Brain and Behavior, Mental Health

When I’m Right, I’m Right; When I’m Wrong, I’m Right!

The puzzling truth about narcissists is that they are never wrong. Of course a sane mind recognizes this laughable impossibility, yet the narcissist truly never recognizes or believes in personal flaws, failures, or mistakes.

According to researchers from Oregon State University, narcissists are unable to learn from their mistakes because they do not perceive personal mistakes. The traditional concept of narcissism is a personal conviction of entitlement and superiority, but this new research clarifies an even more disturbing characteristic: infallibility.

The study, published in Journal of Management, described the narcissistic responders as having expected and predicted positive outcomes, and remaining faultless for negative outcomes. Thus they did not learn from either good or bad responses to behaviors and actions.

The online journal Science Daily gave these examples from the research study:

“…counterfactual thinking was affected by hindsight bias, which is the tendency to exaggerate in hindsight what one actually knew in foresight. The researchers cite the example of President Donald Trump saying in 2004 that he ‘predicted the Iraq war better than anybody.

The authors note that prior research has shown that hindsight bias is often reversed as a form of self-protection when a prediction proves to be inaccurate — e.g., Trump saying in 2017 that ‘No one knew health care could be so complicated’ after failing to put forth a successful alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

By Terissa Michele Miller, MS Psy

Check out the original research:

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