Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
Dr. Christian Jordan
The underlying antagonistic traits shared by both vulnerable and grandiose narcissism suggests that narcissistic individuals in general are more likely to view interdependent social situations as having a higher degree of conflict, and may also cause them to cooperate less. My thesis examines how manipulating expectations of one’s partner’s cooperation in a Prisoner’s Dilemma (Studies 1 & 2), and within an objectively low-conflict academic setting (Study 3) can provide a better understanding of the role of narcissism in perceptions of conflict and cooperation. Results from Studies 1 and 2 shows that on their own, both grandiose narcissism and antagonism were related to increased perceptions of conflict and decreased cooperation. In both Studies 1 and 2, assurance of partner cooperation during the Prisoner’s Dilemma was shown to decrease perceptions of conflict overall; however, the assurance of partner cooperation was also found to strengthen the relationship between some expressions of narcissism and perceptions of conflict—specifically people higher in grandiose narcissism and antagonism. Study 3 found that vulnerable narcissism and antagonism were correlated with greater perceptions of academic conflict and decreased academic cooperation, and also found that grandiose narcissism was correlated with decreased academic cooperation. Combined, the pattern of results seen across these three studies provide evidence to support the idea that it is the underlying antagonistic core of narcissism that drives the overall increased perceptions of conflict and decreased cooperation among people high in narcissism.
Sharp, Sydney, "How narcissism relates to perceived conflict and cooperation in social situations" (2023). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 2588.
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