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An Investigation of Narcissism and Self-Regulation as Predictors of Aggression

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Title: An Investigation of Narcissism and Self-Regulation as Predictors of Aggression
Author: Foti, Giovanni
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Hennig, Karl
Abstract: The current study evaluated individual differences in factors that both facilitate (narcissism) and inhibit (self-regulation) the expression of aggression upon provocation. The overarching goal of the study was to examine the integration of two models of aggression: the threatened egotism model and the self-regulation model. An undergraduate sample of participants (N=323) were assigned to receive either positive or negative (provocative) feedback from a fictitious opponent. After receipt of the feedback a competitive reaction time task, in which the participant was allowed to subject the ostensible opponent to sound lasts of white noise, was employed as a behavioural measure of aggression. Consistent with previous research, negative feedback elicited aggression compared to positive feedback, especially among narcissistic males compared to females. Self-regulation was assessed using a battery of executive functioning measures. Results indicated that males with higher perseveration were more aggressive in the negative feedback condition. When the influence of narcissism and self-regulation were assessed simultaneously, a moderating model (i.e., narcissism X self-regulation) was not supported but there was evidence in support of an additive model for males only. Self-regulation predicted a unique portion of variance in aggression (7%) over an above the variance accounted for by narcissism (16%) for males who received negative feedback. These results are discussed in terms of a risk factor model for aggression.
Date: 2012-01
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