Sounds like a narcissist: Behavioral manifestations of narcissism in everyday life

Nicholas S. Holtzman, Simine Vazire, Matthias R. Mehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Little is known about narcissists' everyday behavior. The goal of this study was to describe how narcissism is manifested in everyday life. Using the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR), we obtained naturalistic behavior from participants' everyday lives. The results suggest that the defining characteristics of narcissism that have been established from questionnaire and laboratory-based studies are borne out in narcissists' day-to-day behaviors. Narcissists do indeed behave in more extraverted and less agreeable ways than non-narcissists, skip class more (among narcissists high in exploitativeness/entitlement only), and use more sexual language. Furthermore, we found that the link between narcissism and disagreeable behavior is strengthened when controlling for self-esteem, thus extending prior questionnaire-based findings (Paulhus, Robins, Trzesniewski, & Tracy, 2004) to observed, real-world behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-484
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Behavior
  • Language use
  • Narcissism
  • Personality traits
  • Sexual behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


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