The present study examined the complex relationship between narcissism and perceptions of aggression by conceptualizing these constructs using a path analysis model. High levels of affect intensity and low levels of attributional complexity were identified as potential mediators for the relationship between narcissism and perceptions of aggression. Participants first completed four self-report measures and were primed by writing an essay about a time they felt insulted (v. control). They then answered questions regarding a hypothetical situation prompting aggression through action and/or insult. ANOVA revealed overt narcissists more likely to view their behavior as excessive in a hypothetical insult situation in the absence of insult compared to a situation where insults were exchanged. Attributional complexity was positively correlated with Hypersensitive Narcissism Personality Scale and Narcissistic Personality Inventory.
Piccirilli, Vanessa, "The Multifaceted Relationship Between Narcissism and Aggression: A Path Model" (2012). Psychology Theses. Paper 16.