The NPI-16 Subclinical narcissism


Author of Tool: 

Ames, D. R., Rose, P., and Anderson, C. P.

Key references: 

Ames, Daniel R., Rose, Paul, and Anderson, Cameron P. (2006). The NPI-16 as a short measure of narcissism. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 440-450.

Raskin, R., & Terry, H. (1988). A principal-components analysis of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory and further evidence of its construct validity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 890–902.

Primary use / Purpose: 

A widely used, revised measure of narcissism, behavior and consequences.


Narcissism has received increased attention in the past few decades as a sub-clinical individual difference with important everyday consequences, such as self-enhancement in perceptions of one’s own behavior and attributes. The most widespread measure used by non-clinical researchers, the 40-item Narcissistic Personality Inventory or NPI-40, captures a range of different facets of the construct but its length may prohibit its use in settings where time pressure and respondent fatigue are major concerns. the NPI-16 subclinical narcissism scale facilitates research where a longer measure would be impractical, as in certain field work and/or with time- and attention-strapped respondents. The intent of the authors is to further expand researchers’ opportunities to explore narcissism consequences.


The NPI-16 is a short measure of subclinical narcissism that has shown meaningful face, internal, discriminant, and predictive validity. It can serve as an alternative measure of narcissism when situations do not allow the use of longer inventories.



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