Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Narcissism impairs ethical judgment even among the highly religious, study finds

Date:
March 12, 2012
Source:
Baylor University
Summary:
Although high levels of narcissism can impair ethical judgment regardless of one's religious orientation or orthodox beliefs, narcissism is more harmful in those who might be expected to be more ethical, according to a new study.

Although high levels of narcissism can impair ethical judgment regardless of one's religious orientation or orthodox beliefs, narcissism is more harmful in those who might be expected to be more ethical, according to a Baylor University study published online in the Journal of Business Ethics.

"Devout people who are narcissistic and exercise poor ethical judgment would be committing acts that are, according to their own internalized value system, blatantly hypocritical," said Marjorie J. Cooper, Ph.D., study author and professor of marketing at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. "Narcissism is sufficiently intrusive and powerful that it entices people into behaving in ways inimical to their most deeply-held beliefs."

The study identified three groups- skeptics, nominal Christians, and devout Christians. Skeptics largely reject foundational Christian teachings. Nominal Christians are moderate in their intrinsic religious orientation as well as in their orthodox beliefs. Devout Christians are high in intrinsic religious orientation and orthodoxy, which indicates that they fully internalize Christian beliefs and values.

"We found that nominal and devout Christians show better ethical judgment than the skeptics overall, but especially those whose narcissistic tendencies are at the low end of the spectrum," said Chris Pullig, Ph.D., chair of the department of marketing and associate professor of marketing at Baylor. "However, that undergoes a notable alteration as levels of narcissism rise for subjects within each cluster."

"Both the nominal and devout groups show degrees of poor ethical judgment equal to that of the skeptics when accompanied by higher degrees of narcissism, a finding that suggests a dramatic transformation for both nominals and the devouts when ethical judgment is clouded by narcissistic tendencies," he said.

For the skeptics, the range of scores for ethical judgment from low to high lacks the range that is found for the nominals and devouts. Increased narcissism among skeptics does not result in significantly worse ethical judgment.

"However, the same cannot be said for the nominals or the devouts," Cooper said. "For both of these groups as narcissism increases so does the tendency to demonstrate worse ethical judgment. Thus, a higher level of narcissism is more likely to be associated with unethical judgment among nominal Christians and devout Christians than skeptics."

For the study, 385 undergraduate marketing students completed an online survey in which they indicated to what degree they believe behavior was acceptable or not for such statements as:

• An underpaid executive padded his expense account by about $3,000 a year.

• A company paid a $350,000 ''consulting'' fee to an official of a foreign country. In return, the official promised assistance in obtaining a contract that will produce $10 million profit for the contracting company.

They were also asked how strongly they agreed or disagreed with such statements as:

• I go to church mostly to spend time with my friends.

• My whole approach to life is based on my religion.

• Although I believe in my religion, many other things are more important in life.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV, published by the American Psychiatric Association (2000), defines narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) as someone whose behavior is fittingly described by five of nine characteristics.

These include:

(1) an exaggerated sense of self-importance;

(2) fantasies of extraordinary success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love;

(3) belief that one is ''special'' and should only associate with and can only be understood by other high-status people;

(4) demand for excessive admiration from others;

(5) a sense of entitlement;

(6) objectification of others to achieve personal ends and gratification;

(7) lack of empathy;

(8) envy of others or belief that others are envious of oneself;

(9) haughty, arrogant, patronizing, or contemptuous behavior or attitudes toward others.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Baylor University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Marjorie J. Cooper, Chris Pullig. I’m Number One! Does Narcissism Impair Ethical Judgment Even for the Highly Religious? Journal of Business Ethics, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s10551-012-1239-0

Cite This Page:

Baylor University. "Narcissism impairs ethical judgment even among the highly religious, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120312140254.htm>.
Baylor University. (2012, March 12). Narcissism impairs ethical judgment even among the highly religious, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120312140254.htm
Baylor University. "Narcissism impairs ethical judgment even among the highly religious, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120312140254.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) Celebrities, political leaders and the masses rallied in New York and across the globe demanding urgent action on climate change, with organizers saying 600,000 people hit the streets. Duration: 01:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Company Copies Keys From Photos

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) A new company allows customers to make copies of keys by simply uploading a couple of photos. But could it also be great for thieves? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins