Do narcissists make better decisions? An investigation of narcissism and dynamic decision-making performance Academic Article uri icon


  • We investigated whether narcissism affected dynamic decision-making performance in the presence and absence of misleading information. Performance was examined in a two-choice dynamic decision-making task where the optimal strategy was to forego an option providing larger immediate rewards in favor of an option that led to larger delayed rewards. Information regarding foregone rewards from the alternate option was presented or withheld to bias participants toward the sub-optimal choice. The results demonstrated that individuals high in narcissistic traits performed comparably to low narcissism individuals when foregone reward information was absent, but high narcissism individuals outperformed individuals low in narcissistic traits when misleading information was presented. The advantage for participants high in narcissistic traits was strongest within males, and, overall, males outperformed females when foregone rewards were present. While prior research emphasizes narcissists' decision-making deficits, our findings provide evidence that individuals high in narcissistic traits excel at decision-making tasks that involve disregarding ambiguous information and focusing on the long-term utility of each option. Their superior ability at filtering out misleading information may reflect an effort to maintain their self-view or avoid ego threat. 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Byrne, K. A., & Worthy, D. A.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Byrne, Kaileigh A||Worthy, Darrell A

publication date

  • July 2013