Saturday, June 20, 2020

Why grandiose narcissists care so much about intelligence?....hmm..sound like anyone we know?

Current Directions in Psychological Science - Volume 29, Number 3, Jun 01, 2020


Grandiose narcissists typically pursue agentic goals, such as social status, competence, and autonomy. We argue that because high intelligence is a key asset for the attainment of such agentic goals, the concept of intelligence should play a prominent role in grandiose narcissists' self-regulation and social behavior. We review the relevant literature and report evidence in support of this claim. Grandiose narcissists consider intelligence to be an important resource that leads to benefits across life domains, they tend to maintain and defend illusory positive intellectual self-views, and they are extremely motivated to appear intelligent to other people. Thus, even though grandiose narcissism is essentially unrelated to objectively assessed intelligence, intelligence nevertheless plays an important role in the way grandiose narcissists think, feel, and behave. We discuss potential implications for social relationships and point toward avenues for future research.

Keywords agency, grandiose narcissism, intelligence, narcissism


Maintaining feelings of competence, autonomy, and con-trol is an important goal for grandiose narcissists. Because intelligence is helpful for the attainment of these goals, it plays a significant role in the way narcissists' think, feel, and behave. Narcissists consider intelligence to be an important asset that leads to benefits in the social world. They are highly motivated to maintain a grandiose self-view with regard to intelligence, which enables them to feel good; they defend this self-view against criticism and want to appear smart to other peo-ple. We hope that by taking narcissists' preoccupation with the concept of intelligence into account, research-ers, practitioners, and laypersons might be able to better understand why narcissistic bosses, ex-lovers, or presi-dents behave the way they do..

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