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12 november 2015 15:00 - 16:00

‘Happy Winners’ or ‘Lonely Cowboys’? Are narcissists simply happier than the rest of us?

Keynotelezing | Brabantzaal

David Bernstein

Narcissists develop strategies for obtaining resources for themselves, such as attention, admiration, money, sex, and power.  Their charm, self-confidence, and single-minded pursuit of their own self-interest can be a winning combination.  Are narcissists the winners in this world, the happy victors in a zero-sum game society, while the rest of us can only look on in envy and wonder?  Many theories of narcissism posit a darker story, one in which narcissism serves to overcompensate for inner feelings of shame and emptiness.  According to these theories, narcissists’ drive to make it to the top is fueled by despair that no amount of success can overcome.  In this keynote address, we will review theory and research about the alleged happiness of narcissists.  Research confirms narcissists’ tendency to engage in game playing strategies (e.g., by pursuing multiple sexual partners) to enhance their self-esteem, and use of aggression when their social status is threatened.  On the other hand, research also suggests that narcissism consists of two dimensions, Grandiosity and Vulnerability, suggesting that narcissists’ pursuit of ego-resources serves a self-regulatory function.  Do narcissists pursue pleasure for its own sake, or are their ego needs masking an inner pain?  In this keynote address, we will seek some answers.

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