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Can narcissists be empathic?

Hepper, E and Hart, CM (2013) Can narcissists be empathic? In: World Conference on Personality, 2013-03-19 - 2013-03-23, Stellenbosch, SA.

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Low empathy is assumed in theoretical models of narcissism. However, research has not examined which aspects of narcissism are linked to empathy or tested whether narcissists’ low empathy reflects inability or motivation. Study 1 (N=533) showed that the maladaptive facets of narcissism (i.e., entitlement, exploitativeness, exhibitionism) were negatively associated with dispositional cognitive and affective empathy. Study 2 (N=98) examined whether narcissists are capable of empathy. Female participants watched an empathy-inducing video clip under instructions to take the target’s perspective or no instructions. High (versus low) maladaptive-narcissists reported lower empathy for the target in the control condition, but this difference was no longer significant in the perspective-taking condition. Study 3 (N=39) examined whether narcissists’ lack of empathy is reflected at a physiological level. Physiological responses were recorded while participants listened to an empathy-inducing audio blog. High (versus low) maladaptive-narcissists showed lower heart rate during the blog controlling for baseline. Although narcissists lack empathy at both a self-reported and automatic level, there is promising evidence they are capable if forced to take another’s perspective.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Hepper, E
Hart, CM
Date : 2013
Uncontrolled Keywords : narcissism, empathy, personality, heart rate
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:28
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 17:00

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