Better than my loved ones: Social comparison tendencies among narcissists

Z. Krizan, B.J. Bushman

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Narcissists pursue superiority and status at frequent costs to their relationships, and social comparisons seem central to these pursuits. Critically, these comparison tendencies should distinguish narcissism from healthy self-esteem. We tested this hypothesis in a study examining individual differences in everyday comparison activity. Narcissists, relative to those with high self-esteem, (1) made more frequent social comparisons, particularly downward ones, (2) were more likely to think they were better-off than other important individuals in their lives, and (3) perceived themselves superior to these important individuals on agentic traits. However, narcissists' positive emotional reactions to these self-flattering comparisons were based on their high self-esteem. These results suggest that comparison processes play an important role in narcissists' endless pursuit of status and admiration. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-216
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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