The Person Inside the Present: Narcissists Buy to Big Themselves Up


Christmas is around the corner and many of us will be thinking of what to buy our loved ones (or ourselves) this festive holiday.

But what is the psychology behind gift-giving?

Early results from research led by Dr Aiden Gregg from the University of Southampton, have shown that people with narcissistic tendencies want to purchase products, both for others and for themselves, that positively distinguish them -- that is, that make them stand out from the crowd.

The study -- conducted in collaboration with McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management and Hanyang University in South Korea -- investigated why narcissistic consumers chose certain products and how those products made them feel. Volunteers from both the universities in South Korea or Canada took part in one of four studies.

Russell Seidle, of Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, adds: "As expected, narcissistic consumers demonstrate a preference for scarce products that correspond with their views of themselves as unique individuals.

Read full article: Science Daily, December 17, 2012