Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2020




Donald Saklofske, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Anita Feher

Third Advisor

Hiten Dave


The present experimental study, examined the influence of ego-threat on participant aggression levels, and investigated whether Narcissism moderated this relationship. A sample of N= 54 undergraduate participants were randomly assigned to receive either positive or negative feedback on their writing abilities from what they were told was a co-participant, with the negative feedback condition serving as the ego-threat condition. Afterwards, participants responded to a hypothetical conflict scenario involving the imagined co-participant and completed a self-report measure of Narcissism online. Results showed that being assigned to the ego-threat condition resulted in more aggressive responses to the conflict scenario, increased use of forcing as a conflict resolution strategy, and a more negative impression of the imagined co-participant. However, neither Narcissism, nor the interaction between Narcissism and the ego-threat condition had a significant effect on the dependent variables, which fails to replicate a key finding in previous studies. Implications for the relationship between ego-threat and Narcissism are discussed.