Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hood, Kristina B.

Committee Member

Goldberg, Rebecca M.

Committee Member

McMillen, Robert

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


We explored how individuals high in narcissism maintained positive self-evaluations when faced with threats from romantic partners, and the role of attentiveness to attractive alternatives in self-evaluation maintenance. Participants and their romantic partners completed surveys measuring narcissism, closeness, attention to alternative partners, and IQ tests. They were given false feedback concerning their performance on the IQ tasks in relation to their partners, then asked to take additional surveys measuring closeness change. Ultimately, there was no significant connection between narcissism and reduction of closeness following a threat. Attention to alternative partners did not act as a mediator between narcissism and closeness reduction. Couples-level analyses yielded that couples with higher narcissism reported lower closeness. There was also a significant narcissism by condition interaction, with highly narcissistic couples in the non-threat condition reporting lower closeness scores than highly narcissistic couples who were in the threat condition. Limitations and future directions are discussed.



closeness reduction||dyadic analyses||dyads||romantic partners||threat||self-evaluation maintenance||narcissism