Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the healthiest of them all – the surprising role of narcissism in state-level health outcomes

Dritjon Gruda*, Paul Hanges, Jim McCleskey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

This study investigates narcissism's role in state-level health outcomes across the U.S. While often seen as maladaptive, narcissism's adaptive aspects, like self-enhancement, might promote better health. Analyzing data from 4,230 participants in 38 states, we explore the link between dark triad traits (narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy) and health outcomes. States with higher narcissism had lower obesity and depression rates, and a lower likelihood of heart failure and hypertension deaths. However, these states reported less sleep and higher demand for plastic surgeons. This study is the first to provide a nuanced understanding of the complex interplay between dark triad traits and health on the state level, with significant implications for public health policies and interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104465
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume109
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Dark triad
  • Depression
  • Health
  • Narcissism
  • Obesity
  • Personality

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