Testing the Relationships Between Narcissism, Risk Attitude, and Income With Data From a Representative German Sample


  • Johannes Leder Orcid
  • Sarah Schneider Orcid
  • Astrid Schütz Orcid


Narcissism is related to income and risk-taking behavior, but previous studies have computed only pairwise associations and have used only domain-specific risk-taking measures. We jointly investigated narcissistic admiration and rivalry, income, and general risk attitude. Using a representative sample from the German population (N = 14,473), we contrasted a model assuming that risk attitude and narcissistic admiration and rivalry share variance when predicting income and a model with additive effects of narcissism and risk attitude. We found stronger effects of admiration on risk attitude and income than of rivalry and no evidence that risk attitude and narcissism share variance when predicting income. Contrary to previous studies, we found that an individual's income was independent of their risk attitude. In exploratory analyses (Response Surface Analysis, Level-and-Difference-Approach), we found that the relative strength of admiration compared with rivalry positively predicted risk attitude and income. Taken together, our findings are consistent with the hierarchical model of grandiose narcissism.