Decision-making among the narcissistic subtypes: If I can’t benefit, then who should?

  • Stephanie D. FreisEmail author
  • Whitney M. Allen


This research investigates how individuals high in grandiose or vulnerable narcissism make decisions and what motivates them. This study asked 98 (67 female, ages 18-34) participants to decide how to distribute $200 amongst a fictitious set of group members, two of which exemplified vulnerable or grandiose narcissistic traits. The participants completed questionnaires measuring their levels of grandiose narcissism, vulnerable narcissism, and how much they liked and identified with each fictitious group member. Individuals high in grandiose or vulnerable narcissism did not identify with any group member; however, individuals high in grandiose narcissism liked and decided to distribute more money to the group member with grandiose narcissistic traits. In addition, individuals high in grandiose or vulnerable narcissism strongly disliked and distributed less money to the group member with vulnerable narcissistic traits. Implications for the similarity-liking principle and narcissists’ decision-making processes are discussed.


Decision-making Grandiose narcissism Vulnerable narcissism Motivation 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Presbyterian CollegeClintonUSA
  2. 2.The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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