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Hildegard Ameln-Haffke

Literature DOI: 10.12663/Confinia.2.2014.2.3


Adam, K.-U. (2003). Therapeutisches Arbeiten mit dem Ich. Denken, Fühlen,
Empfinden, Intuieren – die vier Ich-Funktionen. Düsseldorf: Patmos. Indicators of Pathological Narcissism
Amman, G. (1989). Heilende Bilder der Seele. München: Kösel.
Cooper, J. C. (1986). Illustriertes Lexikon der traditionellen Symbole. Wiesbaden:
in the Sixty Second Drawing Test
Drei Lilien.
Egli, H. (1994). Das Schlangensymbol. Geschichte. Märchen. Mythos. Düsseldorf: Zsuzsanna Kövi, Krisztina Hevesi, Sándor Rózsa,
Patmos. Nenad Jaksic, Dorottya Kása, Zsuzsanna Mirnics,
Gontard, A. V (2007). Theorie und Praxis der Sandspieltherapie. Ein Handbuch Anna Mersdorf, Zoltán Vass1
aus kinderpsychiatrischer und analytischer Sicht. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.
Budapest, Hungary
Jung, C. G. (2004). Archetypen. 11. Auflage. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch
Verlag.
Kalff, D. (1996). Sandspiel. 4. Auflage. München: Rheinhardt.
Kast, V. (1990). Die Dynamik der Symbole. Grundlagen der Jungschen Abstract
Psychotherapie. 4. Auflage. Düsseldorf, Zürich: Walter.
Kast, V. (1994). Vater-Töchter, Mütter-Söhne. Wege zur eigenen Identität aus
Vater- und Mutterkomplexen. Stuttgart: Kreuz. The overarching goal of this study was to examine the usefulness
Müller, L. & Müller, A. (Hrsg.). (2003). Wörterbuch der Analytischen Psychologie. of the Sixty Second Drawing Test (SSDT) in predicting levels of
Düsseldorf, Zürich: Walter.
pathological narcissism. Total pathological narcissism scores
Neumann, E. (1997). Die Große Mutter. Eine Phänomenologie der Weiblichen
Gestaltungen des Unbewussten. Düsseldorf, Solothurn: Walter. and its two dimensions – grandiosity and vulnerability – were
Neumann, E. (1999a). Das Kind. Struktur und Dynamik der werdenden examined. Total pathological narcissism and vulnerability both
Persönlichkeit. Frankfurt/M.: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag.
exhibited positive associations with large and high self circle in
Neumann, E. (1999b). Ursprungsgeschichte des Bewusstseins. 6. Auflage.
Frankfurt/M.: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag. relation to partner, high position of self in relation to someone
Riedel, I. (1985). Formen. Zürich: Kreuz. in a conflict, large problem circle, and drawing happiness dis-
Walker, B. (1997). Das geheime Wissen der Frauen. 4. Auflage. München: DTV. tant and to the right from the self. On the other hand, grandiosity
Zoja, L. (2002). Das Verschwinden der Väter. Düsseldorf, Zürich: Walter. was related only to drawing happiness more distant and more to
the right from the self and with lower position of self in relation
to sibling(s). However, in stepwise regression, approximately one
third of the variance of vulnerability and also about one third
of the variance of grandiosity could be explained by the SSDT
indicators. In the case of vulnerability, large and high self circle
5 Institute of Psychology, Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church, Budapest,
1

Hungary.

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Zsuzsanna Kövi et al. Indicators of Pathological Narcissism in the Sixty Second Drawing Test

in relation to partner, high position of self in relation to some- •• are said to be exploitative (American Psychiatric Association,
one in a conflict, large problem circle, and low position of self in 2013),
relation to money were significant predictors, whereas in case of •• lack empathy (Roepke & Vater, 2014),
grandiosity right-sided position of sex circle, large self in relation •• are envious of others’ achievements and abilities (American
to partner, small self in relation to mother, and small distance Psychiatric Association, 2013),
from father became significant predictors. These findings might •• think very highly of themselves, have highly positive self
prove to be useful in the personality assessment of individuals views,
undergoing psychological treatments, although future studies •• perform exhibitionistic acts (Buss & Chiodo, 1991),
should replicate our results in clinical samples. •• blame others,
•• seek status rather than intimacy in romantic relationship,
•• have high sexual desire,
•• desire multiple sexual partners,
Introduction •• are highly materialistic (Campbell, Brunell, & Finkel, 2006).

Pathological Narcissism In the clinical tradition, narcissism is viewed as a personality


disorder (i.e., narcissistic personality disorder in the DSM-5)
Narcissism has been studied widely and for a long time. Narcis-
(APA, 2013), however, some researchers have also focused on
sists consider themselves to be different, unique and superior to or
adaptive characteristics of narcissism, such as work achievement
better than others. They create a grandiose self-concept by fanta-
(Lukowitsky, Roberts, Lehner, Pincus, & Conroy, 2007), as well as
sizing about fame, power or love, defend the self against criticism
confidence, extraversion, and energy (Campbell et al., 2006).
and seek excessive admiration and attention (Campbell, Foster, &
Narcissists need to feel connections with others to meet their
Finkel, 2002). Freud (1931/1950) described the narcissistic type as
self-esteem needs, and to feel themselves grandiose, so they seek
independent, energetic, confident and aggressive.
admiration from others (Campbell, & Foster, 2002).
Campbell (2001) describes narcissists as the ones who are less
According to the summary of Campbell et al. (2002) narcissists:
socially anxious, feel less shame, have higher self-esteem, are more
•• display self-focus rather than other focus (Emmons, 1987;
energetic and extraverted, seek out new challenges and sensations,
Raskin & Shaw, 1988),
love to compete and win, pointing out that from the perspective of
•• report a lesser need for intimacy than do non-narcissists
a narcissist, narcissism is not really a bad thing. Healso emphasizes
(Carroll, 1987),
that narcisssists lack commitment and caring in their closerelation-

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Zsuzsanna Kövi et al. Indicators of Pathological Narcissism in the Sixty Second Drawing Test

ships, which is a problem for their partners, but not for the narcis- Recently, Pincus et al. (2009) have developed the Pathologi-
sists themselves. Buss and Shackelford’s study (1997) also showed cal Narcissism Inventory (PNI) measuring both grandiosity and
that high level of narcissism can be related to becoming unfaithful vulnerability and found them to be correlated with each other
in relationships. Narcissists desire greater sexual diversity and are and with various psychological constructs. Further research re-
more likely to perceive sex without emotional warmth or closeness vealed correlations with certain personality dimensions (Bresin &
(Campbell et al., 2006). Carter, Montanaro, Linney and Campbell Gordon, 2011; Miller et al., 2011), self-esteem and affective distur-
(2014) argued that narcissism is a significant predictor of both gen- bances (Pincus et al., 2009; Tritt, Ryder, Ring, & Pincus, 2010), and
eral and sexual competitiveness. Baughman, Jonason, Veselka and maladaptive cognitions (Zeigler-Hill, Green, Arnau, Sisemore, &
Vernon (2014) revealed that narcissism has positive associations Myers, 2011; Marcinko et al., 2014).
with intimate and sadomazochistic sexual fantasies as well. Bresin and Gordon (2011) revealed that grandiosity is linked to
Researchers in social and personality psychology have conceptu- extraversion, dishonesty (such as greediness, lack of sincerity and
alized narcissism as a dimensional construct (Raskin & Hall, 1979), lack of modesty) and conscientiousness (being “workaholics” and
which was developed by examining characteristics of the Narcis- perfectionists), whereas vulnerability goes together with emotion-
sistic Personality Disorder in normal populations (Campbell et al., ality, intraversion, disagreeableness and lack of conscientiousness.
2002). Pathological narcissism measured by the Narcissistic Per- Further researches showed that high level of grandious nar-
sonality Inventory (NPI, Raskin & Terry, 1988) shows association cissimis associated with high self-esteem, positive self-image and
with depression and anxiety (Miller, Campbell, & Pilkonis, 2007). independent selfengaging in exhibitionistic behaviors, whereas
Current psychiatric and clinical psychology literature describes high level of vulnerable narcissism is linked to low self-esteem,
pathological narcissism with two phenotypic forms of narcissis- negative self-image, self-criticism and interdependent selfcharac-
tic dysfunction, grandiosity and vulnerability (Cain, Pincus, & terized by shyness, social withdrawal and interpersonal sensitivity
Ansell, 2008; Pincus & Lukowitsky, 2010; Ronningstam, 2010; Russ, (Zeigler-Hill et al., 2011, Rohmann, Neumann, Herner, & Bierhoff,
Shedler, Bradley, & Westen, 2008). 2012; Pincus & Lukowitsky, 2010).
Grandiosity refers to an arrogant, overvalued and entitled According to a study by Miller, Gentle, Wilson and Campbell
self-image with exploitative and exhibitionistic behaviors, whereas (2013) both vulnerability and grandiosity showed significantcor-
vulnerability stands for the frail self-image, emotional dysregula- relation with facets of the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 in all
tion and interpersonal hypersensitivity when strong needs for ad- five domains of personality pathology (antagonism, detachment,
miration and idealized expectations are not met (Pincus & Roche, negative affectivity, disinhibition and psychoticism). However, nar-
2011). cissistic vulnerability was significantly related to more facets, and
at a stronger level. Grandiosity had a correlation above .5 with the

