Created on: January 11, 2013
The term “narcissism” derives from the Greek myth of Narcissus, an attractive Greek youth that fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. It was even depicted in a painting by legendary artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.
The latest findings from the American Freshman Survey suggests that college students in the United States are now more likely to consider themselves gifted and driven to succeed than ever before, though test scores and time spent studying contradicts their notions.
According to data compiled by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) of the Education Research Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles, narcissism in students is up nearly one-third in the past three decades. Since the study was initiated in 1966, students rating their abilities in five key areas have significantly increased.
Study author psychologist Jean Twenge and her colleagues analyzed the data and it showed students think they’re superb, or “above average,” in intellect, leadership, writing, social and the drive to achieve. Meanwhile, self-appraisals of non-individualistic traits, such as sympathy, cooperation and spirituality, are all down.
Figures show that students are not achieving much. Test scores in writing ability has been on the decline since the 1960s, while the amount of students reporting to study six or more hours was also down. Many are also working less, even if college students claim to be driven to succeed.
“Our culture used to encourage modesty and humility and not bragging about yourself," said Twenge in an interview with BBC News. "It was considered a bad thing to be seen as conceited or full of yourself."
A similar study conducted by Twenge concludes that there is a 30 percent increase towards the trait of narcissism in students since 1979. In the end, a lot of students are adopting sycophantic attributes of self-admiration, egocentrism, self-love and ostentations.
The 47-year-old survey has been filled out by more than nine million young Americans.
It can be quite understandable that many college students think they’re something special. Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and Fox News contributor, published a report Tuesday that looked at why they believe this.
According to the article, Facebook leads youth to think they have a huge amount of friends, Twitter makes them surmise that they are worth following, avid gamers can make themselves believe they are rock stars or Olympians and networks, like MTV, perpetuate it by airing reality television shows that depict their very own lives.
“As if to keep up with the unreality of media and technology, in a dizzying paroxysm of self-aggrandizing hype, town sports leagues across the country hand out ribbons and trophies to losing teams, schools inflate grades, energy drinks in giant, colorful cans take over the soft drink market, and psychiatrists hand out Adderall like candy,” wrote Ablow.
Learn more about this author, Andrew Moran.
Click here to send this author comments or questions.
Below are the top articles rated and ranked by Helium members on:
Study says current generation is most 'narcissistic' in history