Bright sides of tribal exaggeration: Collective narcissism and tribal attitudes towards equality

Golec de Zavala, Agnieszka. 2024. Bright sides of tribal exaggeration: Collective narcissism and tribal attitudes towards equality. In: Joseph P. Forgas, ed. The tribal mind and the psychology of collectivism. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 126-145. ISBN 9781032498652 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter considers the role of collective narcissism – a belief that the in-group’s exaggerated greatness is not sufficiently recognized by others – in asymmetric intergroup relations. Reviewed research explains why members of advantaged groups find it hard to sympathize with members of disadvantaged groups. At high levels of collective narcissism, group members are overly distressed by the (real or imagined) exclusion of their own in-group but not by the exclusion of other groups. Collective narcissism also predicts tribal bias in the perception of discrimination and attitudes toward equality depending on whether greater equality aligns or goes against the motivation to have one’s own in-group recognized as better than others. Those members of advantaged groups (e.g., men, White people) who score high on collective narcissism endorse anti-egalitarianism and support the state’s repression of social movements toward equality. Among those members of advantaged groups (e.g., women, Black or Latino people) who score high on collective narcissism exaggeration of the in-group’s importance has power-balancing consequences. They endorse egalitarianism, reject beliefs legitimizing inequality and engage in collective action to pursue equality. This is important as collective narcissists in advantaged groups have greater power than collective narcissists in disadvantaged groups to claim national prototypicality and frame their in-group goals as national interests. Members of disadvantaged groups who endorse national collective narcissism endorse beliefs legitimizing inequality and their in-groups’ disadvantage.

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“This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in ‘The Tribal Mind and the Psychology of Collectivism’ on 30July 2024, available online: It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.”

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30 July 2024Published

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29 May 2024 08:44

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29 May 2024 12:51


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