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Zsuzsanna Kövi et al. Indicators of Pathological Narcissism in the Sixty Second Drawing Test

following facets: grandiosity, attention seeking, unusual beliefs/ (1) Size and emotional states
perceptions, cognitive/ perceptual dysregulation. Vulnerability had
Lewinsohn (1964) has noted that emotional states such as depres-
a correlation above .5 with the following facets: emotional lability,
sion and anxiety can result in smaller drawings, whereas Salzman
anxiousness, perseveration, hostility, depression, suspiciousness,
and Harway (1967) and Sandman, Cauthen, Kilpatrick and Deabler
withdrawal, anhedonia, deceitfulness, callousness, irresponsibil-
(1968) reported no relationship between depression and the size of
ity, distractibility, eccentricity, cognitive/perceptual dysregula-
figure drawings. Roback and Webersinn (1966) concluded that de-
tion. This suggests that narcissistic vulnerability manifests a much
pression and drawing small figures are related only among females.
broader range of psychopathological disturbances compared to the
narrower set of problems seen in grandiose forms of narcissism
(Miller et al., 2013).
(2) Size and self-esteem
Many researchers have proposed that size of drawing is related to
Personality assessment with drawing tests self-concept or self-esteem: large figures, especially the self figure is
considered to reflect high self-esteem along with high energy-level
Clinicians have long been using drawings for personality assess-
(Machover, 1949; Swenson, 1957; Bowdin & Bruck, 1960; McHugh,
ment and evaluation of emotional state (Thomas & Jolley, 1998).
1963; Gray & Pepitone, 1964; Vass, 2012). Koppitze (1966) found that
Surveys conducted in U.S. revealed that drawings are frequently
“shy” children drew smaller figures than those who were not shy.
used as personality assessments even in the 21st century (Camara,
Saneei, Bahrami and Haghegh (2011) reported that ADHD chil-
Nathan & Puente, 2000; Cashel, 2002).
dren, having low self-esteem, have drawn significantly shorter per-
On the other hand, researchers of personality psychology lack
sons than normal children.
standardized and validated scales for estimating personality from
However, Bennett (1966), Dalby and Vale (1977), and Prytula,
human figure drawings and empirical validation of drawing tests
Phelps and Morrisey (1978) found that size of the figure drawn was
has been incongruous.
not related to the level of self-esteem. Moreover, Swenson (1968)
In fact, there are numerous contradictory results on examin-
and Roback (1968) have doubted the validity and reliability of figure
ing relations between certain graphic traits and personality traits,
size indicators. Hammer (1958) has noted that large figure drawing
which question the validity of these tests.
might reflect high self-esteem or be a compensation for low self-es-
Size of figures has been the most widely studied graphic trait,
teem. Abraham (1973) has proposed that not only actual assess-
and its relation to (1) emotional states, (2) self-esteem and (3) im-
ment of self (and body image), but ideal of self and narcissism also
portance/power have been much debated.
determine the height of the drawing.

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Zsuzsanna Kövi et al. Indicators of Pathological Narcissism in the Sixty Second Drawing Test

(3) Size and importance/power Aim of the study


Children usually draw those important adults bigger, who have
In the present study we aimed to examine university student pop-
more power on them, therefore are more threating to them (Thomas
ulation using the Pathological Narcissism Inventory and the Sixty
& Jolley, 1998). However, Thomas and Jolley (1998) also highlighted
Second Drawing Test in order to determine how narcissistic char-
that size may not reflect the real but the desired state due to wish
acteristics could be grasped with examining sizes and placement of
fulfillment: threat can be reduced by reducing the relative size of
circles representing persons, objects and concepts in a quick draw-
the figure.
ing test.

(4) Placement of figure


Sample
Another studied graphic trait is placement of figure on a drawing.
DiLeo (1983) reported that small figures drawn at or near the Our sample consisted of 89 female and 19 male students of a
lower edge of the paper indicated feelings of inadequacy, insecurity psychology course at Eötvös Loránd University with the average
or depression. age of 21.79 (sd=4.48). Students filled out the questionnaire and
On the other hand, Shukla, Padhi, Chaudhury and Sengar (2012) completed the drawing task during a lecture, for which ethical
found that individuals with mania draw larger figures and top approval has been received from the University.
placement occurs more frequently among them than among nor-
mal populations.
Further, Thomas and Gray (1992) have examined how relative Measures
placement to a self drawing could reflect emotional significance.
They found that children draw themselves closer to images of their Pathological narcissism
friends than to classmates that they dislike.
The Pathological Narcissism Inventory (PNI; Pincus et al., 2009) is a
52-item measure developed to assess the grandiose and vulnerable
aspects of pathological narcissism. Responses for the PNI are made
on a scale ranging from 0 (not at all like me) to 5 (very much like me).
The PNI measures seven dimensions of pathological narcissism:

