Self‐worth and politics: The distinctive roles of self‐esteem and narcissism

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Authors
Cichocka, Aleksandra
Marchlewska, Marta
Cisłak-Wójcik, Aleksandra
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Date
2024-04
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Journal title
Political Psychology
Issue
S1
Volume
45
Pages
Pages
43-85
ISSN
0162-895X
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Access date
2023-05-16
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Abstract EN
One of the classic questions in political psychology has been whether feelings of self-worth are relevant for politics. In this review, we summarize seven decades of research attempting to address this question, focusing on three sets of political outcomes: (1) political ideology, (2) political interest and engagement, and (3) intergroup relations. We rely on the distinction between self-esteem (feelings of adequacy and satisfaction with oneself) and narcissism (feelings of entitled self-importance and superiority over others). We argue that this distinction allows us to integrate the literature and explain the mixed effects observed in past research on self-evaluation and politics. Our review points to a key role of narcissistic status pursuit and psychological defensiveness in predicting potentially problematic political attitudes and behaviors. We discuss practical implications these associations might have for democratic functioning and for understanding political leaders. We conclude by identifying outstanding questions and promising new research directions.
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Keywords EN
self-esteem
narcissism
political ideology
intergroup attitudes
support for democracy
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cc-by
Except as otherwise noted, this item is licensed under the Attribution licence | Permitted use of copyrighted works
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Acquisition Date18.04.2024
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Acquisition Date18.04.2024
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