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Current Issues in Personality Psychology
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vol. 2

Original article
Agentic and communal narcissism and subjective well-being: are narcissistic individuals unhappy? A research report

Magdalena Żemojtel-Piotrowska, Amanda Clinton, Jarosław Piotrowski

Current Issues in Personality Psychology · volume 2(1), 2014
Online publish date: 2014/05/31
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The communal/agentic model of narcissism is well accepted in the current research literature (Gebauer, Sedikides, Verplanken & Maio, 2012). This model could be particularly useful in examining the relation between narcissism and hedonistic and eudaimonic subjective well-being (SWB; Deci & Ryan, 2008).

Participants and procedure

In an effort to examine the relationship between narcissism and SWB, correlational analyses of survey responses obtained from students (n = 138) were conducted. Agentic narcissism was measured using the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI; Raskin & Terry, 1988) and communal narcissism by the Communal Narcissism Inventory (CNI; Gebauer et al., 2012). Subjective well-being measures included the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS; Diener, Emmons, Larsen & Griffin, 1985), Positive And Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS; Watson, Clark & Tegellen, 1988), and the Social Well-being Scale (SWBS; Keyes, 1998). Self-esteem was included in the study in order to examine the potential mediating role of self-esteem in the relationship between narcissism and subjective well-being.


Agentic narcissism was positively related to the affective component of SWB whereas communal narcissism was positively related to the cognitive component of SWB. Both forms of narcissism were positively related to social well-being. All relationships were mediated by the participant’s self-esteem level.


The results indicate that both agentic narcissism and communal narcissism are positively related to SWB. The results are discussed in the context of the agentic/communal model of narcissism (Gebauer et al., 2012) and hedonistic/eudaimonic well-being (Deci & Ryan, 2008).

agentic/communal narcissism; subjective well-being; self- esteem

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