Measure Your Ego

Measure Your Ego

Jan 4, 2015, 11:29 AM |

Bobby Fischer famously once said "I like the moment when I break a man's ego".

ego (noun): a person's sense of self esteem or self-importance

( All subsequent defintions are also taken from the online oxford dictionary.

narcissism: the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration


Reading is without doubt the supreme "lifehack" - distilled knowledge that often took years to assemble can be consumded in just a few hours and shared within minutes and plagiarised in seconds Laughing. Below is an abridged version of Raskin and Hall's (1979) Narcissistic Personality Inventory: Narcissism Test. There always has been a strong theme of discussing ego's  in numerous threads on our very own Hot Topics.  (

There are seven traits of narcissism, and the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) test (adapted below) measures all of them. Decide which statements most accurately define you, then check your ego using the key. (Lee, Hall 2001). I wonder how I will fare Smile

The narcissistic mindframe.


A. I have a natural talent for influencing people.
B. I am not good at influencing people.

authority: power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience

A. I rarely depend on anyone else.
B. I sometimes depend on other people to get things done.

self-sufficiency: needing no outside help in satisfying one's basic needs, especially with regard to the production of food or providing oneself shelter.

A. I think I am a special person.
B. I am no better or worse than most people.

superiority: state of being superior, higher in rank or status

A. I would do almost anything on a dare.
B. I tend to be a fairly cautious person.

exhibitionism: extravagant behaviour that is intended to attract attention to oneself

A. I can usually talk my way out of anything.
B. I try to accept the consequences of my behavior.

exploitativeness: make the full of and derive benefit from a resource

A. I don't particularly like to show off my body.
B. I like to show off my body.

vanity: excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements

A. The thought of ruling the world frightens the hell out of me.
B. If I ruled the world, it would be a better place.

entitlement: the fact of having a right to something

If you chose "A" on 1, 2, or 3, you score high on the positive narcissism traits of authority, self-sufficiency, and superiority.

If you chose "A" on 4 or 5, or "B" on 6 or 7, you score high on vanity, exhibitionism, exploitativeness, and entitlement (unhealthy characteristics that are tied to early death).

Background On The Human Psyche Model

Sigmund Freud (below) was a neurologist who prosposed the symbolic Human Psyche Id Ego and Super Ego ( to describe any given event an individual's personality has acted upon. (,_ego_and_super-ego).

According to Freud, we are born with our Id.  The id is an important part of our personality because as newborns, it allows us to get our basic needs met.  Freud believed that the id is based on our pleasure principle.  In other words, the id wants whatever feels good at the time, with no consideration for the reality of the situation.  When a child is hungry, the id wants food, and therefore the child cries.  When the child needs to be changed, the id cries.  When the child is uncomfortable, in pain, too hot, too cold, or just wants attention, the id speaks up until his or her needs are met.


The id doesn’t care about reality, about the needs of anyone else, only its own satisfaction.  If you think about it, babies are not real considerate of their parents’ wishes.  They have no care for time, whether their parents are sleeping, relaxing, eating dinner, or bathing.  When the id wants something, nothing else is important.


Within the next three years, as the child interacts more and more with the world, the second part of the personality begins to develop.  Freud called this part the Ego.  The ego is based on the reality principle.  The ego understands that other people have needs and desires and that sometimes being impulsive or selfish can hurt us in the long run.  Its the ego’s job to meet the needs of the id, while taking into consideration the reality of the situation.


By the age of five, or the end of the phallic stage of development, the Superego develops.  The Superego is the moral part of us and develops due to the moral and ethical restraints placed on us by our caregivers.  Many equate the superego with the conscience as it dictates our belief of right and wrong.


In a healthy person, according to Freud, the ego is the strongest so that it can satisfy the needs of the id, not upset the superego, and still take into consideration the reality of every situation.  Not an easy job by any means, but if the id gets too strong, impulses and self gratification take over the person’s life.  If the superego becomes to strong, the person would be driven by rigid morals, would be judgmental and unbending in his or her interactions with the world.  You’ll learn how the ego maintains control as you continue to read.



Background On the NPI test

Narcissism is personality trait generally conceived of as excessive self. In Greek Mythology Narcissus was a man who fell in love with his reflection in a pool of water. (

The NPI was developed by Raskin and Hall (1979) for the measurement of narcissism as a personality trait in social psychological reseach. It is based on the definition of narcissistic personality disorder ( found in the DSM-III ( (, but is not a diagnostic tool for NPD and instead measures subclinical or normal expressions of narcissism. So even someone who gets the highest possible score on the NPI, it does not necessarily mean they have NPD.

Procedure: The test consists of forty pairs of statements. For each pair you should select the one that you feel best reflects your personality. It should take most people from 5-10 minutes to complete.


For the full comprehensive NPI test, please follow this link: (

Further Reading

Is the ego an internal enemy? How will we ever know that we are not enslaved by our ego? It's certainly a deceptive and silent imprisonment which convinces us that it doesn't exist as a separate entity, rather it is just a part of "you". Here's a snippet of a documentary discussing 'Human Psychology' with commentary from  Dr. Yoav Dattilo from the Italian Society for Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy, Dr Steven Hayes the president of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Dr Peter Fonagy research lecturer at University College London, Professor Andrew Samuels at the University of Essex, Dr David Hawkins, Dr Deepak Chopra as well as Dr Obadiah Harris from the Philosophical Research Society (


Here's a list of recommended sites & books on the overview of Freud's Human Psyche model and the Ego for those eager to reinforce what we've covered. 





5. The Social Animal, 10th Ed. 2008. by Elliot Aronson

6. Predictably Irrational, 2009. by Dan Ariely

7. The Menance Within: Obsessions & The Self,  2007. by Aardema & O'Connor published in the International Journal of Cognitive Therapy 

8. A Short Textbook of Psychiatry, 7th Ed, 2008, by Jaypee Brothers



To round off the blog we'll end with a series of quotations concerning the ego from people of all walks of life with their view on it. Feel free to give your own opinions on this too.

"The ego is not master in its own house" ~ Sigmund Freud 

"The Ego, however, is not who you really are. The is your self-image; it is your social mask, it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear" ~ Deepak Chopra



"To walk around with an ego is a bad thing. To have confidence in yourself is a great thing" ~ Fred Durst


"The ego is a fascinating monster" ~ Alanis Morissette


"One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star" ~ Gilbert Chesterton

"Your ego can become an obstacle to your work. If you start believing in your greatness, it is the death of your creativity" ~ Marina Abramovic


"The minute you start compromising for the sake of massaging somebody's ego, that's it, game over" ~ Gordan Ramsay


"The Ultimate aim of the ego is not see something, but to be something" ~ Muhammad Iqbal

"I think it's pretentious to create art just for the sake of stroking the artists ego" ~ Lou Reed

"I can't live off the ego" ~ Steven Tyler

"The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it" ~ Criss Jami

"Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything" ~ Rainer Rilke

"If someone corrects you, and you feel offended, then you have an EGO problem" ~ Nouman A. Khan

"The only person I'll marry is myself. Believe me, my ego is that big" ~ Max Beesley

"Actors are a lot like professors on dissertation committees - it's a lot of ego, a lot of rallying for position, there is a lot at stake in every single interaction" ~ Mayim Bialik

"I'm very competitive, and my ego couldn't handle that lack of success" ~ Gavin DeGraw

(All quotes were taken from Wandsworth's Dictionary of Quotations)