Discrepancies between implicit and explicit self-esteem: implications for narcissism and self-esteem instability.J Pers. 2006 Feb; 74(1):119-44.JP
There appear to be two forms of high self-esteem: secure high self-esteem (which is often linked with psychological health) and fragile high self-esteem (which is generally associated with poor psychological adjustment and impaired interpersonal relationships). Discrepant high self-esteem is a form of fragile self-esteem characterized by high explicit self-esteem and low implicit self-esteem. The present study examined whether discrepant high self-esteem was associated with narcissism and self-esteem instability in an undergraduate sample. Using multiple measures of implicit self-esteem, two basic findings emerged from the present study. First, participants with discrepant high self-esteem possessed the highest levels of narcissism. Second, participants with high explicit self-esteem and high implicit self-esteem displayed the most stable self-esteem. Findings are discussed in terms of secure and fragile high self-esteem.