Collective Narcissism and Its Social Consequences: The Bad and the Ugly

  • Collective narcissism is a belief that one’s own group (the in-group) is exceptional but not sufficiently recognized by others. It is the form of “in-group love” robustly associated with “out-group hate.” In contrast to private collective selfesteem (or in-group satisfaction, a belief that the in-group is of high value), it predicts prejudice, retaliatory intergroup aggression, and rejoicing in the suffering of other people. The pervasive association between collective narcissism and intergroup hostility is driven by a biased perception of the in-group as constantly threatened and out-groups as hostile and threatening. Collective narcissism is associated with hypersensitivity to provocation and the belief that only hostile revenge is a desirable and rewarding response. It arises when the traditional group-based hierarchies are challenged and empowers extremists as well as populist politicians. Instead of alleviating the sense of threat to one’s self-importance, it refuels it. The association between collective narcissism and intergroup hostility is weakened by experiences that fortify emotional resilience (e.g., positive identification with a community).

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Author:Agnieszka Golec de Zavala, Dorottya Lantos
Parent Title (English):Current Directions in Psychological Science, Association for Psychological Science, 2020, Vol. 29 (No. 3), pp. 273–278.
Document Type:Articles
Year of first Publication:2020
Release Date:2022/05/04
Format:PDF-scan upon request / PDF-Scan auf Anfrage
Writings about Erich Fromm (Secondary Literature):Articles / Artikel
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Articles / Artikel
Licence (German):
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