Advertisement

Distinguishing Between Grandiose Narcissism, Vulnerable Narcissism, and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

  • Brandon Weiss
  • Joshua D. Miller
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter draws upon the empirical literature to delineate the distinguishing characteristics of grandiose and vulnerable narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). We find that these constructs can be well described using models of general personality such as the five-factor model (FFM) and, in particular, three primary traits including (low) agreeableness (or antagonism, entitlement, and self-involvement), agentic extraversion (or boldness, behavioral approach orientation), and neuroticism (or reactivity, behavioral avoidance orientation). Our review led to three primary conclusions. First, the FFM trait correlates of NPD and grandiose narcissism overlap quite substantially. Second, the two differ to some degree with regard to the role of extraversion, with stronger relations found for grandiose narcissism than NPD. Third, extant data suggest that vulnerable narcissism represents a construct that is largely divergent from NPD and grandiose narcissism, composed of the tendency to experience a wide array of negative emotions such as depression, self-consciousness, stress, anxiety, and urgency. Nevertheless, vulnerable narcissism shares a common core of interpersonal antagonism, though the traits associated with grandiose and vulnerable narcissism are not identical. Finally, our chapter concludes with recommendations for aligning the alternative model of personality disorders (PDs) in Section III of DSM-5 with the substantial and long-standing empirical research literature that documents the improved validity of dimensional, trait-based models of PDs.

Keywords

Grandiose narcissism Vulnerable narcissism Personality Five-factor model NPD NPD impairment FFNI Five-factor narcissism inventory 

