About the project

Mindful gratitude meditation as an intervention to address collective narcissists hostility in the face of intergroup exclusion

he proposed research addresses a timely need to find ways of preventing political radicalization among members of marginalized social groups. It examines whether mindful gratitude meditation - the practice of grateful appreciation of the present moment – reduces aggression among people who use aggression to retaliate to exclusion in intergroup relations i.e. collective narcissists. Collective narcissism is an emotional investment in a belief in greatness of one’s own group (ingroup) contingent on external validation. Collective narcissists retaliate aggressively to intergroup threat to protect the vulnerable sense of self-worth invested in their group’s image. Mindful practice of prosocial emotions fortifies against self-vulnerability, improves self-regulation, and reduces reactivity to threat. As such, it may be particularly effective in addressing self-regulation deficits underlying collective narcissism.

Research project methodology

We plan a series of experimental studies to test a model in which collective narcissism is a moderator of the effect of experimentally induced intergroup (vs. interpersonal) exclusion (vs. inclusion, using the Cyberball paradigm for intergroup contexts, Wirth & Williams, 2009) on intergroup aggression (assessed in the Taylor Aggression Paradigm as white noise blast, Chester, 2017; or as symbolic aggression in the Voodoo Doll task, Chester & DeWall, 2016; or by self-report measures). In this model, distress is a continuous mediator assessed by self-report measures and as activation of social pain and resilience circuits in the brain (in an fMRI study) combined with variability in the heart rate and respiratory patterns (respiratory sinus arrhythmia), cortisol reactivity or pupil dilation (in an eye-tracker study). The studies assess distress by self-report and by its physiological and neural signatures because previous research indicated that narcissists do not report (and possibly do not acknowledge) the distress they experience after social exclusion as indicated by physiological and neural assessments (Cascio, et al., 2015). This model will be tested among participants who took part (vs. control) in mindful gratitude meditation before experiencing exclusion. Additionally, effectiveness of mindful gratitude meditation will be compared to mindful attention practice, gratitude practice (without mindfulness, assessed by the diary method), and known methods of reducing aggression among individual narcissists (self-affirmation) and reducing intergroup hostility (imagined intergroup contact). In addition, long-term effects of mindful gratitude meditation would be examined in a 12 weeks intervention study with four measurement points. Expected impact of the research project on the development of science: In the context of the global terrorism threat, one of the vital challenges of social sciences is understanding ways of preventing radicalization of people who may feel their group is marginalized in intergroup relations. Members of such radicalized groups score high on the Collective Narcissism Scale (Jaśko, et al., 2017). Thus, the planned research can have a significant impact on development of social sciences allowing us to better understand the psycho-physiological mechanism underlying collective narcissistic aggression in face of intergroup exclusion and ways of constructively down-regulating this mechanism. This knowledge will be also of use in integrating and multi-cultural Europe, where the issue of maintaining harmonious and productive intergroup relations is fundamental especially, while it faces the refugee crisis and needs to rapidly address psychological consequences of social marginalization. In addition, neither the effectiveness of mindfulness as a method of aggression reduction, nor the effectiveness of other methods of reducing intergroup aggression have been sufficiently examined among people prone to prejudice and intergroup aggression such as collective narcissists. The project is based on the cutting edge research on collective narcissism, neural and physiological correlates of distress of social exclusion and the role of mindfulness and prosocial emotionality in reducing distress.

Here you can find various research materials we use in the project.

Audio

Listen to audio being used for a short-term mindful gratitude intervention in this.

Cyberball

Check how intergroup exclusion vs. intergroup inclusion are being manipulated in this project.

Tools

Check what scales are being used in this project.

