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Although college students have been overrepresented in the participant samples of grandiose narcissism research, the accumulated evidence offers surprisingly few details about how narcissistic students approach their academic responsibilities. Our study asked college students (most of whom were first-years) for their general academic attitudes and to report how they would respond to various specific academic scenarios. Participant narcissism was measured with the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. We found that relatively narcissistic students were more likely to view their academic skill set as fully developed, and they were more comfortable relying on their gut instinct. Narcissistic students were also more confident within a classroom of peers, more comfortable asking questions in class, and more willing to engage with professors and visit office hours. They also reported willingness to skip class, ask for extensions, blame professors for poor grades, and strategically compliment professors. Overall, our interpretation is that the characteristics of narcissistic students are probably well-aligned with the realities of the academic reward structure to the extent that their corner-cutting facilitates maintaining good grades without high effort.


Distinction of Excellence Maverick Award for Synthesis of Research Strategies and Survey Development

Course: Supervised and Advanced Research: Psychology