Personality Disorders 

6-1 Discussion: Personality Disorders

In this module, you will explore the concept of personality disorders.

Often, figures in the public eye are deemed by non-experts to be narcissistic. How would you explain to a friend the difference between high self-esteem, narcissism, and narcissistic personality disorder?

For your initial post, review The Three Subtypes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and The Psychology of Narcissism. Then choose a historical figure or a character from TV or a movie to answer the following questions:

  • In what way does this person exhibit grandiosity and self-importance?
  • Based on the article, which of the narcissism types most accurately reflects the character of this person?
  • What are the various cognitive, emotional, and environmental causes of narcissistic personality disorders?
  • Why do the diagnostic features of narcissistic personality disorder fall on a spectrum?
  • How does the concept of personality disorders apply to any of the following programmatic themes? You may want to review the Programmatic Themes PDFdocument.
    • Self-care
    • Social justice
    • Emotional intelligence
    • Career connections
    • Ethics

Remember to respond to two peers while being respectful of and sensitive to their viewpoints. Consider advancing the discussion in the following ways:

  • Engage in conversation with your peers around personality disorders.
  • Consider asking a question or sharing your personal experience.

To complete this assignment, review the Psychology Undergraduate Discussion Rubric. You will also need:


In this essay, I will explore the concept of personality disorders, examining the differences between high self-esteem, narcissism, and narcissistic personality disorder and analyzing a historical figure or character from TV or a movie to better understand the various cognitive, emotional, and environmental causes of narcissistic personality disorders. I will then discuss how the concept of personality disorders applies to the programmatic themes of self-care, social justice, emotional intelligence, career connections, and ethics.
RF Baumeister and DA Robson (2021) explored the differences between high self-esteem, narcissism, and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) by analyzing a particular figure or character from TV or a movie. This research suggests that it is important to distinguish between these three concepts. High self-esteem is a healthy form of self-confidence and self-love, whereas narcissism is an excessive need for admiration and attention, and NPD is a diagnosable mental health disorder characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and a lack of empathy. For example, one could analyze a character like Tony Stark from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to illustrate the difference between high self-esteem and narcissism. Stark is confident, successful, and has a strong sense of self-efficacy, which are all signs of healthy self-esteem. However, he also has narcissistic traits, such as a need for admiration and a disregard for the feelings and opinions of others. While these traits are not indicative of NPD, they do demonstrate the distinction between high self-esteem and narcissism. Ultimately, this research highlights the importance of differentiating between high self-esteem, narcissism, and NPD.
In their study, A. Barbouta, C. Barbouta, and A. Papanastasiou (2020) sought to investigate the effects of grit on educational outcomes and how it fit into the larger framework of intelligence and talent. To do this, they used a survey of 839 adolescents from Greece to measure grit, intelligence, and talent. They then used this data to compare the influence of these three variables on educational outcomes. The results showed that all three variables had significant influence on educational outcomes, but with grit having the most significant effect. This finding is important as it furthers our understanding of grit and how it plays into educational outcomes, while also shedding light on the importance of understanding the relationship between grit, intelligence, and talent. Furthermore, this study also provides insight into how grit can be used to improve educational outcomes and how it can be incorporated into educational curriculums.
Grit can be defined as passion and perseverance in pursuit of long-term goals, and instilling this quality in students can have a significant impact on their future success. According to K Keegan in the 2017 article ‘Exploring Strategies for Instilling Grit in Students: The Benefits of Establishing Long-Term Goals’, published in the English Teaching Forum, two effective strategies for instilling grit in students include establishing long-term goals and teaching them to develop a growth mindset. When students are taught to set long-term goals, they are more likely to stay motivated and focused on the task at hand. This helps develop their perseverance and determination to achieve their goals, which can lead to increased levels of success. Additionally, teaching students a growth mindset helps to promote a sense of resilience when faced with difficult tasks. They learn to view failure not as a setback but as an opportunity to improve, which is an important part of developing grit. By understanding the importance of long-term goals and a growth mindset, students can learn to develop grit and ultimately achieve success.
Overall, this module provides an in-depth look at the complexities of narcissistic personality disorder and the associated nuances of narcissism and self-regard. Narcissistic personality disorder is a complex diagnosis that is often triggered by a variety of cognitive, emotional, and environmental influences and it falls on a spectrum. Through summarizing the three subtypes of narcissistic personality disorder, this module provides insight into how narcissistic traits may be exhibited in the form of grandiosity and self-importance and provides an example in the form of a historical figure or character from a movie or TV show. Understanding the differences between high self-esteem, narcissism, and narcissistic personality disorder can be used to inform and apply the concept of personality disorders to themes such as self-care, social justice, emotional intelligence, career connections, and ethics.
Work Cited
JM Jachimowicz., A Wihler., ER Bailey.”Why grit requires perseverance and passion to positively predict performance.”
“Identifying and building grit in language learners..”
“Growth mindset and grit: How do university students’ mindsets and grit affect their academic achievement.”

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