Narcissists as "victims": The role of narcissism in the perception of transgressions

Michael E. McCullough, Robert A. Emmons, Shelley Dean Kilpatrick, Courtney N. Mooney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Narcissism is a set of traits that are motivated by the desire to establish and maintain a grandiose self-image. Consistent with this conceptualization, the authors hypothesized that narcissistic people perceive themselves to be the victims of other people's inter-personal transgressions more frequently than do less narcissistic people. In a 14-day diary study, the authors found that narcissism (particularly in its exploitiveness/entitlement dimension) was associated positively with the number and frequency of transgressions that respondents reported. The narcissism-victimization relationship appears to result, at least in part, from biased recall or self-presentation. The exploitiveness/entitlement dimension of narcissism may be particularly useful for explaining why narcissistic people report higher rates of interpersonal transgressions in their daily lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-893
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003


  • Narcissism
  • Personality
  • The self
  • Transgressions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology


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