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Publications

Articles

Golec de Zavala, A., Federico, C., Sedikides, C., Guerra, R., Lantos, D., Mrozinski, B., ... & Baran, T. (2019). Low self-esteem predicts out-group derogation via collective narcissism, but this relationship is obscured by in-group satisfaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. doi: 10.1037/pspp0000260

Golec de Zavala, A., Dyduch-Hazar, K., & Lantos, D. (2019). Collective narcissism: Political consequences of investing self‐worth in the ingroup’s image. Advances in Political Psychology. doi:10.1111/pops.12569

Golec de Zavala, A. (2019). Collective narcissism and in-group satisfaction are associated with different emotional profiles and psychological well-being. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00203

Dyduch-Hazar, K., Mrozinski, B., & Golec de Zavala, A. (2019). Collective narcissism and in-group satisfaction predict opposite attitudes toward refugees via attribution of hostility. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01901

Book chapters

Forgas, J. P. & Lantos, D. (2019). Understanding populism: Collective narcissism and the collapse of democracy in Hungary. In: J. P. Forgas, K. Fiedler & W. Crano (Eds.). Applications of Social Psychology. New York: Psychology Press.

Golec de Zavala, A. (in press). Why is populism so robustly associated with conspiratorial thinking? Collective narcissism and the Meaning Maintenance Model. In J. Sinnott & J. Rabin (Eds). The psychology of political behavior in a time of change: Identity in a changing world. Basel: Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Conferences

Invited talks

Golec de Zavala, A. (2018). Experiencing gratitude reduces intergroup threat and intergroup hostility. Invited talk for a featured symposium on collective narcissism during International Conference on Psychology in Health, Educational, Social, and Organizational Settings (ICP-HESOS), Surabaya, Indonesia.

Golec de Zavala, A. (2019). Collective narcissism: Political consequences of investing self-esteem in the in-group image. Invited talk at a symposium on Faces of Grandiose Narcissism, at Society for Experimental Social Psychology Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada.

Golec de Zavala, A. (2019). Psychological research on populism: Does individual self-esteem have anything to do with populism? Invited talk at the meeting of the project team for Delayed Transformational Fatigue in Central and Eastern Europe: Responding to the Rise of Populism’ (FATIGUE), Krakow, Poland.

Golec de Zavala, A. (2019). Collective narcissism as a predictor of the belief in conspiracy theories. Invited talk at a featured symposium on Conspiracy Theories, APS General Meeting, Washington D.C., USA.

Golec de Zavala, A., & Lantos, D. (2019). Vicarious pain of intergroup exclusion: The role of collective narcissism. Invited presentation at Social Psychology Lab at Department of Psychology, Purdue University, USA.

Golec de Zavala, A. (2019). Low self-esteem predicts out-group derogation via collective narcissism, but this relationship Is obscured by in-group satisfaction. Invited presentation at Social Psychology Series at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Golec de Zavala, A. (2019). Low self-esteem predicts out-group derogation via collective narcissism, but this relationship Is obscured by in-group satisfaction. Invited seminar presentation at the department of psychology, ISCTE, Lisbon, Portugal.

Lantos, D. (2019). Counteracting the adverse effects of group-based exclusion in collective narcissists. Social Cognition Seminar, University College London (UCL), United Kingdom.

Chaired symposia

Golec de Zavala A. (2019, July). National collective narcissism: vengeful hostility towards minorities and ambivalence towards the European Union. Symposium conducted at the Annual Scientific Meeting of International Society for Political Psychology, Lisbon, Portugal.

Golec de Zavala, A. (2019, July). Individual predictors of intergroup hostility: facilitators and inhibitors. Symposium conducted at the Conference of International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, Florence, Italy

Oral presentations

Golec de Zavala, A., Wieteska, K., Komorowska M., Dyduch-Hazar, K., Mazurkiewicz M., & Mroziński, B. (2019, May). Czy nowe media mogą przyczyniać się do bliskości międzyludzkiej? Paper presented at III Ogólnopolska Interdyscyplinarna Konferencja Studencko-Doktorancka Współczesny Człowiek w obliczu (nie)przychylnej rzeczywistości, Katowice, Poland.

