Previous research showed that collective narcissism is related to a hypersensitivity to not only real, but also merely perceived threat coming from other groups (for more information read our recent review paper here). This in turn predicts hostility towards members of the out-group. But where does this hypersensitivity stem from?
During our symposium "National collective narcissism and vengeful hostility towards minorities and ambivalence towards the European Union" at the International Society of Political Psychology’s Annual Meeting, I will be investigating this question. Specifically, I will present studies coming from our lab focusing on social exclusion as a source of collective narcissistic hypersensitivity. I will draw on neuroscientific as well as behavioural data to illustrate my points, and will briefly touch on intervention programs we tried to implement as a way of alleviating this collective narcissistic hypersensitivity. I am very excited to be attending this leading conference in political psychology, and cannot wait to see anyone interested in the fascinated topic of collective narcissism at the symposium!
For more information, here is the abstract of the talk:
1 Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, 2 Goldsmiths, University of London, 3 University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poznan, 4 Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, 5 Virginia Commonwealth University, 6 Clinic of Cognitive Neurology, Leipzig University, 7 University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw
Counteracting the adverse effects of group-based exclusion in collective narcissists
Social exclusion impairs psychological and physical health, often eliciting aggressive reactions. The distress of exclusion intensifies when it is attributed to one’s group membership, yet its consequences and the potential interventive strategies are not well understood. We aimed to understand the effects of group-based exclusion by identifying its neural correlates and by examining how its effects are influenced by collective narcissism, the belief that the ingroup’s entitlement to privilege is not recognized by others. In addition, we tested whether relaxation vs. a mindfulness intervention can reduce distress of exclusion in a randomized controlled trial. Functional MRI scans were obtained using a 3T scanner. Participants were randomly allocated to a guided relaxation (n=29) vs. a mindfulness meditation (n= 29). All participants then observed games of intergroup-Cyberball in which their group was first included and then excluded. We collected behavioural and physiological data to assess emotional distress and the willingness to engage in aggressive behaviour after exclusion. Preliminary analyses of self-report measures suggest that collective narcissists report less distress of exclusion and are less likely to show retaliatory and displaced hostility after exclusion in relaxation in comparison to mindfulness condition. A large online study in Poland is aiming at replicating those effects. Analyzing the MRI data, we expect the observed BOLD signal change in areas related to emotional distress to (1) support our hypothesis that despite denying it in self-report questionnaires, collective narcissists are more sensitive to intergroup exclusion than individuals low on collective narcissism, and (2) to support the conclusion that collective narcissists experience less distress of exclusion following relaxation.
Keywords: neuroscience of intergroup exclusion, collective narcissism, emotional distress, hostility, relaxation
See you soon in Lisbon!