Narcissism and the Strategic Pursuit of Short-Term Mating: Universal Links across 11 World Regions of the International Sexuality Description Project-2

David P. Schmitt, Lidia Alcalay, Jüri Allik, I. C. B. Alves, Craig A. Anderson, A. L. Angelini, Jens B. Asendorpf, Ivars Austers, Isabel Balaguer, Américo Baptista, Sóley S. Bender, Kevin Bennett, Gabriel Bianchi, Behrooz Birashk, April Bleske-Rechek, Fredrick A. Boholst, Lynda Boothroyd, Teresa Borja, Arjan Bos, Edwin BrainerdGary L. Brase, José Brites, M. Burakova-Lorgnier, Mark Byrd, J. A. Camilleri, Andrea Camperio Ciani, Leo Gerard A. Caral, Katherine B. Carnelley, Marina Carvalho, Janette Casson, Isabel Castillo, Alejandro Castro, Maria Martina Casullo, Valery I. Chirkov, Jean Choi, Danielle Cohen, Cecilie Amalie Collin-Hansen, Melissa A. Commisso, Elvira Consuegra, Lorena Cordovez, Cem Safak Cukur, Mary Ann Borg Cunen, Michael Cunningham, Layton Seth Curl, Petra Daniel, Jaap J. A. Denissen, Serge Desmarais, Eros DeSouza, Rolando Diaz-Loving, M. Shamsuddin Elias, Aukse Endriulaitiene, Ekin Eremsoy, Francisca Expósito, Ruth Falzon, Ana Maria Fernandez, Kumari Fernando, José H. B. P. Ferreira, Bernhard Fink, Maryanne Fisher, Julie Fitness, Karissa Flowers, David Frederick, Sirpa Fry, Osamu Fukushima, Stanley O. Gaines Jr, Renee V. Galliher, E. Gandari, Glenn Geher, Douglas A. Gentile, Jessica M. Geri, V. N. Giri, Deborah Golden, Fiona Gordon, Kristina C. Gordon, Karl Grammer, Liria Grimaldi, Stephen Giunta, Endre Hajdú, Jamin Halberstadt, Gert Hald, Magdalena S. Halim, Shamsul Haque, Siri Katinka Harlem, Krystle A. Hearns, Patrick Heaven, Marie Helweg-Larsen, Eduardo Wills Herrera, Dora Herrera, Janine Hertel, Heather Hoffmann, Henrik Høgh-Olesen, Barbara J. Houle, Jasna Hudek-Knezevic, Jas Jaafar, Konstantinos Kafetsios, Igor Kardum, Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, Brigitte Khoury, Tibor Kökény

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Previous studies have documented links between sub-clinical narcissism and the active pursuit of short-term mating strategies (e.g., unrestricted sociosexuality, marital infidelity, mate poaching). Nearly all of these investigations have relied solely on samples from Western cultures. In the current study, responses from a cross-cultural survey of 30,470 people across 53 nations spanning 11 world regions (North America, Central/South America, Northern Europe, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Oceania, Southeast Asia, and East Asia) were used to evaluate whether narcissism (as measured by the Narcissistic Personality Inventory; NPI) was universally associated with short-term mating. Results revealed narcissism scores (including two broad factors and seven traditional facets as measured by the NPI) were functionally equivalent across cultures, reliably associating with key sexual outcomes (e.g., more active pursuit of shortterm mating, intimate partner violence, and sexual aggression) and sex-related personality traits (e.g., higher extraversion and openness to experience). Whereas some features of personality (e.g., subjective well-being) were universally associated with socially adaptive facets of Narcissism (e.g., self-sufficiency), most indicators of short-term mating (e.g., unrestricted sociosexuality and marital infidelity) were universally associated with the socially maladaptive facets of narcissism (e.g., exploitativeness). Discussion addresses limitations of these cross-culturally universal findings and presents suggestions for future research into revealing the precise psychological features of narcissism that facilitate the strategic pursuit of short-term mating.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-137
Number of pages49
JournalPsychological Topics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • *Cross Cultural Differences *Human Mate Selection *Narcissism *Personality Traits Sexual Intercourse (Human)


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