Why narcissists are unwilling to apologize: the role of empathy and guilt

Leunissen, J.M. ORCID: 0000-0002-1639-3174, Sedikides, C. and Wildschut, T., 2017. Why narcissists are unwilling to apologize: the role of empathy and guilt. European Journal of Personality, 31 (4), pp. 385-403. ISSN 0890-2070

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Abstract

We hypothesized that narcissists would be unwilling to apologize for their interpersonal transgressions, and that
reduced levels of self-reported empathy and guilt would serially mediate this effect. Narcissism is characterized by
little empathy for the victim, which reduces guilt about
one's transgressions. Low guilt, in turn, is associated with
unwillingness to apologize. In Study 1, we assessed dispositional narcissism, empathy, guilt, and willingness to apologize. In Study 2, we assessed dispositional narcissism and obtained state measures of empathy, guilt, and willingness to apologize. In Study 3, we manipulated narcissism and collected state measures of empathy, guilt,
and willingness to apologize. Narcissism was negatively associated with (Studies 1-2) and decreased (Study 3) willingness to apologize, with this link being explained (i.e., serially mediated) by low empathy and guilt. Finally, in Study 4, we showed that antagonistic narcissism (i.e., narcissistic rivalry), but not agentic narcissism (i.e., narcissistic admiration), was negatively associated with willingness to apologize and apologizing behaviour. In all, narcissists are unwilling to apologize for their transgressions, as they experience little empathy for their
victims and lower guilt.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Narcissism decreases apologizing
Publication Title: European Journal of Personality
Creators: Leunissen, J.M., Sedikides, C. and Wildschut, T.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: July 2017
Volume: 31
Number: 4
ISSN: 0890-2070
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1002/per.2110DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 19 May 2017 13:00
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 13:10
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30704

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