Narcissism and Romantic Attraction

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Abstract

A model of narcissism and romantic attraction predicts that narcissists will be attracted to admiring individuals and highly positive individuals and relatively less attracted to individuals who offer the potential for emotional intimacy. Five studies supported this model. Narcissists, compared with nonnarcissists, preferred more self-oriented (i.e., highly positive) and less other-oriented (i.e., caring) qualities in an ideal romantic partner (Study 1). Narcissists were also relatively more attracted to admiring and highly positive hypothetical targets and less attracted to caring targets (Studies 2 and 3). Indeed, narcissists displayed a preference for highly positive–noncaring targets compared with caring but not highly positive targets (Study 4). Finally, mediational analyses demonstrated that narcissists' romantic attraction is, in part, the result of a strategy for enhancing self-esteem (Study 5).

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