Body cues to narcissism
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Abstract Is narcissism manifested in the physical appearance of the body? The current thesis explored the narcissistic body in order to reveal if narcissism leaves any mark on the body and the possible implication this could have on the inter-personal perception of narcissism. Real body stimuli (targets) were presented as rotating 3D scans to participants who judged them on narcissism. Targets’ self-rated narcissism together with their perceived level of narcissism was investigated in association with their morphological measurements. The findings suggest narcissism is manifested in the male body in terms of level of physical attractiveness and strength, while there was less evidence to support the notion of narcissism being manifested in the female body. The findings suggest people can accurately judge some aspects of male narcissism based on the appearance of a body alone and this adds credibility to the notion that the kernel of truth hypothesis (Berry & Wero, 1993) can be valid for bodies as it can be for faces. However, it was found that judgments based on a body alone could also lead to inaccurate judgments, indicating people will tend to need more information than the body of an individual to make an accurate estimate of the individual’s personality. The findings are discussed in relation to personality recalibration theories (Lukaszewski & Roney, 2011; Sell et al., 2009), the development and maintenance of narcissism, differences between male and female narcissists, and to the nature of the narcissism-attractiveness link seen at zero-acquaintance (Holtzman & Strube, 2010).