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Narcissists less likely to support democracy, believe only strong leaders can run countries

Narcissists have lower tolerance of diverse political opinions.

Dec 06, 2018, 08.01 PM IST
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LONDON: Narcissists are more likely to not support democracies and believe that countries would be better run by strong leaders or the military, a study has found.

Researchers from the University of Kent in the UK suggest that narcissists tend to feel entitled and superior to others, which results in lower tolerance of diverse political opinions.

In contrast, people who take a positive, non-defensive self-view and trust others are more likely to show support for democracy, the study found.

The study, published in the British Journal of Social Psychology, consisted of two parts that analysed the relationship between different types of self-evaluation - narcissism and self-esteem - and support for democracy in the US and Poland.

The team set out to understand the psychological mechanisms driving support for democracy.

They built on previous research which demonstrated that basic personality traits can predict broader opinions about the organisation of the social world.

"The jury is out on whether the new generations are becoming more narcissistic than previous ones, but it is important to monitor how societal changes can affect the self," said Aleksandra Cichocka, from University of Kent in the UK.

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"We need to make sure we are not fostering feelings of entitlement or expectations of special treatment," said Cichocka.

"In the end, these processes may have important implications for our social and political attitudes," she said.

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