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Zsuzsanna Kövi et al. Indicators of Pathological Narcissism in the Sixty Second Drawing Test

contingent self-esteem (fluctuating levels of self-esteem), represent you and your partner.” When finished : “Label yourself
exploitative (manipulative interpersonal style), self-sacrificing self- with an X, write the title (me, partner) near the circles and a page
enhancement (bolstering positive self-image through altruistic number at the right bottom corner. Put it away and turn it face
acts), hiding the self (unwillingness to show others faults and needs), down.” From instructions 3-16, the examiner repeats the same pro-
grandiose fantasy (fantasies of admiration and success), devaluing cedure, changing only persons: 3. you and your bestfriend; 4. you
(disinterest in others who do not provide needed admiration), and and your father; 5. you and your mother; 6. you and your siblings;
entitlement rage (angry affect when expectations are not met). 7. you and your ideal partner; 8. you and a personyou have a con-
These seven dimensions load onto the two higher-order factors flict with; 9. a you and a current problem that worries you seriouly;
of grandiose (exploitative, self-sacrificing self-enhancement, and 10. you and the problem in a years time; 11. you and your partner in
grandiose fantasy) and vulnerable narcissism (contingent self- five years time; 12. your weak self and your strong self; 13. you and
esteem, hiding the self, entitlement rage, and devaluing (Wright, the happiness; 14. you and the money; 15. you and the sexuality;
Lukowitsky, Pincus, & Conroy, 2010; You, Leung, Lai, & Fu, 2013; 16. you and a world of your choice. Initial latency or reaction time
Jaksic et al., 2014). It has shown good internal consistency and before each circle is recorded.
convergent and discriminant validity (Pincus et al., 2009; Thomas, The SSDT evaluates personality and object relation, includ-
Wright, Lukowitsky, Donnellan & Hopwood, 2012; Tritt et al., 2010; ing conscious and not conscious aspects. The first drawing is ex-
Marcinko et al., 2014). pected to be spontaneous and unconscious representation of the
relationship, while the second drawing depicts what the subjects
would consciously like to see. The size of the own circles may reflect
Sixty Second Drawing Test (SSDT) self-esteem. Signs of dominance include drawing own circle bigger
and placing it higher on page. Circles may be separated or overlap-
The Sixty Second Drawing Test was developed by Vass (Vass, 2012)
ping (need for autonomy vs. need for intimacy), distances between
and a pencil or pen and 16 sheets of A6 sized paper.
circles and the amount of overlapping may increase or decrease,
The first instruction is “Take the first sheet landscape position
expressing a need for more autonomy vs. intimacy (Vass, 2012).
and draw a circle spontaneously that represents you.” When fin-
ished: “Draw a circle that represents your partner. If you don’t cur-
rently have a partner, then you can choose the last one.” When fin-
ished: “Label yourself with an X, write the titles (me, partner) near
the circles and page number at the right bottom corner. Put it away
and turn it face down.” The second instruction is “Draw circles that

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Zsuzsanna Kövi et al. Indicators of Pathological Narcissism in the Sixty Second Drawing Test

Hypotheses and based on Thomas and Gray’s assumption that closeness


indicates emotional significance, 1992),
We hypothesize that the total pathological narcissism score will be •• the closeness of happiness (based on idealized expectations,
positive linearly related to: Pincus & Roche, 2011).
•• the size of own circle (as Emmons, 1987 and Raskin & Shaw,
1988 report that narcissists think very highly of themselves Correlations with the size of own circle, size of sex, size of money,
and displayself-focus rather than other focus, along with relative size of own circle compared to partner, lack of overlap
the presumption that higher self-esteem will be reflected between the own and partner’s circles will be higher for grandiosity,
by larger self drawings, based on works of Machover, 1949; based on the relationship with grandious and sexual fantasies,
Swenson, 1957; Bowdin & Bruck, 1960; McHugh, 1963; Gray detachment tendencies (Miller et al., 2013) and greediness (Bresin
& Pepitone, 1964; Vass, 2012), & Gordon, 2011).
•• the size of circle of money (as Campbell et al., 2006 report Correlations with the size of problem, distance from happiness
that narcissists arehighly materialistic, and as Thomas & are more likely to emerge in relation to vulnerability subscale,
Jolley, 1998 note that size can reflect importance), based on vulnerability’s link with emotional lability and depression
•• the size of circle of sex (as Carter et al., 2014 describe nar- (Miller et al., 2013; Jaksic et al., 2014). Moreover, vulnerability may
cissists as ones desiring multiple sexual partners and having correlate negatively to size of self circle, based on link between
general and sexual competitiveness, and as Thomas & Jolley, vulnerable narcissism and low self-esteem (Zeigler-Hill et al., 2011,
1998 note that size can reflect importance), Rohmann et al., 2012; Pincus & Lukowitsky, 2010).
•• the relative size of own circle compared to partner’s (as Further, grandiosity is expected to be related to higher, where-
Campbell et al., 2002 note that narcissists seek domination as vulnerability to lower self-drawing placements, as DiLeo (1983)
status rather than intimacy in romantic relationship and as reported that lower placement indicated feelings of inadequacy, in-
Thomas & Jolley, 1998 note that size can reflect power), security or depression that can be linked to vulnerability (Bresin &
•• the size of circle of problem (based on link to emotional Gordon, 2011).
lability, Miller et al., 2013 and presuming that bigger drawing
would reflect bigger problem).
will be negatively related to
•• the overlap/and closeness between ownand partners’ circles
(based on reporting a lesser need for intimacy, Carroll, 1987

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Zsuzsanna Kövi et al. Indicators of Pathological Narcissism in the Sixty Second Drawing Test

Results Table 1. Correlations between Sixty Second Drawing


Test indices and Pathological Narcissism Score
Reliability

How many times is own circle

Proportion: Distance/size of
Horizontal position of other
Horizontal position of own

Vertical position of other

bigger than other circle?

