Age and Gender Differences in Narcissism: A Comprehensive Study Across Eight Measures and Over 250,000 Participants

Rebekka Weidmann, William J. Chopik, Robert A. Ackerman, Marc Allroggen, Emily C. Bianchi, Courtney Brecheen, W. Keith Campbell, Tanja M. Gerlach, Katharina Geukes, Emily Grijalva, Igor Grossmann, Christopher J. Hopwood, Roos Hutteman, Sara Konrath, Albrecht C.P. Küfner, Marius Leckelt, Joshua D. Miller, Lars Penke, Aaron L. Pincus, Karl Heinz RennerDavid Richter, Brent W. Roberts, Chris G. Sibley, Leonard J. Simms, Eunike Wetzel, Aidan G.C. Wright, Mitja D. Back

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Age and gender differences in narcissism have been studied often. However, considering the rich history of narcissism research accompanied by its diverging conceptualizations, little is known about age and gender differences across various narcissism measures. The present study investigated age and gender differences and their interactions across eight widely used narcissism instruments (i.e., Narcissistic Personality Inventory, Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale, Dirty Dozen, Psychological Entitlement Scale, Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms From the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Version IV, Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry Questionnaire–Short Form, Single-Item Narcissism Scale, and brief version of the Pathological Narcissism Inventory). The findings of Study 1 (N = 5,736) revealed heterogeneity in how strongly the measures are correlated. Some instruments loaded clearly on one of the three factors proposed by previous research (i.e., Neuroticism, Extraversion, Antagonism), while others cross-loaded across factors and in distinct ways. Cross-sectional analyses using each measure and metaanalytic results across all measures (Study 2) with a total sample of 270,029 participants suggest consistent linear age effects (random effects meta-analytic effect of r = −.104), with narcissism being highest in young adulthood. Consistent gender differences also emerged (random effects meta-analytic effect was −.079), such that men scored higher in narcissism than women. Quadratic age effects and Age × Gender effects were generally very small and inconsistent. We conclude that despite the various conceptualizations of narcissism, age and gender differences are generalizable across the eight measures used in the present study. However, their size varied based on the instrument used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1277-1298
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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