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There are actually three different kinds of arrogance, according to psychologists

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Lauren Geall
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Three different kinds of arrogance

According to a new literature review by researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia, there are three ways to categorise arrogance – and the results are so eye-opening.

We’ve all had at least one interaction with someone who thinks a bit too highly of themselves.

Whether they’re bragging about their illustrious career during a first date or discussing all the books they’ve read (and understood) down the pub on a Friday, we all know one of those people who just love to talk about themselves and all their achievements and qualities, sometimes with the mission of putting everyone around them down.

And now, thanks to a new study conducted by psychologists at the University of Missouri-Columbia, we now know there are three types of arrogance out there for us to experience – and it’s an interesting insight into how this aspect of someone’s personality works.

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Acknowledging that we all have some degree of arrogance, the researchers suggested a way to classify the different types of arrogance someone can have, deciding upon three different “levels”.

1. Individual Arrogance

The first, individual arrogance, sounds the least extreme. Someone with individual arrogance has an inflated opinion of their own abilities, traits or accomplishments compared to the actual truth and reality.

Basically, someone who has “individual arrogance” is likely to think they’re better at something than they actually are – whether that be their job, their humor or their conversational abilities.

Arrogance
We all have some degree of arrogance, but some people exhibit a lot more.

2. Competitive Arrogance

The second, which the study termed comparative arrogance, refers to someone who has an inflated ranking of their abilities, traits or accomplishments compared to the people around them. 

Essentially, this is the kind of arrogance people display when they think they are better than the people they interact with. 

3. Antagonistic Arrogance

Finally, the psychologists identified a third form of arrogance called antagonistic arrogance, which is probably the most aggressive type. Defined as “the denigration of others based on an assumption of superiority”, antagonistic arrogance therefore occurs when people project their feelings of supremacy onto other people by making them feel bad.

Defined as “showing or feeling active opposition or hostility towards someone or something,” the term ‘antagonistic’ suggests this form of arrogance is the most combative and aggressive. 

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While the research doesn’t provide a way for psychologists to explicitly understand and deal with people who are particularly arrogant, it does provide us with a good way to understand the way arrogance shapes people’s thoughts and opinions. 

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