Difference of horizontal
Diameter of other circle
Vertical position of own

Diameter of own circle

Difference of vertical
Grandiosity subscale had a Cronbach alpha .806, vulnerability had

bigger circle

positions

positions
Distance
.932 and the pathological narcissism total score composed of both

circle

circle

circle

circle
grandiosity and vulnerability items had .934. Correlation between
grandiosity and vulnerability was .558 (p<.000). Self-esteem scale
had a Cronbach-alpha .878. Further, DASS (Depression, Anxiety
You and
and Stress) had Cronbach alpha .922 for total scale, along with .877, your…

partner 1. -.061 .049 .031 .047 -.101 -.190* .187 .013 .085 -.068 .027
.788 and .840 for the three subscales (consecutively for depression,
partner 2. -.05 .006 .021 .022 -.029 -.097 .268** -.005 .047 -.026 .006
anxiety and stress). best friend -.019 .084 -.097 -.092 -.058 -.032 .086 -.076 -.053 -.063 .017

father .019 -.001 -.067 -.185 .016 -.043 .166 .047 -.034 .01 -.095

mother -.015 .152 -.206* -.023 -.022 .074 -.124 .074 .055 -.102 .107

Correlations between Pathological Narcissism scores sibling(s)

ideal
.129 .023 -.204* .038 .111 .142 -.007 -.05 -.158 .08 .167

and Sixty Second Drawing Test partner


-.059 .049 -.068 -.108 -.008 .042 -.091 .042 .046 -.069 -.076

someone
with
Total Pathological Narcissism score was positively related to (see whom .038 .002 .199* -.081 .011 -.048 .077 -.111 -.055 .016 -.146
you have
Table 1): conflict

•• proportion of self and partner circle sizes, biggest


problem
-.104 .086 -.118 .071 -.16 .268** -.228* .112 .08 -.123 .139

•• size of biggest problem, the


problem in -.086 .07 -.115 .111 -.019 .024 .094 -.044 -.013 -.09 .143
•• higher position of self in relation to someone in conflict, one year

•• drawing happiness more to the right side of paper. partner in


-.008 .132 -.188 -.234* -.032 -.066 .05 .081 .071 -.085 -.071
5 yrs
The total score was negatively related to: your weak
•• size of partner, and strong
ego
.098 -.136 -.028 .01 .071 .079 0 .073 .001 .133 .025

•• higher position of self in relation to mother and sibling(s), happiness .015 .230* -.035 -.085 .033 .014 .133 .250* .285** -.153 -.045

•• higher position of partner in 5 years, sex -.05 .003 -.145 -.049 .023 .08 .029 -.026 -.006 -.027 .031

money -.036 .062 -.116 -.093 -.031 .089 .129 .037 .003 -.071 .005
•• proportion of self and problem sizes.
an
important .011 -.03 .036 -.061 -.049 .101 -.029 .017 .034 .043 -.076
object

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Zsuzsanna Kövi et al. Indicators of Pathological Narcissism in the Sixty Second Drawing Test

Table 2. Correlations between Sixty Second Drawing Table 3. Correlations between Sixty Second Drawing
Test indices and Grandiosity Score Test indices and Grandiosity Score

How many times is own circle

How many times is own circle


Proportion: Distance/size of

Proportion: Distance/size of
Horizontal position of other

Horizontal position of other


Horizontal position of own

Horizontal position of own


Vertical position of other

Vertical position of other


bigger than other circle?

bigger than other circle?


Difference of horizontal

Difference of horizontal
Diameter of other circle

Diameter of other circle


Vertical position of own

Vertical position of own


Diameter of own circle

Diameter of own circle


Difference of vertical

Difference of vertical
bigger circle

bigger circle
positions

positions

positions

positions
Distance

Distance
circle

circle

circle

circle

circle

circle

circle

circle
You and You and
your… your…

partner 1. .061 .174 .074 .05 -.063 -.12 .067 .067 .001 -.131 -.002 partner 1. -.106 -.012 .021 .057 -.087 -.184 .214* .087 .033 -.033 .044

partner 2. .034 .073 -.014 -.007 .031 -.064 .151 .016 -.037 -.024 .005 partner 2. -.064 -.005 .057 .058 -.038 -.087 .286** .056 .024 -.027 .017

best friend .024 .128 -.094 -.043 -.024 -.039 .124 -.078 -.083 -.064 .055 best friend -.032 .044 -.085 -.076 -.059 -.024 .071 -.037 -.06 -.047 .017

father .095 -.044 -.101 -.183 -.067 -.143 .091 -.099 -.074 .073 -.076 father -.011 .017 -.04 -.141 .052 .011 .154 -.011 .09 -.016 -.078

