Educating the Disagreeable Extravert: Narcissism, the Big Five Personality Traits, and Achievement Goal Orientation

Joan Monahan Watson
Virginia Tech

Despite the fact that longitudinal data have been compiled over the past 30 years among undergraduate students in higher education settings regarding narcissism, the literature is devoid of empirical investigations that explore the relationships between narcissism and learning. Because the data suggest that narcissism scores are increasing each year among this population, an exploration of the relationship between narcissism and learning is timely and warranted. Sampling from university undergraduate students, this study uses the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, the Big Five Inventory, and the Achievement Goal Questionnaire to verify the known relationships between narcissism and the Big Five personality traits of extraversion and agreeableness; to verify the known relationships between the Big Five personality traits of extraversion and agreeableness and goal orientation; and to explore a previously undocumented empirical relationship between narcissism and performance goal orientation. Results of this exploratory study indicate that while narcissism does contribute to a performance goal orientation, it is not a substantial variable in determining achievement goal orientation in general. The study addresses the implications and limitations of this research in addition to areas for additional investigation.

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