Sneha Shankar

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Eamonn P. Arble, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Chong Man Chow, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stephen Jefferson, Ph.D.


Researchers have examined the interpersonal correlates of narcissistic traits through ego-threats precipitated by experiences of external rejection or criticism. However, few studies have empirically investigated the role of sensitivity to criticism in the relation between vulnerable narcissism and negative affect. This study sought to examine this relation through comparing the mediating and moderating effects of sensitivity to criticism to shame and psychological inflexibility within three feedback conditions (positive, negative, and none). Three samples were utilized to assess these trait and state associations. Sensitivity to criticism demonstrated only moderating effects on the relation between vulnerable narcissism and situational anger in the absence of feedback while psychological inflexibility demonstrated both mediating and moderating effects on situational anger domains in all feedback conditions. However, as psychological inflexibility consists of lower-order constructs, future research may benefit from examining these in comparison with sensitivity to criticism and shame in the relation between vulnerable narcissism and anger.