Information:

Data collection was supported by National Science Centre Grant 2017/26/A/HS6/00647 awarded to Agnieszka Golec de Zavala. Study 3 was conducted as fulfilment of the Master degree by the first author.

The paper includes statements of sample size estimation and data exclusions, all data and materials for the 3 studies can be found in the Supplemental Material:

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



19 July 2021Accepted
26 October 2021Published Online
December 2021Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

11 Oct 2021 09:44

Last Modified:

20 Jan 2022 03:52

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)