References

  1. Ackerman, R. A., Hands, A. J., Donnellan, M. B., Hopwood, C. J., & Witt, E. A. (2016). Experts’ views regarding the conceptualization of narcissism. Journal of Personality Disorders, 31, 1–16.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
  3. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text revision). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
  4. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bastiaansen, L., Hopwood, C. J., Van den Broeck, J., Rossi, G., Schotte, C., & De Fruyt, F. (2016). The twofold diagnosis of personality disorder: How do personality dysfunction and pathological traits increment each other at successive levels of the trait hierarchy? Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 7, 280–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cain, N. M., Pincus, A. L., & Ansell, E. B. (2008). Narcissism at the crossroads: Phenotypic description of pathological narcissism across clinical theory, social/personality psychology, and psychiatric diagnosis. Clinical Psychology Review, 28, 638–656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Campbell, W. K., & Miller, J. D. (2013). Narcissistic personality disorder and the five-factor model: Delineating narcissistic personality disorder, grandiose narcissism, and vulnerable narcissism. In T. A. Widiger, P. J. Costa, T. A. Widiger, P. J. Costa (Eds.), Personality disorders and the five-factor model of personality (pp. 133–145). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association. Google Scholar
  8. Church, A. T. (1994). Relating the Tellegen and five-factor models of personality structure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 898–909.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Costa, P. T., & McCrea, R. R. (1992). Revised NEO personality inventory (NEO PI-R) and NEO five-factor inventory (NEO-FFI professional manual). Lutz, FL: PAR.Google Scholar
  10. Dickinson, K. A., & Pincus, A. L. (2003). Interpersonal analysis of grandiose and vulnerable narcissism. Journal of Personality Disorders, 17, 188–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Few, L. R., Miller, J. D., Rothbaum, A. O., Meller, S., Maples, J., Terry, D. P., et al. (2013). Examination of the section III DSM-5 diagnostic system for personality disorders in an outpatient clinical sample. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 122, 1057–1069.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Fossati, A., Beauchaine, T. P., Grazioli, F., Carretta, I., Cortinovis, F., & Maffei, C. (2005). A latent structure analysis of diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, narcissistic personality disorder criteria. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 46, 361–367.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. Giacomin, M., & Jordan, C. H. (2016). Self-focused and feeling fine: Assessing state narcissism and its relation to well-being. Journal of Research in Personality, 63, 12–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Glover, N., Miller, J. D., Lynam, D. R., Crego, C., & Widiger, T. A. (2012). The Five-Factor Narcissism Inventory: A five-factor measure of narcissistic personality traits. Journal of Personality Assessment, 94, 500–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gore, W. L., & Widiger, T. A. (2016). Fluctuation between grandiose and vulnerable narcissism. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 7, 363–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hyatt, C. S., Sleep, C. E., Lynam, D. R., Widiger, T. A., Campbell, W. K., Miller, J. D. (2017). Ratings of affective and interpersonal tendencies differ for grandiose and vulnerable narcissism: A replication and extension of Gore & Widiger. Journal of Personality. 86, 422–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. John, O. P., Donahue, E. M., & Kentle, R. L. (1991). The big five inventory—versions 4a and 54. Berkeley, CA: University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Personality and Social Research.Google Scholar
  18. Kernberg, O. F. (2009). Narcissistic personality disorders: Part 1. Psychiatric Annals, 39, 105–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Krizan, Z., & Herlache, A. D. (2018). The narcissism spectrum model: A synthetic view of narcissistic personality. Personality and Social Psychology Review. 22, 3–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lobbestael, J., Baumeister, R. F., Fiebig, T., & Eckel, L. A. (2014). The role of grandiose and vulnerable narcissism in self-reported and laboratory aggression and testosterone reactivity. Personality and Individual Differences, 69, 22–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lynam, D. R., & Widiger, T. A. (2001). Using the five-factor model to represent the DSM-IV personality disorders: An expert consensus approach. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110, 401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Miller, J. D., & Campbell, W. K. (2008). Comparing clinical and social-personality conceptualizations of narcissism. Journal of Personality, 76, 449–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Miller, J. D., Campbell, W. K., & Pilkonis, P. A. (2007). Narcissistic personality disorder: Relations with distress and functional impairment. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 48, 170–177.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. Miller, J. D., Dir, A., Gentile, B., Wilson, L., Pryor, L. R., & Campbell, W. K. (2010). Searching for a vulnerable dark triad: Comparing factor 2 psychopathy, vulnerable narcissism, and borderline personality disorder. Journal of Personality, 78, 1529–1564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Miller, J. D., Gentile, B., Wilson, L., & Campbell, W. K. (2013). Grandiose and vulnerable narcissism and the DSM–5 pathological personality trait model. Journal of Personality Assessment, 95, 284–290.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  26. Miller, J. D., Hoffman, B. J., Campbell, W. K., & Pilkonis, P. A. (2008). An examination of the factor structure of diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, narcissistic personality disorder criteria: One or two factors? Comprehensive Psychiatry, 49, 141–145.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Miller, J. D., Hoffman, B. J., Gaughan, E. T., Gentile, B., Maples, J., & Campbell, W. K. (2011). Grandiose and vulnerable narcissism: A nomological network analysis. Journal of Personality, 79, 1013–1042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Miller, J. D., Lynam, D. R., Hyatt, C. S., & Campbell, W. K. (2017). Controversies in narcissism. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 13, 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Miller, J. D., Lynam, D. R., McCain, J. L., Few, L. R., Crego, C., Widiger, T. A., et al. (2016). Thinking structurally about narcissism: An examination of the five-factor narcissism inventory and its components. Journal of Personality Disorders, 30, 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Miller, J. D., Lynam, D. R., Siedor, L., Crowe, M., Campbell, W. K. (2018). Consensual lay profiles of narcissism and their connection to the five-factor narcissism inventory. Psychological Assessment 30, 10–18.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. Miller, J. D., Lynam, D. R., Vize, C., Crowe, M., Sleep, C., Maples-Keller, J. L., et al. (2017). Vulnerable narcissism is (mostly) a disorder of neuroticism. Journal of Personality. 86, 186–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Miller, J. D., Lynam, D. R., Widiger, T. A., & Leukefeld, C. (2001). Personality disorders as extreme variants of common personality dimensions: Can the five factor model adequately represent psychopathy? Journal of Personality, 69, 253–276.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  33. Miller, J. D., & Maples, J. (2011). Trait personality models of narcissistic personality disorder, grandiose narcissism, and vulnerable narcissism. In W. K. Campbell & J. D. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder: Theoretical approaches, empirical findings, and treatments (pp. 71–88). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  34. Miller, J. D., McCain, J., Lynam, D. R., Few, L. R., Gentile, B., MacKillop, J., & Campbell, W. K. (2014). A comparison of the criterion validity of popular measures of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder via the use of expert ratings. Psychological Assessment, 26, 958–969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Miller, J. D., Reynolds, S. K., & Pilkonis, P. A. (2004). The validity of the five-factor model prototypes for personality disorders in two clinical samples. Psychological Assessment, 16, 310–322.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. Miller, J. D., Widiger, T. A., & Campbell, W. K. (2010b). Narcissistic personality disorder and the DSM-V. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119, 640.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  37. Muris, P., Merckelbach, H., Otgaar, H., & Meijer, E. (2017). The malevolent side of human nature: A meta-analysis and critical review of the literature on the dark triad (narcissism, machiavellianism, and psychopathy). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12, 183–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. O’Boyle, E. H., Forsyth, D. R., Banks, G. C., Story, P. A., & White, C. D. (2015). A meta-analytic test of redundancy and relative importance of the dark triad and five-factor model of personality. Journal of Personality, 83, 644–664.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. Paulhus, D. L. (2001). Normal narcissism: Two minimalist views. Psychological Inquiry, 12, 228–230.Google Scholar
  40. Pilkonis, P. A., Hallquist, M. N., Morse, J. Q., & Stepp, S. D. (2011). Striking the (im)proper balance between scientific advances and clinical utility: Commentary on the DSM–5 proposal for personality disorders. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 2, 68–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pincus, A. L., Ansell, E. B., Pimentel, C. A., Cain, N. M., Wright, A. G., & Levy, K. N. (2009). Initial construction and validation of the pathological narcissism inventory. Psychological Assessment, 21, 365–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pincus, A. L., & Roche, M. J. (2011). Narcissistic grandiosity and narcissistic vulnerability. In W. K. Campbell & J. D. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder: Theoretical approaches, empirical findings, and treatments (pp. 31–40). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  43. Ronningstam, E. (2009). Facing DSM-V. Psychiatric Annals, 39, 111–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Samuel, D. B., Lynam, D. R., Widiger, T. A., & Ball, S. A. (2012). An expert consensus approach to relating the proposed DSM-5 types and traits. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 3, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Samuel, D. B., & Widiger, T. A. (2004). Clinicians’ personality descriptions of prototypic personality disorders. Journal of Personality Disorders, 18, 286–308.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Samuel, D. B., & Widiger, T. A. (2008). A meta-analytic review of the relationships between the five-factor model and DSM-IV-TR personality disorders: A facet level analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 28, 1326–1342.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  47. Saulsman, L. M., & Page, A. C. (2004). The five-factor model and personality disorder empirical literature: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 23, 1055–1085.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  48. Sleep, C. E., Wygant, D. B., & Miller, J. D. (2017). Examining the incremental utility of DSM-5 section III traits and impairment in relation to traditional personality disorder scores in a female correctional sample. Journal of Personality Disorders 1–15.Google Scholar
  49. Thomas, K. M., Wright, A. G., Lukowitsky, M. R., Donnellan, M. B., & Hopwood, C. J. (2012). Evidence for the criterion validity and clinical utility of the pathological narcissism inventory. Assessment, 19, 135–145.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  50. Vize, C. E., Collison, K. L., Crowe, M. L., Campbell, W. K., Miller, J. D., Lynam, D. R. (2017). Using dominance analysis to decompose narcissism and its relation to aggression and externalizing outcomes. Assessment. 1–11.Google Scholar
  51. Widiger, T. A., Costa, P. J., & McCrae, R. R. (2002). A proposal for Axis II: Diagnosing personality disorders using the five-factor model. In P. J. Costa, T. A. Widiger, P. J. Costa, T. A. Widiger (Eds.), Personality disorders and the five-factor model of personality (pp. 431–456). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  52. Wink, P. (1991). Two faces of narcissism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 590–597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wright, A. G., & Simms, L. J. (2016). Stability and fluctuation of personality disorder features in daily life. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 125, 641–656.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  54. Wright, A. G. C., Stepp, S. D., Scott, L., Hallquist, M., Beeney, J. E., Lazarus, S. A., Pilkonis, P. A. (2017). The effect of pathological narcissism on interpersonal and affective processes in social interactions. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 126, 898–910.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brandon Weiss
    • 1
  • Joshua D. Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

Personalised recommendations