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Narcissism and the social context: An agent-based modeling approach

Lena Herchenhahn
Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel ~ Psychological Methodology
Veronika Lerche
Kiel University
Mr. Martin Schoemann
TU Dresden
Prof. Stefan Scherbaum
TU Dresden

Interpersonal psychological factors are - in addition to intrapersonal psychological factors - crucial for the development of mental health problems. Testing underlying factors of mental health problems for causality is difficult because they can hardly be manipulated experimentally. As a possible solution, we propose to use one major, in other research fields already approved cognitive modeling approach, called agent-based modeling (ABM). To illustrate the application of this approach in psychological research, especially clinical psychology, we develop a model based on the underlying factors of grandiose narcissism as personality trait and implement it as ABM. This way, we examine the characteristics that are crucial for the development of grandiose narcissism, focusing on the role of social interactions. To validate our findings, we evaluate the simulated data using a Social-Network-Analysis (SNA) approach and compare it with results of SNA from real data. After examining underlying factors, it is possible to derive possible interventions that can be tested using ABM. Our approach provides a promising example for applying ABM in psychological research, especially when examining interpersonal factors of mental health problems.



agent-based modeling
cognitive modeling
social context
grandiose narcissism

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Cite this as:

Herchenhahn, L., Lerche, V., Schoemann, M., & Scherbaum, S. (2023, July). Narcissism and the social context: An agent-based modeling approach. Abstract published at MathPsych/ICCM/EMPG 2023. Via