Once in a blue moon (or, in this case, a Mercury retrograde), paranoia creeps up on me and I start to wonder, “Am I narcissistic without knowing it?” After all, Draco Malfoy would probably scoff at such an accusation. Same, same with other literary narcissists like Tom Buchanan, Patrick Bateman, and Dorian Gray. I’m not making obnoxiously self-important statements (“My father will hear about this!”), but it’s still a concern of mine. So, for the sake of self-discovery, I took the quiz psychologists use to determine if a given patient is, indeed, an IRL narcissist.
There’s no singular dead-giveaway that you possess this particular trait of the “dark triad.” Instead, psychologists use the Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry Questionnaire (NARQ), an 18 question framework created by professors to reveal your true colors. NARQ measures narcissism based on two positively correlated dimensions: admiration and rivalry. In narcissists, these two qualities show up differently than they do in an average person. The quiz separates true narcissists from those who just, like, really want to be famous.
Using a scale of one through six, you’ll decide how much you agree with the 18 given statements (e.g., “I am great”; “I secretly take pleasure in the failure of my rivals”; and (LOL) “Most people are somehow losers”). Then, use some fourth-grade math class to calculate the mean (your total score divided by 18). The closer that number is to six, the closer you are to being a narcissist. This is just the most basic way to use the quiz, however. You can also use the second and third sheet of the questionnaire to nail down the specifics of your personal admiration and rivalry tendencies through the other formulas listed. So geek out, or stick with the basics. It’s totally up to you.
Just so you know the quiz is legit, back in 2016, a study of data from over 15,000 people tested for narcissistic tendencies across different personality structures, including Dark Triad traits, the Big Five, and the NARQ. The results showed NARQ yielded reliable results—especially when it came to detecting the more “antagonistic aspects of grandiose narcissism.” So, yeah, if you’re not already bringing the survey on dates, job interviews, and early friendship outings, you might consider slipping it in your back pocket and casually asking: “Would you agree or disagree that ‘other people are worth nothing’? Just curious.”
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