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Increased Tendency Towards Narcissism

There are numerous factors influencing the increase in narcissism in college students. These include:

  • Change in parenting styles
    • Parents are placing less value on obedience compared to previous generations (1)
    • Increase in helicopter and indulging parenting, with parents telling their children “how great they are” and giving them too much influence on decisions (2)
    • 40% of teenagers believe that their view is “very important” in making family decisions (2)
  • Increasingly narcissistic celebrity role models
    • Celebrities, particularly reality TV stars, have been found to be more narcissistic than the average person (2)
    • 51% of 18-25 year olds say being famous was an important goal of their generation (2)
    • 31% of US high school students expect to become famous one day (2)
  • Increasing use of social media
    • 1.79 billion monthly active users of facebook (3)
    • 83% of Millennials have a facebook account (4)
    • 44% of Millennials have a Instagram account (4)
    • Social media promotes people digitally yelling “look at me” (2)
  • Increased materialism
    • Narcissism is linked to this quest for material goods and a ‘beat the Joneses’ lifestyle (2)
    • Easy credit on credit cards allows people to self promote without the means to do so. (2)
  • Increase in urbanization
    • People moving from more blue collar jobs to white collar jobs has promoted individualization (5)
  • Increase in income inequality
    • This inequality causes people to want to feel more superior than others (5)
  1. Alwin, D. F. 1988. From obedience to autonomy: Changes in traits desired in children, 1924-78. Public Opinion Quarterly, 52, 33-52; and General Social Survey data, 1988, 1996 and 2004.
  2. Twenge, J. M., Campbell, W. K. 2013. “The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement”. Atria Paperback. New York, USA
  3. Statistica. 2016. “Number of facebook users worldwide 2008 – 2016”. https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/
  4. Harvard Institute of Politics. 2015. “How Millennials Use Social Media”. http://iop.harvard.edu/iop-now/how-millennials-use-social-media
  5. Pappas, S. 2016. “Why are Millennials Narcissistic? Blame Income Equality”. Live Science. http://www.livescience.com/53635-why-millennials-are-narcissistic.html