Narcissism and empathy among actors and non-actors  

Vervega D., Veselko K., Voljavec A.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The purpose of our research was to examine the presence of some personality characteristics stereotypically attributed to actors in a group of actors and non-actors. With the use of NPI and IRI questionnaires we measured the degree of narcissism and empathy of 142 participants of average age 26,41 years, who were equally represented by sex and with regard to their possession or lack of acting experiences. Considering the past research done in this field we hypothesized that actors would be more narcissistic than non-actors, but the results did not support this hypothesis. Although some authors report about a higher degree of narcissism of male non-actors and female actors, we found no significant statistical differences in the degree of narcissism either between males and females or between actors and non-actors. Although most researchers came to the conclusion that females are more empathic than males, we found no significant statistical differences between males and females, among either actors or non-actors. According to the total IRI result actors indeed appear to be more empathic than non-actors, but we ascribe this to the fact that on the subscale measuring imaginational empathic ability actors attained results below our expectations.