Jiafang Chen: How do narcissists deal with communal features in their environment?
Narcissistic individuals seek agentic pursuits, such as social status, power, and achievement. They seem to be successful in these pursuits as they are more likely to occupy influential positions, giving them leeway to exert significant impact on others. However, narcissistic individuals’ tendencies to disregard communal values, as reflected in their self-focus, lack of empathy, hostility, and sense of entitlement, can have negative interpersonal consequences.
In her PhD dissertation, which she defended on December 14 at UvA, Jiafang Chen investigated narcissists from a communal angle to further understand their social influence. The results revealed that 1) narcissistic individuals sought out relatively more antisocial and less prosocial information; 2) showed lower preferences for sociability traits in prospective partners under lower situational threat, but this effect was muted or even reversed when threat was higher, however their preference for morality traits remained lower irrespective of threat; 3) were less responsive to variations in others’ antisocial and prosocial behavior, both in terms of their evaluations and behavioral responses.
Chen wrote her dissertation as a member of the Kurt Lewin Institute. Her supervisors are Gerben A. van Kleef, Astrid C. Homan, and Barbara Nevicka. Chen currently works as a postdoc in the work and organizational psychology department at UvA.