"Recent research has shown that narcissistic CEOs tend to pay themselves considerably more than other senior executives, a signal that they believe they provide unique value to the company and deserve much more compensation than their colleagues."
New York, May 13 - If you come across a narcissist more often than not, do not always blame their parents or early social experiences.
Researchers have now found that economic conditions in the formative years of early adulthood may also play a role.
People who entered their adulthood during hard economic times are less narcissistic later in life than those who came of age during more prosperous times, the study showed.
These findings suggest that economic conditions during this formative period of life not only affect how people think about finances and politics, but also how they think about themselves and their importance relative to others, said psychological scientist Emily Bianchi of Goizueta Business School, Emory University in the US.
Narcissists view themselves as unique, special and entitled to the good things that come their way.
Survey data from over 1,500 US adults revealed that worse economic conditions during emerging adulthood, as measured by the average unemployment rate when respondents were 18 to 25 years old, were associated with lower narcissism scores later in life.
The link between economic conditions and narcissism held even after gender and education were taken into account, and was not explained by varying levels of self-esteem.
Economic conditions in later stages of adulthood did not show the same association with narcissism.
A second study with data from over 30,000 US adults supported these findings and similar results emerged when researchers examined a behavioural manifestation of narcissism: the relative compensation of CEOs.
Recent research has shown that narcissistic CEOs tend to pay themselves considerably more than other senior executives, a signal that they believe they provide unique value to the company and deserve much more compensation than their colleagues.
The findings appeared in the journal Psychological Science.