The paper “Developmental Psychology - Automatic Imitation Is Reduced in Narcissists" is a worthy example of a research paper on psychology. The experiment was performed to investigate the possibility that the mechanisms that come into play in mirroring of other individuals might operate differently in individuals low and high in narcissism (Giacomin et al., 2014). The other objective of the study was to explore the possibility of variation in resonance among individuals who have different personality disorders with an emphasis on subclinical narcissism, which is associated with lack of concern for others and decreased empathy. In this regard, the study aimed at finding out if well known narcissistic traits are in a way connected to differences in mirror system function (Giacomin et al., 2014).
27 white volunteers with consistent ethnicity, having been informed and provided consent, participated in the study for financial or credit compensation. The participants were instructed to hold done the ‘b’ and ‘v’ keys on the keyboard with their index and middle finger and on cue of either a ‘1’ or ‘2’, respectively would perform speeded finger lifts (Giacomin et al., 2014). To allow for better understanding the participants deed eight trials. The experiment had 240 trials split into four random blocs of 60 with each block containing 15 repetitions of each type of trial displayed evenly on each cue type. Three cue onsets were included to reduce temporal predictability. The participants further complete the NPI-16 for assessing narcissism as a personality dimension. High scores were deemed to indicate high narcissism levels.
One participant was judged to have made slow responses and the results were not analyzed further. Incorrect responses by the respondents consisting of 1.60% of congruent trials and 8.82% of incongruent trials were removed from the RT data. 2.19% of congruent trials and 2.01% of incongruent trials were removed for being 2.5 standard deviations above or below the mean for each condition and 0.49% of congruent trials and 0.38% of incongruent trials were also removed due to lack of a recorded response. There was a high response rate for both high and low narcissism participants on congruent trials but there was a significant interference effect on the low narcissist than the higher with a decrease in interference effect with an increase in NPI-16 scores (Giacomin et al., 2014).
There was a high percentage of correct responses for both groups in the congruent trials in comparison to the incongruent trials and there was a high interference effect on the low narcissism group than in high NPI group. On congruent all participants participated efficiently but on incongruent trials, the high NPI group performed better than the low NPI group. The size of interference was found to be significantly larger in the low narcissism group than in the high narcissism group (Giacomin et al., 2014).
The implications of the study are that there is an automatic degree of imitation in the performance indicating motor resonance in the human mirror system. This was demonstrated by the efficiency, fastness, and accuracy of the participants in an action that is congruent action with a previously observed action. The other implication of the study is that as narcissism increases, interference in a motor imitation task decreases (Giacomin et al., 2014). The people who have high narcissism are less susceptible to social stimuli compared to low narcissism people showing a link between narcissism and the mirror system that determines active imitation.