Oct. 26, 2022

In this new paper, Erik Nook, Adam Jaroszewski, Ellen Finch, and Lois Choi-Kain argue that narcissism can be (i) understood as dysregulations in a natural self-esteem system, (ii) described using cognitive-behavioral concepts, and (iii) treated using CBT skills. For example, in a regulated self-esteem system,  emotions generated by threats to self-esteem can drive constructive behavioral responses (e.g., poor grades -> anxiety -> studying -> better grades -> higher self-esteem). However, this system can become dysregulated wherein people experience overly strong emotions in response to self-esteem threats and engage in destructive reactions to restore self-esteem. A model is proposed in which CBT skills can alter habitual cognitive and behavioral reactions to these situations, shifting underlying beliefs and restoring a regulated self-esteem system. Email us if you are interested in a copy of the paper!