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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 27, 2022

Collective Narcissism and Perceptions of the (Il)legitimacy of the 2020 US Election

Christopher M. Federico, Christina Farhart, Joseph Vitriol and Agnieszka Golec de Zavala
From the journal The Forum

Abstract

Recent work suggests that collective narcissism—an exaggerated, unrealistic belief in an in-group’s greatness that demands constant external validation—is a reliable predictor of authoritarian-populist hostility toward democratic norms, processes, and outcomes. In the present study, we use a recent survey of American adults to examine the relationship between collective narcissism and perceptions that the 2020 election in the US was illegitimate. We find evidence that those high in national collective narcissism are more likely to endorse a number of beliefs about the illegitimacy of the 2020 US election, including greater perception of fraud, procedural unfairness, and inaccurate vote counting. Importantly, we find that this relationship is strongest among those whose identities were most threatened by a loss of power due to the 2020 presidential outcome, i.e., Republicans and conservative identifiers.


Corresponding author: Christopher M. Federico, Departments of Political Science and Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA, E-mail:

  1. Research Funding: The authors would like to thank the Research Foundation for The State University of New York, the Stony Brook Foundation, Inc., and the College of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook University for providing the resources needed to collect the data used in this research.

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Supplementary Material

The online version of this article offers supplementary material (https://doi.org/10.1515/for-2022-2046).


Published Online: 2022-05-27

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