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Narcissistic status pursuit in everyday social life: A within-person process approach to the behavioral and emotional dynamics of narcissism.

Status pursuit has been emphasized as a key motivational factor underlying narcissism, but research has just begun to unravel the processes by which more narcissistic individuals pursue status in their everyday social interactions. In this article, we combine process models of narcissistic status pursuit with three-factor models of narcissism to test whether different aspects of narcissism (i.e., agentic, antagonistic, and neurotic narcissism) can be characterized by stronger reactivity to different kinds of status perceptions (i.e., the perceived assignment of status, attack on status, and neglect of status). Using data from two experience sampling studies, one involving college students ( N participants = 285; N observations = 18,036) and one in the general population ( N participants = 1,177; N observations = 36,074), we first found that the perceived assignment of status, attack on status, and neglect of status were related to status-relevant behaviors (i.e., expressive, combative, and avoidant behaviors) and emotions (e.g., pride, anger, and shame) within persons on average. Next, we found that both mean levels of perceptual, behavioral, and emotional states and status contingencies (i.e., the within-person relationships of status perceptions with behavioral and emotional states) varied considerably across individuals and that these individual differences were reliable and stable across time. Last, we found some associations between trait levels of agentic, antagonistic, and neurotic narcissism and individual differences in mean levels as well as status-emotion contingencies. Our findings emphasize the multifaceted and status-driven nature of narcissism and support the use of theoretically derived contingencies as more dynamic aspects of personality. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

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