By ERIC HOOVER
Poor Narcissus: He could only gaze into a pool. Today’s college students can watch themselves endlessly on Flickr, MySpace, and YouTube on their 27-inch, flat-screen LCD monitors.
But does that make them narcissists?
Jean M. Twenge, an associate professor of psychology at San Diego State University, says gadgets and online social-networking sites have stoked the self-loving tendencies of modern students, known as “Millennials.” On Tuesday, Ms. Twenge unveiled her findings from a new study that describes this wired and coddled generation as the most narcissistic in recent history.
The unpublished study is based on the responses of 16,000 college students who completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory between 1982 and 2006. The scale measures responses to an array of statements, including “If I ruled the world, it would be a better place,” and “I can live my life any way I want to.”
Ms. Twenge, who conducted the study with four other researchers, defines narcissism as excessive vanity and sense of entitlement. The researchers say that people who exhibit such qualities tend to lack empathy for others, behave aggressively when insulted, and ignore the needs of those around them. (more…)