Title page for ETD etd-03072011-102306

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Watson, Joan Monahan
Author's Email Address jmwatson@vt.edu
URN etd-03072011-102306
Title Narcissus Goes to College: A Consideration of Dispositional Narcissism as a Variable for Student Learning in Higher Education
Degree PhD
Department Educational Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Doolittle, Peter E. Committee Chair
Bodenhorn, Nancy E. Committee Member
Lewis, Mary Ann Committee Member
McConnell, Kathryne Committee Member
  • narcissism
  • goal orientation
  • learning
  • extraversion
  • agreeableness
Date of Defense 2011-02-28
Availability restricted
For over a century, the enigmatic nature of narcissism has been the source of debate across psychological, sociological, and developmental domains. Although much has been written in recent years about narcissism as a generational phenomenon, referencing data collected from university undergraduates, there is little to no applied research and discussion into the implications for teaching and learning with respect to the reciprocal interactions between narcissistic students and traditional undergraduate education. Recognizing this paucity in the literature, the manuscripts within this dissertation draw theoretical and empirical connections between narcissism and learning, highlighting significant relationships between narcissism as a dispositional construct and achievement goal orientation. Through the development of a theoretical Triarchic Model of Dispositional Narcissism and the empirical exploration of its viability, this dissertation is written in accordance with sentiments that suggest educational psychologists seek to improve learning through a more comprehensive recognition of the variables that contribute to cognitive processes. The theoretical design, research, and interpretations within this dissertation seek to provide a heuristic through which educators may develop proactive, interventive instructional models and pedagogies that will encourage all students to improve their learning by engaging in strategies that lead to deeper cognitive and metacognitive processing.
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