Communal narcissism

Jochen E. Gebauer, Constantine Sedikides, Bas Verplanken, Gregory R. Maio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

238 Citations (SciVal)


An agency-communion model of narcissism distinguishes between agentic narcissists (individuals satisfying self-motives of grandiosity, esteem, entitlement, and power in agentic domains) and communal narcissists (individuals satisfying the same self-motives in communal domains). Five studies supported the model. In Study 1, participants listed their grandiose self-thoughts. Two distinct types emerged: agentic (“I am the most intelligent person”) and communal (“I am the most helpful person”). In Study 2, we relied on the listed communal grandiose self-thoughts to construct the Communal Narcissism Inventory. It was psychometrically sound, stable over time, and largely independent of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory—the standard measure of agentic narcissism. In Studies 3 and 4, agentic and communal narcissists shared the same self-motives, while crucially differing in their means for need satisfaction: Agentic narcissists capitalized on agentic means, communal narcissists on communal means. Study 5 revisited the puzzle of low self– other agreement regarding communal traits and behaviors. Attesting to the broader significance of our model, this low self– other agreement was partly due to communal narcissists: They saw themselves as high, but were seen by others as low, in communion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)854-878
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number5
Early online date13 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • narcissism
  • communion
  • agency
  • communal narcissism inventory
  • self


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