Grandiose Fantasies and Low Self-Esteem: An Experimental Study

Abstract

Grandiose states of mind could be an ineffective way to cope with low self-esteem. In fact, it is possible that grandiose fantasies would tend to induce doubts about personal worth and decrease self-esteem. This study explored whether grandiose fantasies help to cope with low self-esteem. The self-reported occurrence and unpleasantness of intrusive thoughts regarding the sense of exclusion, humiliation, and low self-esteem in non-clinical individuals were assessed during self-induced grandiose fantasies and self-induced relaxation. The occurrence and unpleasantness of low self-esteem intrusions were significantly higher during grandiose fantasies, suggesting that grandiose fantasy is ineffective at combating low self-esteem.

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Correspondence to Guido Veronese.

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Ruggiero, G.M., Veronese, G., Castiglioni, M. et al. Grandiose Fantasies and Low Self-Esteem: An Experimental Study. Psychol Stud 56, 368 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12646-011-0095-9

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Keywords

  • Grandiose fantasy
  • Intrusive thought
  • Narcissism
  • Self-esteem