Narcissism and perspective taking: The mediating effect of need for control

Eunsoon Lee1, Hyoung-Kil Kang2
1Department of Media Communication, Pusan National University, Republic of Korea
2Department of Physical Education, Kyungnam University, Republic of Korea
Cite this article:  Lee, E., & Kang, H.-K. (2020). Narcissism and perspective taking: The mediating effect of need for control. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 48(7), e9333.

Volume 48 Issue 7 | e9333 | Published: July 2020 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.9333

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We investigated the mediating role of need for control in the relationship between narcissism and perspective taking. A sample of 178 college students completed measures of narcissism, empathy (including empathic concern and perspective taking), need for control, and self-esteem. Results show that narcissism had a direct negative effect on perspective taking. Need for control partially mediated the relationship between narcissism and perspective taking when controlling for self-esteem. That is, participants with higher scores for narcissistic personality tended to be less motivated to take others’ perspectives. This tendency was strengthened because narcissists are more driven by power. The findings show that identification of narcissists’ need for control and application of therapy or a program to improve their perspective-taking motivation and empathetic communication, will improve their psychological functioning and social behavior.

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