Golec de Zavala, A. (2019, July). Gratitude reduces collective narcissism-prejudice link. Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of International Society for Political Psychology, Lisbon, Portugal.

Guerra, R., Golec de Zavala A., et al. (2019, July). Collective narcissism predicts positive attitudes towards the EU via the perception that the national ingroup is indispensable to define the European identity. Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of International Society for Political Psychology, Lisbon, Portugal.

Golec de Zavala, A. (2019, July). Low self-esteem predicts out-group derogation via collective narcissism. Paper presented at the Conference of International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, Florence, Italy.

Golec de Zavala, A., Wieteska, K., Komorowska M., & Mroziński, B. (2019, September). Wzbudzanie uczucia kama muta zmniejsza wrogie intencje wobec uchodźców ale niekoniecznie wśród kolektywnych narcyzów. Paper presented at the16th Congress of Polish Society of Social Psychology, Poznań, Poland.

Dyduch-Hazar, K., Mrozinski, B., Cypryanska, M., & Golec de Zavala, A. (2019, July). Opposite unique relationships of collective narcissism and ingroup satisfaction on intergroup aggression via hedonistic beliefs about revenge. Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of International Society for Political Psychology, Lisbon, Portugal.

Dyduch-Hazar, K., Mrozinski, B., & Golec de Zavala, A. (2019, July). Collective narcissism predicts retaliatory intergroup aggression via belief in the hedonistic power of intergroup revenge especially when the past harm to the in-group is made salient. Paper presented at the Conference of International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, Florence, Italy.

Dyduch-Hazar, K., Golec de Zavala, A., & Mrozinski, B. (2019, July). Introducing Hedonistic Beliefs About Revenge Scale. Paper presented at the Conference of International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, Florence, Italy.

Dyduch-Hazar, K., Mrozinski, B., & Golec de Zavala, A. (2019, September). Opposite unique associations of collective narcissism and in-group satisfaction with hostility toward refugees via attribution of hostility. Paper presented at the 16th Congress of Polish Society of Social Psychology, Poznan, Poland.

Lantos, D. (2019, June). The neural mechanisms of intergroup threat and reconciliation. Paper presented at the 2019 Australasian Society for Social and Affective Neuroscience Conference, Newcastle, Australia

Lantos, D. (2019, July). Counteracting the adverse effects of group-based exclusion in collective narcissists. Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of International Society for Political Psychology, Lisbon, Portugal.

Lantos, D. (2019, July). Collective narcissism as a coping mechanism for the unfulfilled self-entitlement. Paper presented at the Conference of International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, Florence, Italy.

Lantos, D. (2019, May). Counteracting the adverse effects of group-based exclusion in collective narcissists. Paper presented at Ethics and Wellbeing Hub Meeting, The University of Melbourne, Australia.

Lantos, D. (2019, November). The neural mechanisms of intergroup threat and reconciliation. Meeting of the International Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Investigations into Individual Differences in Learning, London, UK.

Mazurkiewicz, M., & Golec de Zavala, A. (2019, July). Gratitude reduces collective narcissism-prejudice link. Paper presented at the Conference of International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, Florence, Italy.

Mazurkiewicz, M., & Golec de Zavala, A. (2019, September). Co łączy uważność (mindfulness), uprzedzenia rasowe i lęk przed śmiercią? Paper presented at the 16th Congress of Polish Society of Social Psychology, Poznan, Poland.

Posters

Dyduch-Hazar, K., Mrozinski, B., & Golec de Zavala, A. (2019, February). The role of anticipated mood improvement in the relationship between collective narcissism and intergroup hostility. Poster presented at Annual Convention of Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Portland, OR, United States.

Lantos, D. (2019, February). The road from low self-esteem to outgroup derogation passes through collective narcissism. Poster presented at Annual Convention of Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Portland, OR, United States.

Lantos, D. (2019, March). Counteracting the adverse effects of social exclusion in collective narcissism. Poster presented at the 2019 Mind Brain Body Symposium, Berlin, Germany.