The Dark Appeal of Narcissism*

Date: Time: 19:15 Location: Dz 1, Dante building, Tilburg University

A narcissist is selfish, vain, and a glutton for attention. Yet we are often attracted to them and even support them as leaders. In this symposium we will explore narcissism in all its appearances. (language: English)

Time: 19:15-21:30 hrs.  Admission is free. See also Facebook.


In general, narcissists tend to think very highly of themselves and to have little or no regard for others.

Psychologists class narcissism under the so-called dark triad, three dark personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy, and machiavellism. Narcissism is characterized by an inflated self-image, psychopathy by unscrupulousness, and machiavellism by a desire for manipulation.  

The Dark Appeal of Narcissism

Psychologists say it is mentally unhealthy when those traits start to hurt your relationships and distort your sense of self.

Extreme narcissism can cross over to a mental illness: the lives of persons with narcissistic personality disorder revolve around their need for approval. They neither understand nor care about other people’s feelings. They are convinced they are special, and need others to acknowledge it.


Three experts will talk about different aspects of narcissism. Their contribution ranges from a scientific to a very personal view.

Our moderator Ruben Bastiaanse will make sure that you, the audience, can participate in the discussion as well.

  • Josi Driessen is a fourth-year PhD student at the Donders Institute in Nijmegen. Her main interest is studying the presence of psychopathic and antisocial traits in the general population. By combining behavioral tasks, EEG and computational modelling, she studies maladaptive behavior and decision-making in individuals with high levels of psychopathic traits. In today’s talk she will discuss how we can recognize psychopathic personalities, how their behavior impact others and how we think their brain functioning is different.

  • Beppie Vermeulen (Coach/Expert by experience on Narcissistic Personality Disorder) will tell us about her own experience with narcissism. She had a relationship with a narcissist and managed to get out of it. She now runs her own coaching agency where she helps other people who deal with the same problem.

  • Tine Buyl (Assistant Professor of Organization Studies at Tilburg University) knows all about narcissism among CEOs and in companies. What are the advantages and what are the problems of having a narcissist as your boss?


This symposium is an initiative of  Academic Forum in cooperation with study association Complex and SPS NIP (Sectie Psychologie Studenten van het Nederlands Instituut van Psychologen).

Contact: Luc Jeurissen (Academic Forum)

*This event may count for students Tilburg University towards the Academic Forum Certificate.