Linguistic Markers of Grandiose Narcissism: A LIWC Analysis of 15 Samples

Nicholas S. Holtzman, Allison M. Tackman, Angela L. Carey, Melanie S. Brucks, Albrecht C.P. Küfner, Fenne Große Deters, Mitja D. Back, M. Brent Donnellan, James W. Pennebaker, Ryne A. Sherman, Matthias R. Mehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Narcissism is unrelated to using first-person singular pronouns. Whether narcissism is linked to other language use remains unclear. We aimed to identify linguistic markers of narcissism. We applied the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count to texts (k = 15; N = 4,941). The strongest positive correlates were using words related to sports, second-person pronouns, and swear words. The strongest negative correlates were using anxiety/fear words, tentative words, and words related to sensory/perceptual processes. Effects were small (each |r| <.10).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-786
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019



  • language
  • LIWC
  • narcissism
  • personality
  • text analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Holtzman, N. S., Tackman, A. M., Carey, A. L., Brucks, M. S., Küfner, A. C. P., Deters, F. G., ... Mehl, M. R. (2019). Linguistic Markers of Grandiose Narcissism: A LIWC Analysis of 15 Samples. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 38(5-6), 773-786.