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Men More Narcissistic Than Women: Study

Mar 04, 2015 02:13 PM EST
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Jon Hamm

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Ladies, if you see your man primping in the mirror, chances are you're thinking that he's more into himself than you. Well, surprise, surprise, your suspicions have been confirmed by a new study that shows men tend to be more narcissistic than women.

"Narcissism is associated with various interpersonal dysfunctions, including an inability to maintain healthy long-term relationships, unethical behavior and aggression," lead author Emily Grijalva, from the University of Buffalo, said in a news release.

"At the same time, narcissism is shown to boost self-esteem, emotional stability and the tendency to emerge as a leader," Grijalva added. "By examining gender differences in narcissism, we may be able to explain gender disparities in these important outcomes."

Researchers compiled psychological and personality test data from 31 years of narcissism research, examining more than 475,000 participants. They found that men consistently scored higher in narcissism than their female counterparts, regardless of age.

The researchers examined more than 355 journal articles, dissertations, manuscripts and technical manuals, and divided the information into three types of narcissism: extreme self-love as it relates to extreme self-interest as it relates to leadership and authority, grandiosity and exhibitionism, and entitlement.

It turns out the largest gender gap is in the entitlement category, suggesting that men are more likely to exploit others and feel entitled to certain privileges. This goes along with the popular notion that all men are assertive and desire power. However, both genders are equally likely to display vanity or self-absorption.

Although, researchers point out that these differences in attitude and personality don't necessarily mean that just because you're a man means you're going to be egotistical. It's likely that gender stereotypes and societal expectations that have been engrained in our brains can explain these gender differences.

"Individuals tend to observe and learn gender roles from a young age, and may face backlash for deviating from society's expectations," Grijalva explained. "In particular, women often receive harsh criticism for being aggressive or authoritative, which creates pressure for women, more so than for men, to suppress displays of narcissistic behavior."

 The results were published in the journal Psychological Bulletin.

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