Empaths have narcissistic traits

Empathy: How Narcissists Get Charitable

Narcissistic personality disorder has received a lot of attention since Donald Trump became President of the United States. As is often the case with mental illnesses, the effects are felt primarily in the social environment. There is no insight into the disease.

Although the US president has no diagnosis, he does display many of the symptoms that are common in people with narcissistic personality disorders. Apart from the daily political issues, many researchers deal with the topic, for example Esther Kang from the Institute for Consumer Psychology and Behavior at the WiSo Faculty of the University of Cologne and Arun Lakshmanan from the Institute for Marketing, State University of New York in Buffalo.

The research duo showed in a study that a narcissistic personality can be a charitable donor precisely when he or she puts himself in the position of the needy.

Ability to empathize

The participants in the study as potential donors had previously been classified and classified in their narcissistic personality trait using the "Narcissistic Personality Inventory". In the subsequent investigation, a bogus appeal for donations was used, which showed the situation of a Syrian refugee child in Jordan.

The authors compared data from two different methods of the fundraising campaign: the first method, "Introducing the recipient", encourages imagining the living conditions of the needy, whereas the second method aims to empathize with the situation of the needy and in his place to see.

The result was that donors with a pronounced narcissistic personality trait could better imagine being needy themselves and then donate larger amounts. According to the authors, narcissistic personalities who have a strong egocentric perspective cannot do much with the first method of imagining the situation through another person's eyes. For example, the feelings and needs of other people played a subordinate role for narcissists.

Use for donations

If, however, the aim of the donation campaign is to get the donor to empathize with the situation, the egocentric perspective is used to feel the need "on one's own body." "The right kind of self-related images and texts could be an effective method for donation campaigns in order to reach narcissistic personalities as potential donors ", so the recommendation of study leader Esther Kang. (red, 2.5.2018)