What is Collective Narcissism?
Collective narcissism is defined as an emotional investment in a belief in the unparalleled greatness of an in-group contingent on external validation.
It is a group level, equivalent of individual narcissism. It focus on grandiosity and entitlement of an in-group rather than the self. People can be collective narcissistic about any group they belong to. We researched collective in context of national ethnic, religious, football fans and gender groups. As well as mundane social groups such as university peers.
Correlates on individual level
An individual that scores high on Collective Narcissism tends to perceive a larger number of threats and stereotypes of another groups. Its own personal insecurities combine with also more aggressive behaviour display and derogatory towards other groups, looking for more validation from peers. The behaviour towards other groups tends to be cautious and easily sways to aggressiveness if the group is criticized.
Collective Narcissism is related to other forms of group identification and in-group attachment:
Collective narcissism correlates personality predictors of prejudice: right-wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation.
Collective Narcissism is not directly related to personal self-esteem. It is related to low personal control. It’s correlation with grandiose narcissism ranges from -0.008 to 0.29. It is systematically correlated with vulnerable narcissism.
Correlates on inter-group attitudes level
Collective narcissism is related to hypersensitivity to inter-group threat. It is related to retaliatory inter-group hostility. Related to prejudice towards social groups regarded as threatening. Due to it’s hypersensitivity to inter-group threat and a tendency to perceived insult, many groups can fall into this category
This exaggerated sensibility towards other groups can be explained by the narcissistic nature that the group makes of itself and its members, much like the self the self-worth of individual narcissists is contingent on the constant admiration of others, meaning that the in-group needs constant approval and admiration from other as well.