Does self-love lead to love for others? A story of narcissistic game playing

W. Keith Campbell*, Craig A. Foster, Eli J. Finkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Five studies investigated the links among narcissism, self-esteem, and love. Across all studies, narcissism was associated primarily with a game-playing love style. This link was found in reports of general love styles (Study 1a) and of love in ongoing romantic relationships (Studies 1b-3, 5). Narcissists' game-playing love style was the result of a need for power and autonomy (Study 2) and was linked with greater relationship alternatives and lesser commitment (Study 3). Finally, narcissists' self-reports of game playing were confirmed by their partners in past and current relationships (Studies 4, 5). In contrast, self-esteem was negatively linked to manic love and positively linked to passionate love across studies. Implications for the understanding of narcissism in relationships are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-354
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


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