Narcissism, social encounters, and emotions in late life

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Zhang, Shiyang, M.A.

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Narcissism may have implications on older adults’ daily emotional experiences and such associations may be explained by daily social activities. To examine these links, this study analyzed data from the Daily Experiences and Well-being Study which included older adults aged between 65 to 92 years. Participants (n = 304) rated their levels of narcissism and reported their daily emotional and social experiences. Findings showed that older adults who scored higher on narcissism also felt prouder throughout the day, whereas narcissism did not predict loneliness or irritation. Additionally, the multilevel structural equation mediating model suggested that people reported higher levels of pride after social encounters, but narcissism did not predict the number of social encounters. As such, results showed that social encounters did not mediate the association between narcissism and pride. The findings reflect the effect of narcissism on older adults’ emotional and social experiences. Practically, as older adults may experience more cognitive and physical declines, being narcissistic may protect them from such losses and help maintain self-efficacy. In addition, the results pertain to social encounters, loneliness, and irritation indicate that personality traits may not necessarily be manifested in daily life, highlighting the importance of utilizing ecological measurements.


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