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Because vulnerable narcissism is positively related to contingent self-esteem and negatively to self-esteem, while admiration is negatively related to contingent self-esteem and positively to self-esteem, one could hypothesize that vulnerable narcissism is more present among individuals whose self-esteem is fragile, while admiration is more present in individuals whose self-esteem is optimal.

The current paper aims to investigate the narcissism spectrum, in the context of personality, self-esteem, and its nomological network. As suggested by the NSM Krizan and Herlache, , our general expectation assumes that self-importance rivalry is salient in both the grandiose and vulnerable dimensions of narcissism.

The second and third hypotheses were tested using linear regression models in order to control for the shared variance in which personality traits and metatraits predicted narcissism. The fourth hypothesis was tested using latent class regressions in which different faces of narcissism were tested as predictors of latent class membership. The last hypothesis was tested using linear regression models in which different faces of narcissism were tested as predictors of shyness, loneliness, and empathy. Descriptive statistics, correlations, regression models, and exploratory factor analyses were carried out in SPSS v.

The study was conducted using an on-line survey. Respondents were administered a set of self-report questionnaires in Polish, and only those individuals who completed the whole set were included in the sample; thus, there were no missing observations in the sample. Most of the participants lived in large cities Only a few of the participants had not completed secondary education 9. All subjects gave written informed consent in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

In assessment of grandiose narcissism, we used the Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry Questionnaire Back et al. It comprises 18 items on which respondents answer using six-point Likert-type scales. In assessment of vulnerable narcissism, we used the HSNS Hendin and Cheek, , which comprises 10 items on which respondents answer using five-point Likert-type scales.

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The scale is comprised of 15 items on which respondents answer using five-point Likert-type scales. Although this inventory is designed to measure basic personality traits, it is also possible to reason about personality metatraits, which could be identified by examining the common variance of respective basic traits.

Respondents answer 10 items using four-point Likert-type scales. Respondents answer 15 items using five-point Likert-type scales. Respondents answered all measures on five-point Likert-type scales. Thus, our first hypothesis was confirmed. To test the hypothesis on the relations between different faces of narcissism and basic personality traits, we employed linear regression models, the results of which are presented in Table 1. Thus, the theoretical predictions regarding the pattern of relationship of the different faces of narcissism to basic personality traits, with the exception of the assumed relation between vulnerable narcissism and low agreeableness, were confirmed.

Before assessment of the relationship between admiration, rivalry and vulnerable narcissism and personality metatraits, we conducted a parallel analysis Horn, on five basic personality traits to assess whether personality metatraits could be meaningfully distinguished, the results of which are presented in Figure 3.

Comparison of actual and simulated eigenvalues from parallel analysis. The results suggested extraction of two factors, because the eigenvalue in the actual data started to be lower in the third comparison, which reflects the theoretically predicted structure of the Plasticity and Stability metatraits in the current data. Thus, the metatraits were extracted as a first unrotated factor in an exploratory factors analysis with principal axis factoring on corresponding personality traits [i.

The hypothesized relations between narcissism and personality metatraits were tested in three linear regression models, the standardized estimates of which are projected on a coordinate system Figure 4 , where Plasticity is the Y-axis and Stability is the X-axis. Coordinate system of personality metatraits in their relations to admiration, rivalry and vulnerable narcissism. The first value in brackets corresponds to the X-axis and the second to the Y-axis. The direction of this prediction was positive for admiration and negative for vulnerable narcissism.

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Stability turned out to be a significant predictor of all faces of narcissism—only admiration was positively predicted, while vulnerable narcissism and rivalry were negatively predicted by Stability. Thus, the obtained results support the third hypothesis. To test whether the different faces of narcissism are able to predict different types of self-esteem, a Latent Profiles Regression LPR was run.

Contrary to the previous analyses which were variable-oriented, the LPR represents the person-oriented approach. The goal of the LPR is to test whether persons group into specific clusters with similar variable profiles and to assess if external variables are able to predict class membership.

In our example, we tested whether is it possible to distinguish groups of persons with different types of self-esteem and whether different faces of narcissism predict class membership. The results of the tested latent class models differing in the number of classes are presented in Table 2. The Bayesian Information Criterion assumed lowest value for the model with five classes suggesting its best fit to the data. However, the smallest class comprised only five persons, which makes its results difficult to interpret. Because the difference in the goodness of fit between the model with five and four classes was negligible, we maintained the latter.

The mean scores in self-esteem of the model with four classes are depicted on the Figure 5. Latent profiles of individuals with different types of self-esteem.

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The profiles of the majority of individuals representing two moderate classes are neither fragile nor optimal self-esteem. The distinction between the two moderate classes regarded only the difference in self-esteem, which was higher in the first moderate class. As expected—we also distinguished two profiles, which represented individuals with self-esteem described as fragile combination of low self-esteem and high contingent self-esteem and optimal combination of high self-esteem and low contingent self-esteem. Next, we compared whether the different faces of narcissism predict membership to given class.

As the LPR requires specification of one of the classes as the reference group to which results are compared, we selected the first moderate class, because it was the most numerous across the distinguished classes.

