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      Guilt and Proneness to Shame: Unethical Behaviour in Vulnerable and Grandiose Narcissism


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          Narcissists are described as individuals with dysfunctional personality traits such as lack of psychological awareness and empathy. Theories of ethical behaviour assume that unethical actions trigger moral emotions of guilt and shame. Currently, there is a lack of knowledge on moral emotions as dispositional traits and their potential influences on behaviour in individuals with narcissistic traits. The present study examined vulnerable and grandiose narcissism’s differences in the propensity to experience guilt and shame as a proneness, across a range of personal transgressions. Guilt proneness was measured by negative evaluation of unethical behaviour, and whether this evaluation could influence reparation of tendencies of unethical action in vulnerable and grandiose narcissism. Shame proneness was investigated by negative evaluation of the self, and then whether the previous tendency could affect unethical decision making and behaviour (e.g., hiding), in vulnerable and grandiose narcissism. Two hundred and sixteen participants responded to the Guilt and Shame Proneness Scale, the Narcissistic Personality Inventory Scale and the Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale in an online questionnaire. Findings indicate that grandiose narcissism was negatively associated with guilt proneness, and the relation between the vulnerable narcissism and guilt proneness was negative. Additionally, the results confirm a negative association between grandiose narcissism and shame proneness, especially related to the subscale ‘shame negative self-evaluation’. Furthermore, guilt and shame proneness explained 20% of the variance in vulnerable narcissism and 11% in grandiose narcissism. This research indicates that both vulnerable and grandiose narcissism have the tendency to make unethical decisions, and they are more likely to enact in unethical behaviour. These findings are relevant for the detection of narcissistic individual’s propensity to act unethically in social context.

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            Moral emotions and moral behavior.

            Moral emotions represent a key element of our human moral apparatus, influencing the link between moral standards and moral behavior. This chapter reviews current theory and research on moral emotions. We first focus on a triad of negatively valenced "self-conscious" emotions-shame, guilt, and embarrassment. As in previous decades, much research remains focused on shame and guilt. We review current thinking on the distinction between shame and guilt, and the relative advantages and disadvantages of these two moral emotions. Several new areas of research are highlighted: research on the domain-specific phenomenon of body shame, styles of coping with shame, psychobiological aspects of shame, the link between childhood abuse and later proneness to shame, and the phenomena of vicarious or "collective" experiences of shame and guilt. In recent years, the concept of moral emotions has been expanded to include several positive emotions-elevation, gratitude, and the sometimes morally relevant experience of pride. Finally, we discuss briefly a morally relevant emotional process-other-oriented empathy.
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              The NPI-16 as a short measure of narcissism


                Author and article information

                Eur J Psychol
                Europe's Journal of Psychology
                Eur. J. Psychol.
                12 March 2018
                : 14
                : 1
                : 28-43
                [a ]Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen , Bergen, Norway
                [b ]Department of Psychology, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences , Lillehammer, Norway
                [c ]Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen , Copenhagen, Denmark
                [d ]CHTD Research Group, Division of Clinical Neuroscience, Oslo University Hospital , Oslo, Norway
                [e ]Faculty of Health and Welfare Sciences, Østfold University College , Fredrikstad, Norway
                [6]Department of Psychology, Webster University Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
                [7]Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
                Author notes
                [* ]Gimlebakken 14a, 5052, Bergen, Norway. Phone-number: +47 984 72 962. pauline_georgees@ 123456hotmail.no
                Copyright @ 2018

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 14 December 2016
                : 14 August 2017
                Research Reports

                grandiose narcissism,unethical behaviour,shame and guilt proneness in narcissism,unethical decision making in narcissism,vulnerable narcissism


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