Professor Ozlem Ayduk
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Correction on Showers, 1996 Slide.
“Showers, 1996” slide was about
15 minutes after induction, not negative mood.
Everything else that I said about it and in the
slides is conceptually correct.
Secure and Defensive High Self Esteem.
Defensive high self-esteem is a face that is put
forth to the world that masks underlying
feelings of inferiority. Kohut wrote about
narcissism and said that if the child gets too
much or too little attention from their parents
they may develop a grandiose sense of self,
with high insecurity underneath.
If the child’s needs are over-satisfied, and the
child’s egocentric needs are constantly being
met, the person grows up never knowing where
their self ends and they do not develop an
autonomous self concept and are not
independent of their egocentric needs. They
expect others to meet them.
If they are under-satisfied and do not get
enough of their needs met, as adults they are
constantly trying to make sure their egocentric
needs are fulfilled, so again they fail to develop
an autonomous self.
High self-esteem is a narcissistic defense;
narcissists say they feel great and are the best,
but underneath, they feel inferior to others. At
the implicit level they feel inferior, though they
explicitly act like they feel superior.
Researchers looked at implicit and explicit self-
esteem subjects and high narcissistic subjects.
You have covered in sections the methods for
measuring high self esteem implicitly and
explicitly, so I will not discuss this.
Researchers gave an explicit survey and looked
at people with explicit high self esteem and
implicit low self esteem; having both defines
narcissism, which is insecure high self esteem.
They wanted to see how they responded to ego
threat. Do they express aggression in response
to threat or not?
We have to look at the etiology of narcissism,
which as we have said, according to Kohut, can
be grounded in parental neglect or parental
over-indulgence. If they developed narcissism
from parental rejection and neglect, then when
threatened they may have the rage towards their
If they developed their narcissism because their
parents overindulged their needs and they
expect that from everyone, when someone fails
to respond to them that way, they will also feel
angry. They expect love so how can someone
not react to them with love? So they respond to
an ego threat with aggression.
So according to
Kohut, narcissists, whatever their etiology