Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 129–143 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Narcissistic Exploitativeness, Dispositional Empathy, and Emotion Recognition Abilities

  • Sara Konrath
  • Olivier Corneille
  • Brad J. Bushman
  • Olivier Luminet
Original Paper

Abstract

The present research explores the link between the personality trait exploitativeness, a component of narcissism, and emotion recognition abilities. Prior research on this topic has produced inconsistent findings. We attempt to resolve these inconsistencies by testing the hypothesis that narcissistic exploitativeness, in particular, should be associated with emotion-reading abilities because it specifically taps into the motivation to manipulate others. Across two studies we find that narcissistic exploitativeness is indeed associated with increased emotion recognition, but in some cases the confounding effects of mood need to be considered (Study 1). Importantly, effect sizes of narcissistic exploitativeness were similar in magnitude to two different measures of dispositional empathy, which is an established correlate of emotion recognition. These studies suggest that emotional recognition abilities are associated with desirable and undesirable traits.

Keywords

Narcissism Exploitativeness Emotional competencies Emotional intelligence Emotion recognition Empathy Mind reading Emotion perception ability 

References

  1. Ames, D. R., & Kammrath, L. K. (2004). Mind-reading and metacognition: Narcissism, not actual competence, predicts self-estimated ability. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 28(3), 187–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ames, D. R., Rose, P., & Anderson, C. P. (2006). The NPI-16 as a short measure of narcissism. Journal of Research in Personality, 40(4), 440–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ang, R. P., Ong, E. Y. L., Lim, J. C. Y., & Lim, E. W. (2009). From narcissistic exploitativeness to bullying behavior: The mediating role of approval of aggression beliefs. Social Development, 19(4), 721–735.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Austin, E., Farrelly, D., Black, C., & Moore, H. (2007). Emotional intelligence, Machiavellianism and emotional manipulation: Does EI have a dark side? Personality and Individual Differences, 43(1), 179–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Back, M. D., Schmukle, S. C., & Egloff, B. (2010). Why are narcissists so charming at first sight? Decoding the narcissism-popularity link at zero acquaintance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(1), 132.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Hill, J., Raste, Y., & Plumb, I. (2001). The “reading the mind in the eyes” test revised version: A study with normal adults, and adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 42(02), 241–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Buhrmester, M., Kwang, T., & Gosling, S. D. (2011). Amazon’s mechanical turk. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(1), 3–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bushman, B. J., & Baumeister, R. F. (1998). Threatened egotism, narcissism, self-esteem, and direct and displaced aggression: Does self-love or self-hate lead to violence? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(1), 219–229.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Campbell, W. K. (1999). Narcissism and romantic attraction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(6), 1254–1270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chapman, E., Baron-Cohen, S., Auyeung, B., Knickmeyer, R., Taylor, K., & Hackett, G. (2006). Fetal testosterone and empathy: Evidence from the empathy quotient (EQ) and the “reading the mind in the eyes” test. Social Neuroscience, 1(2), 135–148.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Côté, S., DeCelles, K. A., McCarthy, J. M., Van Kleef, G. A., & Hideg, I. (2011). The Jekyll and Hyde of emotional intelligence. Psychological Science, 22(8), 1073–1080.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Davis, M. (1983). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44(1), 113–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davis, M. (1996). Empathy: A social psychological approach. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  14. Davis, M., & Kraus, L. (1997). Personality and empathic accuracy. In W. Ickes (Ed.), Empathic accuracy. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  15. Hall, J., Andrzejewski, S., & Yopchick, J. (2009). Psychosocial correlates of interpersonal sensitivity: A meta-analysis. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 33(3), 149–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Holtzman, N. S., & Strube, M. J. (2010). Narcissism and attractiveness. Journal of Research in Personality, 44(1), 133–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Konrath, S., Bushman, B., & Campbell, W. K. (2006). Attenuating the link between threatened egotism and aggression. Psychological Science, 17(11), 995–1001.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Konrath, S., Bushman, B., & Grove, T. (2009). Seeing my world in a million little pieces: Narcissism, self-construal, and cognitive-perceptual style. Journal of Personality, 77(4), 1197–1228.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lopes, P. N., Salovey, P., & Straus, R. (2003). Emotional intelligence, personality, and the perceived quality of social relationships. Personality and Individual Differences, 35(3), 641–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Luminet, O., Grynberg, D., Ruzette, N., & Mikolajczak, M. (2011). Personality-dependent effects of oxytocin: Greater social benefits for high alexithymia scorers. Biological Psychology, 87(3), 401–406.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Marsh, A. A., & Blair, R. (2008). Deficits in facial affect recognition among antisocial populations: A meta-analysis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 32(3), 454.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mason, W., & Suri, S. (2012). Conducting behavioral research on Amazon’s mechanical turk. Behavior Research Methods, 44(1), 1–23.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mayer, J., Roberts, R. D., & Barsade, S. G. (2008). Human abilities: Emotional intelligence. Annual Review of Psychology, 59(1), 507–536.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mikolajczak, M., Luminet, O., Leroy, C., & Roy, E. (2007). Psychometric properties of the trait emotional intelligence questionnaire: Factor structure, reliability, construct, and incremental validity in a French-speaking population. Journal of Personality Assessment, 88(3), 338–353.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Paulhus, D. L. (1998). Interpersonal and intrapsychic adaptiveness of trait self-enhancement: A mixed blessing? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(5), 1197–1208.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Paulhus, D. L., & Williams, K. M. (2002). The dark triad of personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Journal of Research in Personality, 36(6), 556–563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pérez, J. C., Petrides, K. V., & Furnham, A. (2005). Measuring trait emotional intelligence. In R. Schulze & R. D. Roberts (Eds.), International handbook of emotional intelligence. Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe & Huber.Google Scholar