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Results of the LPR presented in the Table 3 revealed that in comparison to the moderate class with high self-esteem, all of the narcissism faces were significant predictors of class membership; however, to different extents and in different directions. Admiration was a strong negative predictor of being in a group with fragile self-esteem, negative predictor of membership in a class with moderately low self-esteem and a positive predictor of belonging to the class with optimal self-esteem.

A person who scores high on rivalry is also more likely to belong to the class with fragile self-esteem and to have lower self-esteem. Interestingly, rivalry was not a significant predictor of membership in the class of individuals with optimal self-esteem.

Finally, vulnerable narcissism demonstrated roughly the opposite pattern of predictions as admiration. Thus, if someone scored high on vulnerable narcissism, it was also highly probable that he or she would have fragile self-esteem; moderate scores predict belonging to the moderate class, although with an associated lower level of self-esteem. Having a low score on vulnerable narcissism is a significant predictor of having optimal self-esteem, as well.

All in all, the formulated hypotheses regarding the predominance of different faces of narcissism in individuals with different types of self-esteem were confirmed. To test the last hypothesis regarding the nomological network of the different faces of narcissism, we investigated their associations with shyness, loneliness, and empathy. The standardized estimates obtained from linear regression models are presented in Table 4. TABLE 4. Different faces of narcissism predicting shyness, loneliness, and empathy. In general, narcissism explained the most variance in shyness and loneliness, respectively, and only a modest amount of variance in empathy.

In regard to shyness and loneliness, admiration and vulnerable narcissism were contradictory predictors, i. Rivalry turned out to be the strongest negative predictor of emotional contagion and cognitive empathy, and strongest positive predictor of emotional disconnection. Admiration predicted only cognitive empathy, while vulnerable narcissism predicted only emotional contagion.

Summarizing, the relations of the different faces of narcissism assumed the theoretically predicted pattern, and thus, the last of the hypotheses was also confirmed. The current study aimed to test the dimensions distinguished within the NSM Krizan and Herlache, in an empirical setting in regard to their relations with other personality traits, self-esteem, and the nomological network of shyness, loneliness, and empathy.

Because other empirical studies pointed out that vulnerability and grandiosity are orthogonal dimensions e.

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As an initial check, we directly tested if this assumed relation exists, as partially suggested by previous studies e. This hypothesis was confirmed early in the study: whereas vulnerable narcissism and admiration were negatively related to each other, they both were positively related to narcissistic rivalry. Thus, it may be claimed that the self-importance dimension of the NSM indeed may be suggested to be the core of narcissism, as it links the orthogonal dimensions of vulnerability and grandiosity Krizan and Herlache, To better understand this observed relationship, we investigated how the different faces of narcissism are related to basic personality traits and personality metatraits.

The relationships of both types of narcissism to basic personality traits were mostly replications of the results from previous studies e. Whereas our results are in line with the work of Miller et al. In the current study, we found that low extraversion was the important predictor of vulnerable narcissism, which also is reported within the literature e.

According to the NSM Krizan and Herlache, , it appears that our conclusions concerning vulnerable narcissism are only applicable to the marginal border of the vulnerability dimension, which is negatively related to the grandiosity dimension, whereas Miller et al.

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Previous studies have found that admiration was primarily associated with high Plasticity and rivalry with low Stability Rogoza et al. These relationships were also found in the current study. The current study was the first to examine the associations between vulnerable narcissism and personality metatraits. The results suggest that vulnerable narcissism is related to low Plasticity and low Stability, which seems to support the hypothesis that the dimensions of the NSM and the metatraits of personality empirically overlap, i. Krizan and Herlache argued that the vulnerable and grandiose dimensions are also associated with differences in temperament, i.

Plasticity is strongly associated with temperament among narcissists; when Plasticity is low, temperament is most likely to be avoiding and when Plasticity is high, the temperament is most likely to be approaching Strus and Cieciuch, The current results support these conclusions as low Stability turned out to be the common core of narcissism, whereas the Plasticity differentiated vulnerability from grandiosity. Thus, it may be concluded that it is possible to interpret narcissism within the broader framework of the Two Factor Model of personality Cieciuch and Strus, In the current study, we not only focused on explaining the relationships between variables, but also assessed how the participants differed among themselves.

For this purpose, we investigated how the different faces of narcissism predict falling into different categories of self-esteem. Four classes were differentiated: the least numerous classes comprised individuals whose self-esteem is either fragile or optimal, whereas individuals whose self-esteem was neither fragile nor optimal made up the majority of the studied sample albeit it was divided in two subgroups with high and low self-esteem.

The different faces of narcissism were used as predictors of membership in each class. Admiration is described as the bright face of narcissism Back et al. Admiration thus seems to be the functional strategy of narcissism, allowing for adaptation designed to deal with the costs produced by the dark face of narcissism—rivalry Back et al. The dark side of narcissism did not vary strongly across the distinguished classes, although it was slightly elevated in the classes with lower self-esteem.

These results corroborate the findings of Wetzel et al. Finally, individuals with fragile self-esteem, which is most strongly associated with depression-proneness and anxiety Kernis, , were most likely to also score high in vulnerable narcissism. As this face of narcissism is also associated with negative affect, psychopathology e.

The nomological network of the different faces of narcissism with regard to shyness, loneliness, and empathy was also assessed. Results obtained in the current study mostly replicate existing results e.