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The University of Southampton

Research project: Narcissism and Consumer Behaviour

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The aim of this research is investigate consumer behaviour of people with high level of subclinical narcissism.

Narcissism reflects a self-centred, self-aggrandizing, dominant, and manipulative orientation. People scoring high on this trait measures are characterised by exhibitionism and vanity, and they see themselves as superior and entitled. To validate their grandiose self-image, narcissists purchase high-prestige products (i.e., luxurious, exclusive, flashy, branded), show greater interest in the symbolic than utilitarian value of products, and distinguish themselves positively from others via their materialistic possessions.

Using cutting edge methods (including eye-tracking), we explore how consumer choices of narcissists are influences by self-related motives and how they process information whilst making their purchase decisions.

Related research groups

Centre for Research on Self and Identity (CRSI)
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