Brief report: Physician narcissism, ego threats, and confidence in the face of uncertainty

G. Caleb Alexander, Jennifer Humensky, Cesar Guerrero, Hannah Park, George Loewenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although adequate self-esteem is essential for psychological health, people with high but fragile self-esteem have been shown to exhibit defensive, often aggressive behavior when their self-esteem is threatened. We measured physician narcissism (as a proxy for high but fragile self-esteem) and used a subtle manipulation to examine how physicians who varied in levels of narcissism responded to an ego threat. We found that physicians high in narcissism, as compared with those lower in narcissism, were more likely to respond to ego threat by attempting to bolster their self-image. Concerned about self-image, physicians in this situation may be insufficiently receptive to new information and instead attempt to justify initial opinions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-955
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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