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Original Articles and Reviews

Grandiose and Vulnerable Narcissism

Self-Construal, Attachment, and Love in Romantic Relationships

Published Online:

It is suggested that the two factors of narcissism identified by Wink (1991) – grandiose (overt) and vulnerable (covert) narcissism – represent different conceptualizations of narcissism, which are measured by the Narcissistic Personality Inventory and the Narcissism Inventory, respectively. The focus of this research is on the divergent interpersonal consequences of both factors of narcissism. Results of two studies indicate that the nomological networks of grandiose and vulnerable narcissism in terms of self-construal on the one hand and attachment and love on the other hand differ substantially. As predicted, grandiose narcissism was linked to high self-esteem and independent self-construal, whereas vulnerable narcissism was linked to low self-esteem and interdependent self-construal. In addition, high vulnerable narcissism implied higher attachment anxiety than low vulnerable narcissism, whereas high grandiose narcissism implied less attachment avoidance than low grandiose narcissism. In partial support of the hypotheses, Eros, Ludus, and Pragma correlated positively with the measure of grandiose narcissism, whereas Eros, Ludus, Pragma, Mania, and Agape were positively related to the measure of vulnerable narcissism. An intriguing pattern of results emerged because vulnerable narcissism turned out to be the more powerful predictor for love styles than grandiose narcissism.