mother .079 .059 -.182 -.156 -.106 -.056 -.067 .02 -.017 .009 -.021 mother -.049 .169 -.18 .044 .032 .119 -.112 .067 .112 -.132 .149

sibling(s) .13 .058 -.281** .063 .001 .005 .079 -.143 -.091 .061 .238* sibling(s) .106 .005 -.14 .033 .145 .184 -.046 -.137 -.017 .074 .12

ideal ideal
-.046 .049 -.078 -.116 -.035 .019 -.113 .043 .027 -.062 -.075 -.053 .047 -.048 -.073 -.001 .04 -.07 .057 .046 -.065 -.049
partner partner

someone someone
with with
whom .08 .017 .025 .038 .002 -.127 .103 -.013 -.058 .026 .014 whom .037 -.034 .252** -.118 .017 -.001 .054 -.081 -.136 .038 -.195*
you have you have
conflict conflict

biggest biggest
.005 .069 -.104 .09 -.153 .157 -.103 .121 .057 -.024 .163 -.134 .115 -.094 .05 -.129 .254** -.232* .087 .155 -.17 .102
problem problem

the the
problem problem
.044 .034 -.159 .123 -.021 -.023 .166 .031 -.022 -.013 .172 -.117 .073 -.081 .075 -.011 .045 .068 -.022 -.043 -.103 .097
in one in one
year year

partner in partner in
.083 .049 -.172 -.111 -.063 -.077 .043 .132 .099 .02 .024 -.04 .139 -.163 -.223* -.01 -.059 .04 .037 .068 -.108 -.078
5 yrs 5 yrs

your weak your weak


and strong .023 -.02 .008 .03 .025 -.029 -.034 .049 .054 .024 .022 and strong .121 -.162 -.038 -.01 .068 .112 .026 -.002 .073 .161 .013
ego ego

happiness .088 .252** -.085 -.125 .041 .024 .089 .222* .175 -.124 -.038 happiness -.043 .203* .002 -.055 .028 -.014 .129 .286** .261** -.168 -.05

money .078 .004 -.082 -.006 -.033 .121 .013 .046 -.012 .036 .035 money -.1 .008 -.145 -.079 .063 .048 .047 -.038 -.039 -.055 .007

sex .084 .029 -.188 -.06 -.006 .107 .078 -.117 -.092 .045 .116 sex -.079 .071 -.066 -.103 -.032 .05 .124 .05 .079 -.111 -.057

an an
important .122 .005 .029 -.047 -.079 .057 .02 .019 -.054 .089 -.054 important -.038 -.03 .046 -.067 -.014 .088 -.033 .055 .067 .009 -.091
object object

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Zsuzsanna Kövi et al. Indicators of Pathological Narcissism in the Sixty Second Drawing Test

Grandiosity score Scale was positively related to (see Table 2): Table 4. Linear regression results on predicting Patho-
•• drawing happiness more to the right side of the paper, logical Narcissism Scores based on Sixty Second Draw-
•• distance of happiness circle from self. ing Test indices
On the other hand, it was negatively related to (see Table 2):
Pathological Narcissism Total Unstandardized Standardized t sig R2
•• higher position of self in relation to sibling(s). Score Coefficients Coefficients
B SE Beta
(Constant) 2.385 .097 24.54 0
Vulnerability Scale was positively related to (see Table 3): 1 How many times is self big-
ger than partner (question 2) .164 .056 .304 2.945 .004 9%
•• proportion of sizes betweenself and partner, (Constant) 2.408 .093 25.793 0
•• higher position of self in relation to someone in a conflict, How many times is self big-
2 ger than partner (question 2) .158 .053 .294 2.972 .004
•• drawing happiness more to the right side of paper, Size difference between self
andproblem -.007 .003 -.293 -2.961 .004 18%
•• distance between happiness and self, (Constant) 3.132 .24 13.047 0
•• size of biggest problem. How many times is self big-
ger than partner (question 2) .172 .051 .32 3.4 .001
It was negatively related to: 3 Size difference between self
andproblem -.009 .002 -.339 -3.571 .001
•• size of partner, Vertical position of self in re-
•• higher position of partner’s circle, lation to someone in conflict .013 .004 .309 3.244 .002 27%
(Constant) 1.709 .616 2.774 .007
•• proportion of sizes between self and problem. How many times is self big-
ger than partner (question 2) .161 .049 .298 3.252 .002
Size difference between self
We applied a linear regression model to predict narcissism scores 4 andproblem -.009 .002 -.341 -3.705 0
Vertical position of self in re-
based on SSDT scores (see Table 4). lation to someone in conflict .015 .004 .347 3.711 0

