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Chapter 2

PSY 2110 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Psychological Abuse, Field ExperimentPremium

2 pages50 viewsFall 2018

Course Code
PSY 2110
Marie Lyne Laliberté

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Article 15: Reducing Narcissistic Aggression by Buttressing Self-Esteem
Narcissistic individuals are prone to become aggressive when egos are threatened
Aggression in schools is serious problem worldwide
o physical violence, verbal assaults, psychological abuse at schools on daily basis
Current intervention programs rely on “boosting self-esteem” to reduce aggression, but
many aggressive people do not have low self-esteem
Buttressing self-esteem = making self-esteem less vulnerable to ego threat
Interventions aimed at buttressing self-esteem lessen the psychological impact of ego
threat by focusing individuals on core traits that define them as a person
Intervening with narcissistic aggression:
o Narcissists crave admiration and respect from others.
o Researchers have explained narcissists’ aggressive reactions to ego threat as
defensive attempts to maintain self-worth
o Technique
allow individuals to reaffirm their sense of self
The present study:
o tested whether self-affirmation intervention can reduce narcissistic aggression in
the “real world”
o Participants were 12-15 years old.
o 4 Reasons:
Ego threat is more frequently experienced in early adolescence than in
any other developmental period
Ego threat is particularly consequential in early adolescence because
children this age are able to make global negative evaluations of the self
that make ego-threatening experiences potentially harmful
The extent to which children engage in serious aggressive and violent
behaviour increases steeply in early adolescence
Seems important to try to intervene with individuals’ self-views in a
developmental period when self-views start to take relatively mature
form but have not yet become deeply ingrained in patterns of
maladaptive behaviour that could be hard to change
Randomized field experiment
o completed either short (15-min) self-affirmation or a control writing exercise in
their classes
o Affirmation condition
wrote about most important values and why they’re important to them
o Control condition
o wrote about least important values and why the values may be important to
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