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PsychologyOur news, events & seminars

Narcissistic leaders: a curse or a blessing? Seminar

12:30 - 13:30
21 April 2016
University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Building 44 (Shackleton), Room 3031/3033

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Sue McNally on 02380 595150 or email .

Event details

Contemporary Western society, with its emphasis on independence, self-confidence, extraversion and high self-esteem, has witnessed an increase in the prevalence of individuals having excessively positive and inflated self-views (i.e., narcissism). Furthermore, at both the societal and the small group level, such narcissistic tendencies seem to be well-appreciated ̶ highly narcissistic individuals tend to emerge more often as leaders. However, a complex picture emerges when considering whether narcissistic leaders have a positive or a negative influence on their followers, groups, organizations or society at large, particularly because narcissism itself has a mixture of both positive and negative characteristics. On the one hand they are self-absorbed, arrogant, oversensitive to criticism and exploitative yet on the other hand they are also perceived as charismatic, persuasive and entertaining. During this seminar I will discuss research that deals with the potential bright side as well as the dark side of narcissistic leaders.

Speaker information

Dr Barbara Nevicka, University of Amsterdam. My main research area is on narcissistic leadership and the contextual factors involved in determining narcissists' effectiveness and emergence as leaders. Despite their negative relational characteristics, such as lack of empathy and exploitativeness, there could be a potential positive side to narcissists in leadership positions. I conduct both experiments and field studies.Other research interests include the effects of narcissism on creativity and perspective taking, and reaction of narcissistic individuals to threats.

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