36% of variance in total score could be explained by five SSDT Vertical position of selfin
relation to money -.027 .011 -.231 -2.493 .015 32%
variables: (Constant) .637 .761 .837 .405
How many times is self
•• size of self in relation to partner in 2nd drawing, bigger than partner
•• relatively bigger size of problem in relation to self, (question 2) .184 .049 .342 3.741 0
Size difference between self
•• higher position of self in relation to someone in a conflict, 5 andproblem -.009 .002 -.345 -3.843 0
Vertical position of self in re-
•• lower position of self in relation to money, lation to someone in conflict .014 .004 .338 3.7 0
•• drawing sex moreto the right side of the paper. Vertical position of self in
relation to money -.029 .011 -.251 -2.764 .007
Horizontal position of sex .012 .005 .21 2.293 .024 36%

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Zsuzsanna Kövi et al. Indicators of Pathological Narcissism in the Sixty Second Drawing Test

Table 5. Linear regression results on predicting Grandi- Table 6. Linear regression results on predicting Vulnera-
osity Score based on Sixty Second Drawing Test indices bility Score based on Sixty Second Drawing Test indices
Grandiosity Scale Score Unstandardized Standardized t sig R2 Vulnerability Scale Unstandardized Standardized t sig R2
Coefficients Coefficients Score Coefficients Coefficients
B SE Beta B SE Beta
(Constant) 2.106 .295 7.15 0 (Constant) 2.064 .112 18.352 0
1 Horizontal position of 1 How many times is own
  happiness (placing it to the   circle bigger than part-
right) .011 .004 .313 3.042 .003 10% ner (question 2) .194 .064 .31 3.009 .003 10%
(Constant) 2.157 .287 7.522 0 (Constant) 2.857 .289 9.891 0
Horizontal position of
How many times is own
2 happiness (placing it to the
circle bigger than part-
  right) .011 .004 .289 2.872 .005
2 ner (question 2) .21 .062 .336 3.394 .001
Size difference (own circle-  
Vertical position of own
partner circle) .02 .008 .25 2.485 .015 16%
circle (you and someone
(Constant) 2.204 .277 7.956 0 with whom you have
Horizontal position of conflict) -.015 .005 -.293 -2.961 .004 18%
happiness (placing it to the (Constant) 2.648 .28 9.463 0
3 right) .009 .004 .248 2.533 .013
How many times is own
  Size difference (own circle- circle bigger than part-
partner circle) .025 .008 .317 3.167 .002 ner (question 2) .205 .058 .329 3.515 .001
Size difference (own circle- 3
  Vertical position of own
mother circle) -.019 .007 -.271 -2.705 .008 23% circle (you and someone
(Constant) 2.396 .284 8.44 0 with whom you have
Horizontal position of conflict) -.016 .005 -.33 -3.499 .001
happiness (placing it to the Size of problem .012 .004 .314 3.344 .001 28%
right) .009 .003 .258 2.692 .009 (Constant) 1.099 .715 1.537 .128
4 Size difference (own cir-
How many times is own
  cle-partner circle) .028 .008 .349 3.534 .001
circle bigger than part-
Size difference (own circle- ner (question 2) .193 .057 .309 3.371 .001
mother circle) -.02 .007 -.293 -2.974 .004
Vertical position of own
Distance between own circle 4
circle (you and someone
and father circle -.006 .003 -.214 -2.235 .028 27%  
with whom you have
(Constant) 2.625 .298 8.821 0 conflict) -.018 .005 -.366 -3.93 0
Horizontal position of Size of problem .012 .003 .315 3.443 .001
happiness (placing it to the
Vertical position of own
right) .01 .003 .276 2.929 .004
circle (you and money) .029 .012 .217 2.343 .022 32%
Size difference (own cir-
5 cle-partner circle) .027 .008 .338 3.489 .001
 
Size difference (own circle-
mother circle) -.022 .007 -.316 -3.263 .002
Distance between own circle
and father circle -.005 .003 -.203 -2.164 .033
Size of partner -.008 .004 -.201 -2.146 .035 31%

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Zsuzsanna Kövi et al. Indicators of Pathological Narcissism in the Sixty Second Drawing Test

