Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Narcissism

  • Mitja D. BackEmail author
  • Carolyn C. Morf
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_704-1

Definition

Narcissism is a multifaceted personality trait encompassing individual differences in feelings of grandiosity and entitlement and in strivings for attention and superiority. It is distinguished from Narcissistic Personality Disorder which refers to extreme manifestations of the personality trait marked by significant distress and impairments in personality and interpersonal functioning.

Introduction

Ovid’s Metamorphoses include the story of Narcissus and Echo, where narcissus, a young, handsome man rejected those who desired him (including the nymph Echo) and fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water, ultimately, dying in despair as he cannot consummate this love. Inspired by Ovid’s story, psychologist Havelock Ellis was the first to refer to a narcissus-like mental disorder that is characterized by pathological self-absorption. Sigmund Freud (1914/1990) who subsequently popularized the concept of narcissism saw it as a regular developmental stage in childhood...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.University of BernBernSwitzerland

Section editors and affiliations

  • John F. Rauthmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA