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Chapter 1 Adjusting to Modern Life EXERCISE 1.1 Self-Assessment: Narcissistic Personality Inventory

Instructions Read each pair of statements below and place an “X” by the one that comes closest to describing your feelings and beliefs about yourself. You may feel that neither statement describes you well, but pick the one that comes closest. Please complete all pairs.

The Scale

1. _A. I have a natural talent for influencing people. _B. I am not good at influencing people.

2. _A. Modesty doesn’t become me. _B. I am essentially a modest person.

3. _A. I would do almost anything on a dare. _B. I tend to be a fairly cautious person.

4. _A. When people compliment me I sometimes get embarrassed.

B. I know that I am good because everybody keeps telling me so.

5. _A. The thought of ruling the world frightens the hell out of me.

_B. If I ruled the world it would be a better place. 6. A. I can usually talk my way out of anything.

_B. I try to accept the consequences of my behavior. 7. A. I prefer to blend in with the crowd.

B. I like to be the center of attention. 8. A. I will be a success.

B. I am not too concerned about success. 9. A. I am no better or worse than most people.

_B. I think I am a special person. 10. A. I am not sure if I would make a good leader.

B. I see myself as a good leader. 11. A. I am assertive.

B. I wish I were more assertive. 12. _A. I like to have authority over other people.

_B. I don’t mind following orders. 13. _A. I find it easy to manipulate people.

B. I don’t like it when I find myself manipulating people. 14. _A. I insist upon getting the respect that is due me.

_B. I usually get the respect that I deserve. 15. _A. I don’t particularly like to show off my body.

_B. I like to show off my body. 16. _A. I can read people like a book.

_B. People are sometimes hard to understand. 17. _A. If I feel competent I am willing to take responsibility for

making decisions. _B. I like to take responsibility for making decisions.

18. _A. I just want to be reasonably happy. _B. I want to amount to something in the eyes of the world.

19. _A. My body is nothing special. _B. I like to look at my body.

20. _A. I try not to be a show off. _B. I will usually show off if I get the chance.

21. _A. I always know what I am doing. _B. Sometimes I am not sure of what I am doing.

22. _A. I sometimes depend on people to get things done. B. I rarely depend on anyone else to get things done.

23. _A. Sometimes I tell good stories. _B. Everybody likes to hear my stories.

24. _A. I expect a great deal from other people. B. I like to do things for other people.

25. A. I will never be satisfied until I get all that I deserve. _B. I take my satisfactions as they come.

26. _A. Compliments embarrass me. _B. I like to be complimented.

27. _A. I have a strong will to power. B. Power for its own sake doesn’t interest me.

28. A. I don’t care about new fads and fashions. B. I like to start new fads and fashions.

29. A. I like to look at myself in the mirror. _B. I am not particularly interested in looking at myself in

the mirror. 30. _A. I really like to be the center of attention.

B. It makes me uncomfortable to be the center of attention. 31. _A. I can live my life in any way I want to.

B. People can’t always live their lives in terms of what they want.

32. _A. Being an authority doesn’t mean that much to me. _B. People always seem to recognize my authority.

33. _A. I would prefer to be a leader. B. It makes little difference to me whether I am a leader

or not. 34. _A. I am going to be a great person.

_B. I hope I am going to be successful. 35. _A. People sometimes believe what I tell them.

_B. I can make anybody believe anything I want them to. 36. A. I am a born leader.

B. Leadership is a quality that takes a long time to develop. 37. _A. I wish somebody would someday write my biography.

_B. I don’t like people to pry into my life for any reason. 38. A. I get upset when people don’t notice how I look when I

go out in public. _B. I don’t mind blending into the crowd when I go out in

public. 39. _A. I am more capable than other people.

B. There is a lot that I can learn from other people. 40. _A. I am much like everybody else.

B. I am an extraordinary person.


Scoring the Scale The scoring key is reproduced below. You should circle your response of A or B each time it corresponds to the keyed response below. Add up the number of responses you circled. This total is your score on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Record your score below.

1. A 8. A 15. B 22. B 29. A 36. A 2. A 9. B 16. A 23. B 30. A 37. A 3. A 10. B 17. B 24. A 31. A 38. A 4. B 11. A 18. B 25. A 32. B 39. A 5. B 12. A 19. B 26. B 33. A 40. B 6. A 13. A 20. B 27. A 34. A 7. B 14. A 21. A 28. B 35. B

My score

What the Scale Measures As noted briefly in Chapter 1, narcissism is a personality trait marked by an inflated sense of importance, a need for attention and admiration, a sense of entitlement, and a tendency to exploit others. Those who score high in narcissism tend to exhibit feelings of superiority, although their feelings of self-esteem are actually quite fragile and constantly require validation (Rhodewalt & Morf, 2005). This insecurity creates an insatiable need for expressions of admiration from others that leads to grandiose self-presentations (Rhodewalt & Peterson, 2009). Baumeister and Vohs (2001) com- pare narcissists’ craving for approval and admiration to an addic- tion. Twenge and Campbell (2009) emphasize narcissists’ sense of entitlement-the expectation that everything should revolve around

them and that they should receive special favors and treatment. The Living in Today’s World box in Chapter 2 discusses the trait of narcissism in more detail.

The Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NP!) was developed by Robert Raskin and colleagues (Raskin & Hall, 1979, 1981; Raskin & Terry, 1988) to assess normal levels of narcissism on a con- tinuum. The original 54-item measure was reduced to the current 40-item scale in 1988. The scale has been widely used in research, and there is extensive evidence that it accurately measures what it sets out to measure. As we will discuss in Chapter 2, recent research suggests that scores on the NPI have been rising among recent generations of college students (Twenge et al., 2008).

Interpreting Your Store Our norms are based on data from Twenge et al. (2008), which takes into consideration the recent increase in scores on the NPI among col- lege populations. According to data available in Twenge et al (2008), the mean score on the NPI in studies since 2000 has hovered around 17, with a standard deviation of about 7 (the standard deviation is an index of how much variability there tends to be on a measure). Our cutoffs for high and low scores are based on being one-half of a stan- dard deviation above or below the mean of 17. Roughly speaking, that means high scorers fail in the upper 30% on this trait, medium scorers in the middle 40%, and low scorers in the bottom 30%.

Norms High score: 20.5-40 Medium score: 13.5-20.5 Low score: 0-13.5



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