Blowhards, Snobs, and Narcissists

Interpersonal Reactions to Excessive Egotism
  • Mark R. Leary
  • Richard Bednarski
  • Dudley Hammon
  • Timothy Duncan
Part of the The Springer Series in Social/Clinical Psychology book series (SSSC)


Few interactions are as annoying, exasperating, and unpleasant as those with people whom we perceive are behaving egotistically. The words commonly used to describe egotistical individuals are extremely disparaging; we call them arrogant, haughty, big-headed, vain, conceited, stuck-up, or pretentious, and brand them blowhards, show-offs, snobs, narcissists, pompous asses, or worse. Of the 300 adjectives on the Adjective Check List, those that connote egotism—arrogant, boastful, conceited, egotistical, snobbish, and the like—rank among those rated most unfavorably (Gough & Heilbrun, 1983). Simply put, we don’t like egotistical people. Our interest in this chapter is on the interpersonal aspects of egotism—why egotistical behavior evokes such strong negative reactions in other people, the consequences of egotism for both the egotistic individual and others who are present, and why, given the negative reactions of others, people often act egotistically.


Causal Attribution Borderline Personality Disorder Positive Illusion Journal ofPersonality Narcissistic Personality Inventory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark R. Leary
    • 1
  • Richard Bednarski
    • 1
  • Dudley Hammon
    • 1
  • Timothy Duncan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA

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