I didn't know there are two types of narcissists until I came across this new study, titled "Grandiose narcissists and decision making: Impulsive, overconfident, and skeptical of experts–but seldom in doubt."
There's vulnerable or clinical narcissism, "which is characterized by anxiety, a fragile self-concept, and low self-esteem," and there's grandiose narcissism, "characterized by grandiosity, self-confidence, risk taking, impulsiveness, an inflated view of one's abilities, a sense of entitlement, low social empathy, and a willingness and ability to use others to achieve one's own self-interest."
From the study, published in Personality and Individual Differences:
Research paints a compelling and unflattering picture of the grandiose narcissist as one who is overly confident and convinced that they are special and better than others—especially more creative, competent, and intelligent (e.g., Gabriel et al., 1994; Miller et al., 2017). They often believe that their ideas are superior and that, as a result, they, uniquely, can solve intractable problems (Brummelman et al., 2016). Interestingly, although they are confident in their superior intelligence and leadership abilities, research shows that they are typically no better and sometimes perform worse than non-narcissists (e.g., Blair et al., 2008; Guedes, 2017).
Because grandiose narcissists are motivated to seek outcomes that demonstrate their superiority, they have been found to be more sensitive to approach desirable outcomes and only weakly motivated to ignore negative ones (e.g., Buchholz et al., 2019; Foster & Trimm, 2008). This propensity has been associated with greater risk taking. For example, when the odds of losing increase, non-narcissists predictably are less likely to take a bet while narcissists increase the probability of taking the same bet (O'Reilly et al., 2018). Other studies have shown that because grandiose narcissists feel that they are special, they are more likely to manipulate others, even lying, cheating, and stealing (e.g., O'Reilly & Doerr, 2020; Schroeder-Abe & Fafouta, 2019). Research has also shown that because they often feel that they are not being recognized as superior, grandiose narcissists often respond with hostility (e.g., Blinkhorn et al., 2015; Bogart et al., 2004).
Image: By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America – Donald Trump, CC BY-SA 2.0 (Modified)