Physiological and Health-Related Correlates of the Narcissistic Personality


Konrath, S. & Bonadonna, J. P. (2014). Physiological and Health-Related Correlates of the Narcissistic Personality. In Besser, Avi (Ed.), Psychology of Narcissism (pp. 175-214). Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.


Narcissism is a personality trait that is characterized by excessively high self-esteem in combination with low empathy. Since the development of sound instruments to measure the narcissistic personality in the 1970s, scholars have discovered a lot about the interpersonal correlates and consequences of narcissism. For example, people scoring high on narcissism have difficulty maintaining healthy, long-term close relationships and have a tendency to behave aggressively in response to critical feedback. In the current chapter, we summarize known health (Part I) and physiological correlates (Part II) of the narcissistic personality. We review the well-developed literature on narcissism and psychological health, and then move on to less developed research on cognitive performance, health-risk behaviors, and physical-health outcomes, including mortality risk. Research that goes beyond self-reports and examines the physiological underpinnings of the narcissistic personality is very rare, but it is important to use such measures, given narcissistic tendencies to self-enhance. Thus, we thoroughly review the extant literature examining cardiovascular, endocrine, neural, and genetic correlates of narcissism. Given the limited amount of research on this topic, we conclude by discussing potential directions for future research.


Reference Type

Book Chapter

Book Title

Psychology of Narcissism


Konrath, S.
Bonadonna, J. P.


Besser, Avi

Year Published





Nova Science Publishers, Inc

City of Publication

Hauppauge, New York

Reference ID