Agentic Narcissists Believe They Are Skilled Liars, but Do Not Lie More in Romantic Relationships

Agentic Narcissists Believe They Are Skilled Liars, but Do Not Lie More in Romantic Relationships

New research suggests that individuals with agentic narcissism perceive themselves as adept liars, although they do not report lying more frequently to their romantic partners compared to the average person. On the other hand, communal narcissism does not appear to be linked to a propensity for deception. These findings shed light on the complex relationship between lying and narcissism.

Narcissism is a personality trait characterized by excessive self-centeredness, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. Agentic narcissism is focused on personal achievements, success, and dominance, often at the expense of others. Communal narcissism, on the other hand, involves individuals exaggerating their generosity and selflessness to seek admiration and recognition for their supposed altruistic behavior.

The study, conducted by researchers Nico Harhoff and his colleagues, aimed to investigate the relationship between proneness to lie and the two types of narcissism. They hypothesized that individuals high in agentic narcissism would be more likely to lie to their romantic partners. They also expected this association to be stronger among men.

The researchers conducted two studies involving 298 and 256 participants, respectively. The first study showed no significant connection between agentic narcissism and lying, while the second study revealed a minor association. However, both studies found no significant relationship between narcissism and lying tendencies overall.

Interestingly, individuals with high levels of agentic narcissism considered themselves marginally better liars than those with lower levels of narcissism. However, self-reported lying frequency did not differ between the two groups in actual romantic relationships.

While this study adds to our understanding of the links between lying and narcissism, it is important to note that the data was solely based on self-reports, which may be subject to bias. Future research utilizing more objective measures of lying and narcissism might yield different results.

In conclusion, individuals with agentic narcissism believe they are skilled liars, but this perception does not translate into higher self-reported frequencies of lying in romantic relationships. The study highlights the complex nature of narcissism and its relationship with deceptive behavior.

– Harhoff, N., Reinhardt, N., Reinhard, M-A., & Mayer, M. (2021). Agentic and communal narcissism in predicting different types of lies in romantic relationships. Frontiers in Psychology.

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