Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis



Reader 1

Jennifer Ma

Reader 2

Kevin Carlson

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© 2015 Laura B. Rosenthal


Narcissists are not generally thought of as altruistic individuals. There are certain conditions, however, that may meet the needs of narcissistic individuals and thus elicit altruistic behavior. These conditions include recognition for the act, or adding to narcissists’ already high opinion of themselves through executing the act. Because narcissists also demonstrate impulsivity, it is also possible that a time pressure may induce narcissists as well as impulsive individuals to act altruistically. The aim of this study is to determine in what context, if any, narcissistic and impulsive individuals may display acts of altruism, specifically charitable giving. This study uses a 2 (recognized vs. unrecognized) x 2 (time limited vs. time unlimited) between groups design. Participants will complete a Stop Signal task, a charitable giving task in which recognition and time limit are manipulated, demographic questions, and two measures of narcissism. The expected results are that higher scores on overt narcissism will lead participants to donate in conditions in which they receive recognition for their donation. Higher scores on covert narcissism will lead participants to donate in conditions where they are not recognized. Individuals with higher impulsivity scores as determined by the Stop Signal task will donate in time pressured conditions over time unlimited. And furthermore, impulsivity will act as a mediator between narcissism and charitable giving in time-limited conditions. Finally, implications of these results and future directions for research are discussed.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.