The Relationship Between Narcissistic Traits and Attitudes Toward Infidelity: A Dyadic Analysis

Ateret Gewirtz-Meydan, Roi Estlein, Ricky Finzi-Dottan

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2 Scopus citations


Previous research suggested that narcissism is associated with infidelity and reduced commitment in relationships. However, the majority of studies supporting this association were conducted among individuals and did not examine dyadic paths and also conceptualized and measured narcissism as a global variable, lacking a nuance perspective of the two traits of narcissism (i.e., grandiose and vulnerable). The present study sought to examine attitudes toward infidelity from a dyadic perspective, using narcissism personality traits (grandiose and vulnerable) as predictors. The effect of narcissism personality traits on attitudes toward infidelity was investigated among 135 couples (N = 270) in enduring relationships. To assess whether attitudes toward infidelity were explained by grandiose narcissism and vulnerable narcissism, we used multivariate multilevel statistical model for matched pairs to evaluate the effect of each partner’s characteristics on their own (actor effect) and their partner’s (partner effect) attitudes. The results indicate that females’ attitudes toward infidelity were positively associated with their own grandiose narcissism and vulnerable narcissism and negatively associated with their partner’s grandiose narcissism. Males’ attitudes toward infidelity were positively associated with both their own and their partner’s vulnerable narcissism but not with their or their partner’s grandiose narcissism. The results highlighted the importance of studying different aspects of narcissism in relation to dyadic processes within intimate relationships in general and regarding infidelity in particular. Our findings suggest that more or less favorable attitudes toward infidelity depend not only on the individual’s narcissistic traits but on his/her partner’s grandiosity and vulnerability as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)932-941
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2023

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  • dyadic
  • grandiose
  • infidelity
  • narcissism
  • vulnerability


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