Collective Narcissism as a Basis for Nationalism

Federico, Christopher M.; Golec de Zavala, Agnieszka and Bu, Wen. 2023. Collective Narcissism as a Basis for Nationalism. Political Psychology, 44(1), pp. 177-196. ISSN 0162-895X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Recent work suggests that collective narcissism— an exaggerated, unrealistic belief in an ingroup’s greatness that demands constant external validation— is a strong predictor of a variety of political attitudes. In the present study, we use nationally representative panel data from Poland to examine the relationship between national collective narcissism and nationalism, a belief that the national ingroup is superior and should dominate other nations. We first demonstrate that national collective narcissism, nationalism, and mere satisfaction with national ingroup are distinct. In turn, in both cross- sectional and panel analyses, we find that (1) national collective narcissism is positively related to nationalism, whereas satisfaction with the national ingroup is not; and (2) national collective narcissism is a stronger predictor of nationalism than national ingroup satisfaction is in absolute terms. Our analyses thus provide evidence that nationalism may be rooted in narcissistic exaggeration of the greatness of the national ingroup rather than nonnarcissistic national ingroup satisfaction.

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Work on this article was supported by National Science Centre (Poland) grant 2017/26/A/HS6/00647, awarded to Agnieszka Golec de Zavala.

Additional supporting information may be found in the online version of this article at the publisher’s web site


Collective narcissism, nationalism, patriotism, national ingroup satisfaction, national identity

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11 April 2022Accepted
5 May 2022Published Online
February 2023Published

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Date Deposited:

11 Jul 2022 09:28

Last Modified:

27 Jan 2023 10:30

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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