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The current study examines the relationship between narcissism and aggression. The link between narcissistic personalities and heightened aggressive response to ego threat has been substantiated in the literature (Twenge & Campbell, 2003), but it is unclear whether this response is driven by a self-repairing mechanism to restore damaged self-esteem or by an ego-promoting mechanism to vent frustration at not being admired. These mechanisms were tested by giving narcissists either mistaken public ego threats or negative feedback. Results replicate the link between narcissism and aggression but do not point to one mechanism over the other; additional data, however, provide information about other aspects of the aggressive response, suggesting it is more sadistic than simply a reaction to being threatened.

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