  28. Petrides, K. (2010). An application of belief-importance theory with reference to the Big Five and trait emotional intelligence. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 38(5), 697–709.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Petrides, K., & Furnham, A. (2001). Trait emotional intelligence: Psychometric investigation with reference to established trait taxonomies. European Journal of Personality, 15(6), 425–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Petrides, K., & Furnham, A. (2003). Trait emotional intelligence: Behavioural validation in two studies of emotion recognition and reactivity to mood induction. European Journal of Personality, 17, 39–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Petrides, K., Vernon, P. A., Schermer, J. A., & Veselka, L. (2011). Trait emotional intelligence and the dark triad traits of personality. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 14(1), 35–41.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Pham, T. H., Ducro, C., & Luminet, O. (2010). Psychopathy, Alexithymia and emotional intelligence in a forensic hospital. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 9(1), 24–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Raskin, R., & Novacek, J. (1989). An MMPI description of the narcissistic personality. Journal of Personality Assessment, 53(1), 66–80.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Raskin, R., & Terry, H. (1988). A principal-components analysis of the narcissistic personality inventory and further evidence of its construct validity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(5), 890–902.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Reidy, D. E., Zeichner, A., Foster, J. D., & Martinez, M. A. (2008). Effects of narcissistic entitlement and exploitativeness on human physical aggression. Personality and Individual Differences, 44(4), 865–875.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Riggio, R. E., Tucker, J., & Coffaro, D. (1989). Social skills and empathy. Personality and Individual Differences, 10(1), 93–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Riketta, M., & Dauenheimer, D. (2003). Manipulating self-esteem with subliminally presented words. European Journal of Social Psychology, 33(5), 679–699.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rose, P. (2002). The happy and unhappy faces of narcissism. Personality and Individual Differences, 33(3), 379–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Salovey, P., & Mayer, J. (1990). Emotional intelligence. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, 9(3), 185–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schmid, P., & Schmid Mast, M. (2010). Mood effects on emotion recognition. Motivation and Emotion, 34(3), 288–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schutte, N., Malouff, J., Bobik, C., Coston, T., Greeson, C., Jedlicka, C., et al. (2001). Emotional intelligence and interpersonal relations. Journal of Social Psychology, 141(4), 523–536.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sedikides, C., Rudich, E. A., Gregg, A. P., Kumashiro, M., & Rusbult, C. (2004). Are normal narcissists psychologically healthy? Self-esteem matters. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(3), 400–416.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sutton, J., Smith, P. K., & Swettenham, J. (1999). Social cognition and bullying: Social inadequacy or skilled manipulation? British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 17(3), 435–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sweeney, K., & Whissell, C. (1984). A dictionary of affect in language: I. Establishment and preliminary validation. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 59(3), 695–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sweeting, H., & West, P. (2001). Being different: Correlates of the experience of teasing and bullying at age 11. Research Papers in Education, 16(3), 225–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tracy, J. L., Robins, R. W., & Schriber, R. A. (2009). Development of a FACS-verified set of basic and self-conscious emotion expressions. Emotion, 9(4), 554–559.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tso, I. F., Grove, T. B., & Taylor, S. F. (2010). Emotional experience predicts social adjustment independent of neurocognition and social cognition in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 122(1), 156–163.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wai, M., & Tiliopoulos, N. (2012). The affective and cognitive empathic nature of the dark triad of personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 52(7), 794–799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS Scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(6), 1063–1070.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Westermann, R., Spies, K., Stahl, G., & Hesse, F. W. (1996). Relative effectiveness and validity of mood induction procedures: A meta-analysis. European Journal of Social Psychology, 26(4), 557–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Whissell, C. (2002). Whissell’s Dictionary of Affect in Language. Human Development Consulting. ftp://perceptmx.com/wdalman.pdf.
  52. Whissell, C. (2008). A comparison of two lists providing emotional norms for English words (ANEW and the DAL). Psychological Reports, 102, 597–600.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Whissell, C. (2009). Using the revised dictionary of affect in language to quantify the emotional undertones of samples of natural language 1, 2. Psychological Reports, 105(2), 509–521.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Whissell, C., & Charuk, K. (1985). A dictionary of affect in language: II. Word inclusion and additional validation. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 61(1), 65–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Whissell, C., & Dewson, M. R. (1986). A dictionary of affect in language: III. Analysis of two biblical and two secular passages. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 62(1), 127–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Whissell, C., Fournier, M., Pelland, R., Weir, D., & Makarec, K. (1986). A dictionary of affect in language: IV. Reliability, validity, and applications. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 62(3), 875–888.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zuckerman, M., & O’Loughlin, R. E. (2009). Narcissism and well-being: A longitudinal perspective. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39(6), 957–972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Konrath
    • 1
  • Olivier Corneille
    • 2
  • Brad J. Bushman
    • 3
    • 4
  • Olivier Luminet
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Research Institute for Psychological SciencesUniversité Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  3. 3.The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  4. 4.VU UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  5. 5.National Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS)BrusselsBelgium

Personalised recommendations