Two studies assessed the associations that narcissistic admiration (an agentic form of narcissism characterized by assertive self-enhancement and self-promotion) and narcissistic rivalry (an antagonistic form of narcissism characterized by self-protection and self-defense) have with self-enhancing and communal motivations for sharing romantic relationship information on social media, and how the partner’s physical attractiveness relates to the likelihood of sharing this information. In Study 1, 248 participants reported on their actual relationships. In Study 2, 423 participants evaluated hypothetical partners whose physical attractiveness was experimentally manipulated. In both studies, narcissistic rivalry was associated with greater self-enhancing motivations. In Study 1, narcissistic admiration was associated with greater self-enhancing and communal motivations for sharing the relationship. In both studies, narcissistic individuals were not more likely to share their relationships if their partners were physically attractive. Study 2 provided some evidence that both narcissistic admiration and narcissistic rivalry were associated with a preference for sharing sexy photographs of one’s partner, depending upon the operationalization of the preference.
During the past 10 years, social networking sites (SNS) – including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – have become a common part of people’s lives. Approximately 69% of American adults have a profile on a SNS, amounting to a greater than three-fold increase in 10 years (Pew Research Center, 2018). About 60% of Instagram and Snapchat users and 74% of Facebook users visit these sites daily, with about half visiting them multiple times each day (Smith & Anderson, 2018). The tremendous popularity of SNS, along with the opportunities they provide for self-presentation and self-enhancement, have led both popular media and psychologists to take an interest in how narcissism relates to SNS use (Campbell & McCain, 2018). Narcissism is characterized by a grandiose view of oneself, selfcenteredness, and a sense of entitlement (e.g., Dowgwillo, Dawood, & Pincus, 2016; Miller, Lynam, Hyatt, & Campbell, 2017; Morf & Rhodewalt, 2001). A large body of research concerning narcissism has focused on its connections with various aspects of romantic relationships. Narcissism is associated with numerous difficulties in long-term relationships (e.g., Brunell & Campbell, 2011; Wurst et al., 2017), such as taking a game-playing approach to relationships (Campbell, Foster, & Finkel, 2002), devaluing romantic partners (Campbell, Rudich, & Sedikides, 2002), and pursuing self-enhancement at the cost of personal relationships (Sedikides, Campbell, Reeder, Elliot, & Gregg, 2002). Despite great interest in how narcissism relates to both SNS use and romantic relationships, no research has closely examined how narcissists present their romantic relationships on SNS.