Why narcissists are more likely to break the rules of sport

What drives professional sportspeople to break the rules of the game? And what makes them believe, or hope, that they won’t get caught? Or think that their actions will bring glory to them and their team?

It seems to be a daily occurrence now, that professional sportsmen and women bend or break rules to get ahead. Whether it’s diving, handballing, faking, or even inflicting injury, many spectators will have seen things that are not completely above board.

When we began investigating the topic of rule-breaking in sport, we found to our surprise that there had been no research that looked at the impact of personality on antisocial behaviour in team sports. In particular, we were curious to examine the personality traits that might best explain negative behaviours at the highest level. And for that, people with narcissistic traits appeared to be the prime candidates.

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