With regard to grandiosity, 31% of variance in the scale score could These associations indicate that vulnerable narcissism has more
be explained by five SSDT variables (see Table 5): indicators in the drawing test, probably due to the more strong
•• drawing sex more to the right side of paper, relations to emotional instability, including acute depression and
•• relatively bigger size of self in relation to partner, anxiety (Miller et al., 2013; Jaksic et al., 2014). This is indicated by
•• relative smaller size of self in relation to mother, large problem circle, distance from happiness and compensation
•• smaller distance between self and father, for self-esteem problems. Although we expected vulnerable
•• smaller size of partner. narcisssists’ low self-esteem to be reflected in smaller (Machover,
1949; Swenson, 1957; Bowdin & Bruck, 1960; McHugh, 1963; Gray &
Finally, 32% of variance in vulnerability score could be explained by Pepitone, 1964; Vass, 2012) and lower positioned (DiLeo, 1983) self
four SSDT variables (see Table 6): circle, we found that vulnerability, together with total pathological
•• relatively bigger size of self in relation to partner (2nd draw- narcissism score, is rather related to larger and higher self circles in
ing), relation to partner, which can indicate a compensation for low self-
•• higher position of self in relation to someone in a conflict, esteem, as Hammer (1958) notes.
•• relatively bigger size of problem in relation to self, The relative higher position of self can reflect how narcissists
•• lower position of self in relation to money. seek status rather than intimacy in romantic relationship (Campbell
et al., 2002) and how they need others’ admiration to meet their
self-esteem needs (Campbell & Foster, 2002). Contrary to our
Discussion assumption, this lack of intimacy was not reflected in closeness/
overlap between circles, as Thomas and Gray suggested (1992).
Generally, we found that pathological narcissism total score and However, the link between higher total pathological narcissism
narcissistic vulnerability score had similar correlations with the score and lower position of self in relation to mother and sibling(s),
indices of Sixty Second Drawing Test, whereas in case of narcis- also confirms the compensational process: narcissists need to feel
sistic grandiosity, a smaller number of significant correlations were superior in their partnership to elevate covert feelings of inferiority
found. in the primary family.
Both high pathological narcissism total score and high vulnera- Regressional analyses on predicting total pathological narcis-
bility scores were related to large and high self circle in relation to sism and vulnerability score showed similar results: bigger size of
partner, high position of self in relation to someone in a conflict, self in relation to partner became the most significant predictor in
large problem circle, and drawing happiness distant and to the right case of both dependent variables. This again strengthens the as-
from the self. sumption that vulnerable narcissists try to find compensation for

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Zsuzsanna Kövi et al. Indicators of Pathological Narcissism in the Sixty Second Drawing Test

their low self-esteem in their romantic partnerships. Interesting- happiness are far from reality and grandiosity is indeed a compen-
ly, the second drawing became the predictor, which does not re- sation for feeling inferior to members of the primary family.
flect the real, spontaneous representation of the relationship, but On the other hand, stepwise regressional analyses unfolded fur-
the consciously desired form of the relationship (how the subjects ther interesting relations between grandiosity and indices of draw-
would consciously like to see their relationships). ing test.
Stepwise regression models showed, that both total pathological The most significant predictor became the right-edge position of
narcissism and vulnerability score were further related to higher sex circle, which can reflect that grandiosity is more strongly linked
position of self in relation to someone in a conflict, relatively big- to sexual fantasies than vulnerability. In fact, grandiose sense of
ger size of problem in relation to self and lower position of self in sexual skill or an exaggerated sense of sexual success is indeed a key
relation to money. In case of total pathological narcissism score, element of sexual narcissism (Widman & McNulty, 2010).
drawing sex more to the right side of the paper also has arised as a Sexual addicts have a sense of entitlement, which is due to the
significant predictor. repression of archaic needs, which is demonstrated by displays of
Thus, contrary to our assumptions, not the sizes but the posi- grandiosity.
tions of sex and money circles can be related to pathological nar- Some further significant predictors could be related to compen-
cissism. sation of self-esteem. Presenting self bigger than partner may in-
Being materialistic may be reflected by upper position of money. dicate a need for superiority after feelings of inferiority in relation
Upper position may mean stronger influence on the individual, to mother. Experiencing maternal control can give an explanation
thus it can indicate higher materialism. However, greediness, as a for drawing the mother’s circle relatively higher to the self. Previous
dimension of dishonesty, is assumed to be related to grandiosity research has also found that parental psychological control was as-
rather than to vulnerability (Bresin & Gordon, 2011). sociated with pathological narcissism (Horton & Tritch, 2014).
We presume that right edge position of sex circles may be a re- Grandiosity turned to be further related to smaller distance of
sult of narcisssist’ sexual fantasies (Baughman, Jonason, Veselka self from father. Several studies (Horton, Bleau & Drwecki, 2006;
and Vernon, 2014) instead of having intimate sexual life. However, Watson, Hickman, Morris, Milliron, & Whiting, 1995; Watson, Lit-
this assumption should be tested in further research. tle, & Biderman, 1992; Horton & Tritch, 2014) have indeed found a
Contrary to our assumption, findings on grandiosity showed positive link between parental affection and grandiose narcissism
that it correlated only with drawing happiness more distant and as well, thus experiencing paternal affection could explain close-
more to the right from the self and with lower position of self in ness to father. However, the relations with parents should be tested
relation to sibling(s). All this can indicate that grandious desires of in future studies in order to confirm our assumptions.

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Zsuzsanna Kövi et al. Indicators of Pathological Narcissism in the Sixty Second Drawing Test

Conclusions Bennett, V. (1966) Combinations of figure drawing characteristics related to


drawers self-concept. Journal of Projective Techniques, 30, 192–196.
Bodwin, R. F., & Bruck, M. (1960). The adaption and validation of the Draw-A-Person
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doi:10.1002/1097-4679(196010)16:4<427::AID-JCLP2270160428>3.0.CO;2-H
vulnerability and grandiosity. Large and high self circle in relation
Bresin, K., & Gordon, K. H. (2011). Characterizing pathological narcissism in
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