Narcissism and Task Persistence
Two studies investigated narcissists' persistence in attempting impossible tasks framed as intelligence tests. Narcissism predicted more task persistence when no alternative paths to self-enhancement were available (Study 1) and less persistence when alternative routes to self-enhancement were provided (Study 2). Overall, the results suggest that narcissists can maintain confidence and tolerate setbacks in pursuit of a goal, but may quickly withdraw from challenging tasks if given an easier path to success. Narcissists were more motivated than others to perform well, yet narcissism predicted more positive emotions following failure. Although narcissists have displayed substantial volatility in response to failure in past research, the present studies suggest that narcissists are also capable of resiliency.
Wallace, H. M., Ready, C. B., & Weitenhagen, E. (2009). Narcissism and task persistence. Self and Identity, 8(1), 78-93. doi: 10.1080/15298860802194346
Self and Identity