Self-important men may be more stressed out than their peers, new research shows.
A new University of Michigan study found narcissistic men have higher levels of a primary stress hormone – cortisol – in their blood.
The study, published in the journal Public Library of Science ONE, found women with narcissist traits did not experience the same thing.
Researchers surveyed 106 university students - 79 females, 27 males – about their views and took two cortisol tests to measure the hormone in their systems. They were asked if they agreed with such statements as: “If I ruled the world it would be a better place."
Researchers found men with higher levels of narcissism had more cortisol, but the trend did not hold true for women. What’s more, the greater the level of narcissism in the men, the higher the cortisol levels tended to be.
Cortisol tends to rise when a person feels a threat. At high levels it can cause heart problems and other health conditions.
Narcissists tend to have greater feelings of self-importance, entitlement and grandiosity, and lower levels of empathy, researchers noted.