Take the Narcissistic Personality Inventory
USA Today/March 16, 2009
By Sharon Jayson
Authors Drew Pinsky and S. Mark Young, a professor of entertainment business at the University of Southern California have studied celebrities and the general population by administering a widely used screening tool called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), which is included in The Mirror Effect.
The book advises answering the 40 questions below in a single sitting, without asking for help or clarification. It notes, “There’s no such thing as a good or bad result on this test. Scoring high on the narcissism inventory, or high on any of the component categories, doesn’t mean you have a disorder, or that you’re a good or bad person.”
Print this out or track your choices of which statements best match you – then test your friends, family, that guy at the office – anyone who’s narcissism score you want to know.
1. A. I have a natural talent for influencing people.
B. I am not good at influencing people.
2. A. Modesty doesn’t become me.
B. I am essentially a modest person.
3. A. I would do almost anything on a dare.
B. I tend to be a fairly cautious person.
4. A. When people compliment me I sometimes get embarrassed.
B. I know that I am good because everybody keeps telling me so.
5. A. The thought of ruling the world frightens the hell out of me.
B. If I ruled the world it would be a better place.
6. A. I can usually talk my way out of anything.
B. I try to accept the consequences of my behavior.
7. A. I prefer to blend in with the crowd.
B. I like to be the center of attention.
8. A. I will be a success.
B. I am not too concerned about success.
9. A. I am no better or worse than most people.
B. I think I am a special person.
10. A. I am not sure if I would make a good leader.
B. I see myself as a good leader.
11. A. I am assertive.
B. I wish I were more assertive.
12. A. I like to have authority over other people.
B. I don’t mind following orders.
13. A. I find it easy to manipulate people.
B. I don’t like it when I find myself manipulating people.
14. A. I insist upon getting the respect that is due me.
B. I usually get the respect that I deserve.
15. A. I don’t particularly like to show off my body.
B. I like to show off my body.
16. A. I can read people like a book.
B. People are sometimes hard to understand.
17. A. If I feel competent I am willing to take responsibility for making decisions.
B. I like to take responsibility for making decisions.
18. A. I just want to be reasonably happy.
B. I want to amount to something in the eyes of the world.
19. A. My body is nothing special.
B. I like to look at my body.
20. A. I try not to be a show off.
B. I will usually show off if I get the chance.
21. A. I always know what I am doing.
B. Sometimes I am not sure of what I am doing.
22. A. I sometimes depend on people to get things done.
B. I rarely depend on anyone else to get things done.
23. A. Sometimes I tell good stories.
B. Everybody likes to hear my stories.
24. A. I expect a great deal from other people.
B. I like to do things for other people.
25. A. I will never be satisfied until I get all that I deserve.
B. I take my satisfactions as they come.
26. A. Compliments embarrass me.
B. I like to be complimented.
27. A. I have a strong will to power.
B. Power for its own sake doesn’t interest me.
28. A. I don’t care about new fads and fashions.
B. I like to start new fads and fashions.
29. A. I like to look at myself in the mirror.
B. I am not particularly interested in looking at myself in the mirror.
30. A. I really like to be the center of attention.
B. It makes me uncomfortable to be the center of attention.
31. A. I can live my life in any way I want to.
B. People can’t always live their lives in terms of what they want.
32. A. Being an authority doesn’t mean that much to me.
B. People always seem to recognize my authority.
33. A. I would prefer to be a leader.
B. It makes little difference to me whether I am a leader or not.
34. A. I am going to be a great person.
B. I hope I am going to be successful.
35. A. People sometimes believe what I tell them.
B. I can make anybody believe anything I want them to.
36. A. I am a born leader.
B. Leadership is a quality that takes a long time to develop.
37. A. I wish somebody would someday write my biography.
B. I don’t like people to pry into my life for any reason.
38. A. I get upset when people don’t notice how I look when I go out in public.
B. I don’t mind blending into the crowd when I go out in public.
39. A. I am more capable than other people.
B. There is a lot that I can learn from other people.
40. A. I am much like everybody else.
B. I am an extraordinary person.
Assign one point for each response that matches the key.
1, 2 and 3: A
4, 5: B
9, 10: B
11, 12, 13, 14: A
17, 18, 19, 20: B
22, 23: B
24, 25: A
29, 30, 31: A
33, 34: A
36, 37, 38, 39: A
The average score for the general population is 15.3. The average score for celebrities is 17.8. Pinsky says he scored 16.
Young says it is important to consider which traits are dominant. For example, an overall score that reflects more points on vanity, entitlement, exhibitionism and exploitiveness is more cause for concern than someone who scores high on authority, self-sufficiency and superiority, he says.
The seven component traits by question:
- Authority: 1, 8, 10, 11, 12, 32, 33, 36
- Self-sufficiency: 17, 21, 22, 31, 34, 39
- Superiority: 4, 9, 26, 37, 40
- Exhibitionism: 2, 3, 7, 20, 28, 30, 38
- Exploitativeness: 6, 13, 16, 23, 35
- Vanity: 15, 19, 29
- Entitlement: 5, 14, 18, 24, 25, 27