ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (3): 244-258.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00244

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Eliminating threat or venting rage? The relationship between narcissism and aggression in violent offenders

LIU Yuping1, LI Shanshan2, HE Yun2, WANG Doudou2, YANG Bo2()   

  1. 1School of Criminal Justice, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing 100088, China
    2School of Sociology, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing 100088, China
  • Received:2020-06-09 Published:2021-03-25 Online:2021-01-27
  • Contact: YANG Bo
  • Supported by:
    The National Key R & D Program(2018yfc0831002)


Two studies were conducted to explore the relationship and mechanism between narcissism and aggressive behavior of violent offenders. In study 1, a positive correlation was found between narcissism and aggression by questionnaire (N = 498), trait anger was found to mediate between narcissism and premeditated and impulsive aggression, while psychological entitlement was found to only mediate between narcissism and premeditated aggression. Study 2 conducted behavioral experiments on 90 violent offenders. The results showed that perceived threat and negative emotions played a mediating role between narcissism and aggression, and provoca-tion moderated the mediating role. Grandiose narcissists only showed stronger aggression under provocation, whereas vulnerable narcissists showed stronger aggression under provocation and non-provocation. The study clarifies the relationship between narcis-sism and aggression under different subtypes, highlights the “dark side” of vulnerable narcissism, and provides a reference for the management and prevention of criminals.

Key words: narcissism, threatened egotism, negative affect, aggressive, violent offender