Ackerman, Robert A.

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Robert Ackerman is an Associate Professor in the Psychological Sciences department. He also serves as the director of the Personality and Interpersonal Relationships (PAIR) Laboratory. His research interests include:

  • Narcissism
  • Developmental factors that contribute to the functioning of adult romantic relationships
  • Analytic models for both cross-sectional and longitudinal dyadic data


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
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    Current Conceptualizations of Narcissism
    (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2019-01) Ackerman, Robert A.; Donnellan, M. Brent; Wright, Aidan G. C.; Ackerman, Robert A.
    Purpose of review: Definitions of narcissism have traditionally differed across psychiatry and subfields of psychology. This review aims to highlight emerging points of consensus and suggest further directions needed to obtain a more comprehensive and cohesive conceptualization of the construct. Recent findings: An emerging consensus is that stable individual differences in the phenotypic expression of narcissism are best captured with a taxonomy that includes the core traits of entitlement, grandiosity, and vulnerability. Recent work has also begun to conceptualize and assess narcissistic states matched with these dimensions. We combine emerging taxonomic knowledge with principles from Whole Trait Theory to propose a multilevel conceptualization of narcissism that focuses on its manifestation at the trait level, state level, and within-situation level. Summary: Efforts to understand the phenotypic structure of the core traits associated with narcissism have been successful. As the field moves forward, it will become critical for researchers studying narcissism at multiple levels to align and integrate these perspectives so that a more comprehensive and cohesive conceptualization of the construct can be developed.
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    Outcomes of Real-World Social Interaction for Autistic Adults Paired with Autistic Compared to Typically Developing Partners
    (SAGE Publishing) Morrison, Kerrianne E.; DeBrabander, Kilee M.; Jones, Desiree R.; Faso, Daniel J.; Ackerman, Robert A.; Sasson, Noah J.; 0000-0002-2735-8809 (Morrison, KE); 0000-0001-6779-2477 (Jones, DR); Morrison, Kerrianne E.; DeBrabander, Kilee M.; Jones, Desiree R.; Ackerman, Robert A.; Sasson, Noah J.
    Differences in social communication and interaction styles between autistic and typically developing have been studied in isolation and not in the context of real-world social interaction. The current study addresses this “blind spot” by examining whether real-world social interaction quality for autistic adults differs when interacting with typically developing relative to autistic partners. Participants (67 autism spectrum disorder, 58 typically developing) were assigned to one of three dyadic partnerships (autism–autism: n = 22; typically developing–typically developing: n = 23; autism–typically developing: n = 25; 55 complete dyads, 15 partial dyads) in which they completed a 5-min unstructured conversation with an unfamiliar person and then assessed the quality of the interaction and their impressions of their partner. Although autistic adults were rated as more awkward, less attractive, and less socially warm than typically developing adults by both typically developing and autistic partners, only typically developing adults expressed greater interest in future interactions with typically developing relative to autistic partners. In contrast, autistic participants trended toward an interaction preference for other autistic adults and reported disclosing more about themselves to autistic compared to typically developing partners. These results suggest that social affiliation may increase for autistic adults when partnered with other autistic people, and support reframing social interaction difficulties in autism as a relational rather than an individual impairment.

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