Does Narcissism Help People Climb the Ladder to Success?

According to the following article, signs point to – uh-oh – Yes.

Don’t tell the TV execs in your life. None of them.


Oh God, does this article mean that being like Les Moonves is - ulp - ok?
Oh God, does this article mean that being like Les Moonves is – ulp – ok?

In High Places, Some Narcissism May Be OK
By Rick Nauert Ph.D

New academic analysis suggests some narcissistic traits may be appropriate to nurture and develop — especially if you wish to become president of the United States.

Emory University psychologists discovered that grandiose narcissism in U.S. presidents is associated with ratings by historians of overall greatness of presidencies.

Grandiose narcissism is characterized by an extroverted, self-aggrandizing, domineering and flamboyant personality.

Presidents with narcissist traits also scored high on public persuasiveness, crisis management, risk-taking, winning the popular vote and initiating legislation.

However, some negative aspects of grandiose narcissism include presidential impeachment resolutions, cheating and bending rules.

The new study is published in the journal Psychological Science.

“Most people think of narcissism as predominantly maladaptive,” said Ashley Watts, study leader, “but our data support the theory that there are bright and dark sides to grandiose narcissism.”

Researchers found that Lyndon B. Johnson scored highest on markers of grandiose narcissism, followed by Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.

President Johnson was known both for getting tough legislation passed, and for being “a bit of a bully,” said Scott Lilienfeld, Ph.D., a so-investigator.

“It’s interesting to me that these are memorable presidents, ones that we tend to talk about and learn about in history classes,” Watts said.

“Only rarely, however, do we talk about most of those who had low ratings for grandiose narcissism, like Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore.”

The researchers also found that presidents exhibit elevated levels of grandiose narcissism compared with the general population, and that presidents’ grandiose narcissism appears to be rising over time.

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