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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004 Dec;87(6):894-912.

Too proud to let go: narcissistic entitlement as a barrier to forgiveness.

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Department of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-7123, USA.


Narcissistic entitlement impedes forgiveness in ways not captured by other robust predictors (e.g., offense severity, apology, relationship closeness, religiosity, Big Five personality factors), as demonstrated in 6 studies. Narcissistic entitlement involves expectations of special treatment and preoccupation with defending one's rights. In Study 1, entitlement predicted less forgiveness and greater insistence on repayment for a past offense. Complementary results emerged from Study 2, which used hypothetical transgressions, and Study 3, which assessed broad forgiveness dispositions. Study 4 examined associations with the Big Five, and Study 5 extended the findings to a laboratory context. Study 6 demonstrated that entitlement predicted diminished increases in forgiveness over time. Taken together, these results suggest that narcissistic entitlement is a robust, distinct predictor of unforgiveness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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