NEW YORK --Today's college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, according to a comprehensive new study by five psychologists who worry that the trend could be harmful to personal relationships and American society.Twenty-five years ago, conceit took a backseat to modesty. But in pretending to be in the land of Wobegon (a trait that evinces a woebegone society), the two have swapped places. Although it isn't intended to be funny, this curious excerpt sardonically is just that:
"We need to stop endlessly repeating 'You're special' and having children repeat that back," said the study's lead author, Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. "Kids are self-centered enough already."
The researchers describe their study as the largest ever of its type and say students' NPI [Narcissitic Personality Inventory] scores have risen steadily since the current test was introduced in 1982. By 2006, they said, two-thirds of the students had above-average scores, 30 percent more than in 1982.Heh, two-thirds of the students are above average! Hurray, most American kids have an above-average level of self-esteem!
An obsession with self is perpetuated everywhere. Reality TV and MySpace epitomize this. The sheer number of students at the university's main library who are staring at Facebook pages never ceases to amaze me.
The future speaks:
"People are worried about themselves -- but in the sense of where are they're [sic] going to find a place in the world," she said. "People want to look their best, have a good time, but it doesn't mean they're not concerned about the rest of the world."Instead of assidious study and detailed fact-collection, we'll write on one another's online walls and comment on each other's photo albums. But we'll still make plenty of time to go and protest various people and events. We'll vote and we'll voice our opinions, more confident than ever that we are both correct and righteous!