Narcissism and heroism: A rendezvous?

Shai Itamar, Golan Shahar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Heroic self (HERS) is a newly identified personality trait that embodies the selfperception of being a hero. HERS is comprised of three dimensions: self-as-conqueror (SaC), self-as-savior (SaS), and heroic identification (HI). A link between HI and features of narcissistic personality disorder has recently been revealed (Shahar, 2013). In this study, we confirmed the existence of this link and expanded our understanding of the subject by examining the associations between the three dimensions of HERS (SaC, SaS, and HI) and scores on two measures of narcissistic pathology (as opposed to personality disorder features), the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI; Raskin & Hall, 1979) and the Pathological Narcissistic Inventory (PNI; Pincus et al., 2009). The HERS dimensions were found to be correlated with scores on both measures of narcissistic pathology.Importantly, HI as the only dimension associated with PNI scores [PNI-grandiosity: Adjusted R2 = .45, F(3,78) = 23.39, p .001; PNI-vulnerability: adjusted R2 = .33, F(3,78) = 14.75, p .001]. These findings are interpreted through the lens of Kohut's psychoanalytic self-psychology theory, suggesting that HI is a trauma-based defensive structure that plays a role in pathological narcissism.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of the Psychology of Narcissism
Subtitle of host publicationDiverse Perspectives
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781634630344
ISBN (Print)9781634630054
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • Heroism
  • Narcissism
  • Self
  • Self-Psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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