Explaining the Psychology of Malignant Narcissism

The colorful whiteboard animation series After Skool vividly illustrated an essay written by the Academy of Ideas, which drew from the insights of psychiatrist M. Scott Pec and his studies of narcissism.

Narcissists are overconfident and admire themselves to a degree that is not warranted by the reality of who they are, or what they have accomplished. The narcissist’s infatuation with a grandiose self-image leads to self-absorption, reducing their capacity to empathize with the feelings and experiences of other people.

They note that there are many levels of narcissism, although Peck does focus on the destructive psychology of malignant narcissism.

Narcissism exists on a continuum; some of the milder forms of narcissism, such as identifying with an idealized self-image one creates on social media, are unhealthy, but relatively benign. At the extreme end of the spectrum lies the pathology of malignant narcissism, in which one identifies with an illusory self-image of moral purity.

They also address how this “feature” is so prevalent in modern politics.

We explore the psychology of malignant narcissism in order to better understand the evil that has  infected Modern politics.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.