The Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (HSNS)

Author of Tool: 

Hendin, H.M., & Cheek, J.M.

Key references: 

Hendin, H.M., & Cheek, J.M. (1997). Assessing Hypersensitive Narcissism: A Re-examination of Murray’s Narcissism Scale. Journal of Research in Personality, 31, 588-599.

Primary use / Purpose: 

Measures narcissistic tendencies


The clinical diagnostic criteria for the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (DSM-III) (American Psychiatric Association, 1980) stimulated the interest of personality psychologists in the normal range of individual differences innarcissistic tendencies (Emmons, 1987; Raskin & Terry, 1988; Wink &Gough, 1990). The Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (HSNS) is a measure of hypersensitive narcissism derived by correlating the items of H. A. Murray’s (1938) Narcism Scale with an MMPI-based composite measure of covert narcissism.


There were 10 items which had significantly positive correlations with the composite measure of covert narcissism in both samples. These 10 items formed a reliable scale which we named the Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (HSNS; alpha = .72 for Sample 1 of 109 college women, M = 28.7, SD = 6.2; alpha = .75 for Sample 2 of 151 college women, M = 29.7, SD = 6.1; alpha = .62 for Sample 3 of 143 college men, M = 29.3 SD = 4.7). Because the alpha for the male participants in Sample 3 was relatively low, we also scored the new HSNS in another group of 101 college males from Cheek and Melchior’s (1985) data, who had completed Murray’s Narcism Scale, but not the NPI, and obtained a mean of 29.8, a standard deviation of 6.0, and an alpha of .76.



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