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In Virtue/Vice, Dr. Christine B. Whelan blogs about news, books, scientific and psychological research and her general musings about virtue and vice in our everyday lives.

 

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August 17th, 2010

Is Narcissism on the Rise?

 
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narcissism-flashAre college students today more narcissistic than their peers from previous generations?

Based on the results of the narcissistic personality inventory, a standardized test that has been given to students at the University of South Alabama over the last 15 years, the answer is a resounding yes.

“I’m extremely confident,” San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge told Discovery News. “I think these analyses end the debate completely. It’s clear narcissism is rising.”

But is this inventory the best judge of narcissism-and what does that really even mean? Narcissistic personalities are usually defined as people who think very highly of themselves, are self-absorbed and have unrealistic views about their own qualities and little regard for others.

Sounds like every Millennial you know, right? Well, you may fit the bill, too.

Take the inventory for yourself here and here.

Narcissism is most certainly not a virtue. But as a vice, it may be one of most common throughout history. Younger Americans, however, have been raised on a steady diet of self-esteem boosting. After getting a gold star for every effort, no wonder young-adults are tipping the scales of this inventory.

Regardless of your age, if you’re a true narcissist, you’ll want to share your scores with the rest of us. Please feel free.

 
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The Author : Christine B. Whelan
Dr. Christine B. Whelan is an author, professor and speaker. She and her husband, Peter, and their dictator cats, Chairman Meow and Evita Purron, live in Pittsburgh. Her book "Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women" is available in stores or at the Halo Store.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Victoria

    I really like this article. I am 27 and feel like since college I am constantly being fed to believe my own entitlement. Take a look at job hunting articles and women’s magazines! I never though about them like this before. Thanks for opening my eyes!

  • Matt

    Actually, it sounds more like the boomers I know than the millennials. :)

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