Communal Narcissism: Theoretical and Empirical Support

  • Jochen E. GebauerEmail author
  • Constantine Sedikides


Grandiose narcissists’ global self-evaluations are characterized by exceptional self-importance, entitlement, and social power. But what are the specific content domains in which grandiose narcissists evaluate themselves so highly that they can subjectively justify their narcissistic self-evaluations at the global level? The classic view is that grandiose narcissists base their global self-evaluations on excessive self-enhancement in the agentic domain (e.g., extremely inflated self-views concerning intelligence, creativity, and scholastic aptitude), but not on excessive self-enhancement in the communal domain (e.g., no extremely inflated self-views concerning morality, prosociality, and interpersonal aptitude). We maintain that this classic view only captures one form of grandiose narcissism—agentic narcissism—at the expense of a complementary form: communal narcissism. Like agentic (i.e., classic) narcissists, communal narcissists hold global self-evaluations of exceptional self-importance, entitlement, and social power. Unlike agentic narcissists, however, communal narcissists base those global self-evaluations on excessive self-enhancement in the communal domain, not on excessive self-enhancement in the agentic domain. We review the theoretical and empirical support for communal narcissism’s existence. We conclude that communal narcissism is real and that a full understanding of grandiose narcissism necessitates attention to both classic/agentic and communal narcissism.


Communal narcissism Grandiose narcissism Self-concept content Agency Communion Agency-communion model of narcissism 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mannheim Centre for European Social ResearchUniversity of MannheimMannheimGermany
  2. 2.University of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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