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What Does the Narcissistic Personality Inventory Really Measure?

Abstract

The Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) is a widely used measure of narcissism. However, debates persist about its 
exact factor structure with researchers proposing solutions ranging from two to seven factors. The present research 
aimed to clarify the factor structure of the NPI and further illuminate its nomological network. Four studies provided 
support for a three-factor model consisting of the dimensions of Leadership/Authority, Grandiose Exhibitionism, and 
Entitlement/Exploitativeness. The Leadership/Authority dimension was generally linked to adaptive outcomes whereas the 
other two dimensions, particularly Entitlement/Exploitativeness, were generally linked to maladaptive outcomes. These 
results suggest that researchers interested in the psychological and behavioral outcomes associated with the NPI should 
examine correlates at the facet level. In light of the findings, we propose a hierarchical model for the structure of the NPI 
and provide researchers with a scoring scheme for this commonly used instrument. 
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Dr. Kali Trzesniewski,
Jan 29, 2013, 12:33 AM
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