Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Psychology: Clinical

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Amani El-Alayll

Second Advisor

Russell Kolts

Third Advisor

Karen Carlberg

Abstract

"The self-serving attributional bias in collaborative group efforts is the tendency for individuals to take more personal responsibility for the group's success and less personal responsibility for the group's failure. Much previous research has linked narcissism with self-serving behavior. Narcissism can be broken down into the grandiose subtype, characterized by superiority and entitlement, and the vulnerable subtype, characterized by low self-esteem and preoccupation with others' opinions. The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether grandiose and vulnerable narcissists engage in self- serving behavior differently in various situations. College students completed a team activity, which involved completing cognitive tasks on private computers, and received randomly generated feedback of team success or failure. Participants then took a short questionnaire with the supposed opportunity to make either public or private attributions regarding how much they contributed to the group's outcome. I predicted that grandiose narcissists would be more self-serving when making public attributions about a success, while vulnerable narcissists would be more self-serving when making private attributions about a failure. Overall, the results showed some evidence of greater narcissism being associated with more self-bias in the public-success condition, but this pattern was driven more by the vulnerable than the grandiose form of narcissism. These results have important implications for any individual who must work with a narcissist in a team activity; for example, in a work environment. The complexities regarding distinctions between the different forms of narcissism are discussed"--Document.

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