Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Peter J Conlon 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology Before my admission into IADT, I completed a level 5 certificate in Applied Psychology at Ballsbridge College of Further Education from 2017 to 2018. My passion for psychology had further augmented during my 4-year progression in Applied Psychology at IADT. My ambition is to be able to work with individuals to help them improve their mental well-being and overall quality of life. I wish to further my experience in doing so as I progress on my overall journey in this field.

Project Overview

As recently as 2012, Gebauer et al. (2012) conceptualized communal narcissism as a domain of grandiose narcissism with core self-motives of grandiosity, entitlement, power, and self-esteem, and achieves this through exhibiting moralistic self-perception biases of communal attributes, such as prosociality, agreeableness, fairness, cooperativeness, interpersonal aptitude, morality, and will use communal self-enhancement strategies to assert moral superiority over others, by exaggerating knowledge of communal topics (humanitarian aid organizations) and characteristics (caring, helpfulness) (Gebauer et al., 2012). In other words, individuals high in communion achieve self-enhancement by bragging and viewing themselves as interpersonally warm, prosocial, nurturing, affiliated, moral saints. Communal narcissism is positively correlated with FFM personality trait extraversion (Gebauer et al., 2012). Extraversion is the socially desirable trait that gives grandiose narcissists their initial charm, charisma, and social desirability (Paulhus, 1998; Rose, 2002).

Thesis TitleCommunal Narcissism, Extraversion, and the Likability of TikTok Influencers

This study aimed to explore whether certain personality traits and constructs pose as significant predictors of the likability of communal narcissism in TikTok influencers. Using three TikTok videos featuring an actress and communally narcissistic statements, this study employed multiple linear regression analysis to assess whether higher scores of personality trait extraversion and self-reported communal narcissism posed as significant predictors of liking communal narcissism on TikTok, whilst controlling for gender and self-reported hours spent using social media. The research surveyed 116 participants predominantly between ages 18-27 years (60 males, 54 females, 2 responded other or preferred not to say) with 73 students, 42 non-students, and 94 of which have a working background. The communal narcissism inventory (Gebauer et al., 2012), and the Extraversion Scale (McCrae & Costa, 1992), were employed to measure the independent variables, and the likability of the TikTok influencer was measured using the Likability Scale (Reyson, S., 2005).

Project Findings

Three hypotheses were tested.
H1: Communal narcissism scores will predict higher scores of likability.
H2: Extraversion scores will predict higher scores of likability.
H3: There will be a significant relationship between high extraversion scores and high communal narcissism scores.
H4: Communal narcissism and extraversion will predict likability when controlling for gender and hours spent online.

The study contributed to knowledge in social/cyberpsychology. This study had also directed its research by focusing on instructions for future research and extensive gaps in past literature. The findings indicated that of the four hypotheses tested, self-reported communal narcissism was the only significant predictor of liking communal narcissism on TikTok, whereas extraversion, gender, and hours spent using social media did not. However, these findings do indicate consistency in previous literature in that the likability of communally narcissistic influencers among other self-reported communal narcissists and self-reported non-narcissists is consistent across social media platforms like TikTok. Further research is necessary to explore the intergenerational variation in users’ attitudes toward gender roles in agentic and communal narcissism in TikTok influencers. Qualitative analysis using a broader range of communally narcissistic statements could be carried out to explore whether personality traits agreeableness predict interpersonal likability of communal narcissism on social media. Despite not reaching statistical significance in three of the four hypotheses, valuable knowledge was attained. Conclusions could be drawn from the present study that communal narcissism is a personality trait that is not viewed favourably online among non-narcissists, regardless of age, gender, or frequency of social media use.