Trumping shame by blasts of Noise: Narcissism, Self-Esteem, Shame, and Aggression in Young Adolescents

S. Thomaes, B.J. Bushman, G.T.M. Stegge, T. Olthof

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Abstract

This experiment tested how self-views influence shame-induced aggression. One hundred and sixty-three young adolescents (M = 12.2 years) completed measures of narcissism and self-esteem. They lost to an ostensible opponent on a competitive task. In the shame condition, they were told that their opponent was bad, and they saw their own name at the bottom of a ranking list. In the control condition, they were told nothing about their opponent and did not see a ranking list. Next, participants could blast their opponent with noise (aggression measure). As expected, narcissistic children were more aggressive than others, but only after they had been shamed. Low self-esteem did not lead to aggression. In fact, narcissism in combination with high self-esteem led to exceptionally high aggression. © 2008, Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1792-1801
Number of pages10
JournalChild Development
Volume79
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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