August 2014
Volume 14, Issue 10
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2014
Narcissistic personality differences in facial emotional expression categorization
Author Affiliations
  • Jessica Tardif
    Université du Québec en Outaouais
  • Daniel Fiset
    Université du Québec en Outaouais
  • Caroline Blais
    Université du Québec en Outaouais
Journal of Vision August 2014, Vol.14, 1444. doi:
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      Jessica Tardif, Daniel Fiset, Caroline Blais; Narcissistic personality differences in facial emotional expression categorization. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1444. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Narcissistic Personality Disorder has been linked to a lack of empathy and a disrupted recognition of facial emotional expressions (Marissen, Deen, & Franken, 2012). To further investigate the link between narcissism and categorization of facial expressions, the performance and visual strategies in facial expression categorization of 20 healthy subjects were assessed using Bubbles (Gosselin & Schyns, 2001) and a separate expression categorization task involving fully-visible faces. The Bubbles task consisted in presenting sparse versions of emotional faces created by sampling facial information at random spatial locations and at five non-overlapping spatial frequency bands. Narcissism levels were evaluated using the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI; Raskin & Hall, 1979). Each participant performed two categorization tasks with 4 facial expressions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness). NPI scores correlated positively with the number of Bubbles needed to maintain performance at 65% (r = 0.4634, p <0.05) and with reaction times in the task involving full faces (r = 0.4977, p <0.05). Classification images (CI) revealing what visual information correlated with participants accuracy were constructed separately for the most and less narcissistic subjects (z-scores higher than 0.5 or lower than -0.5) by performing a multiple linear regression on the bubbles locations and accuracy. The results shows that CIs for fear differ across groups (Zcrit = 3.36, p <0.05; corrected for multiple comparisons). Both groups use the mouth region but differ on which eye they use: narcissistic subjects using the left one. Our results are congruent with the alteration observed with clinical subjects in the performance at recognizing facial expressions (Marissen, Deen, & Franken, 2011). Furthermore, we show that in a non-clinical sample, the variations in performance are coupled with a different lateralisation bias in the eye utilisation during the processing of the fearful expression.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014


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