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Further thoughts on “Do Narcissists—or ‘Nice Guys’—Finish Last?”

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Originally posted on August 24, 2016.

In an earlier post, I mentioned a report that says “that narcissists make good first impressions, but over time, their arrogance, bragging, and aggressiveness gets old.” This finding replicated an earlier study showing that, in the laboratory, people’s initially positive impressions of narcissists eventually turn negative.

People’s general dislike of narcissistic, egotistical people is also explored in a 1997 chapter by Wake Forest University social psychologist Mark Leary and three others—one of whom (fun fact) was Leary’s student collaborator, Tim Duncan . . . who just retired after an acclaimed 19-year National Basketball Association career with the San Antonio Spurs.

I earlier wondered: “Will this [narcissists don’t wear well] phenomenon hold true for Trump and eventually deflate his popularity during this U.S. presidential campaign season?”

The presidential horse race isn’t over until it’s over. The New York Times projects that Hillary Clinton’s current chance of losing equals an NFL field goal kicker’s chance of missing a 20-yard-line attempt (which happens). But so far in polls, betting markets, and statistical projections (below), Trump’s inferred narcissism seems to be playing out much as the research would predict.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES UPSHOT PROJECTION OF EACH CANDIDATE’S CHANCE OF WINNING.

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About the Author
David Myers has spent his entire teaching career at Hope College, Michigan, where he has been voted “outstanding professor” and has been selected by students to deliver the commencement address. His award-winning research and writings have appeared in over three dozen scientific periodicals and numerous publications for the general public. He also has authored five general audience books, including The Pursuit of Happiness and Intuition: Its Powers and Perils. David Myers has chaired his city's Human Relations Commission, helped found a thriving assistance center for families in poverty, and spoken to hundreds of college and community groups. Drawing on his experience, he also has written articles and a book (A Quiet World) about hearing loss, and he is advocating a transformation in American assistive listening technology (see www.hearingloop.org).