A new study looked at how millennials – the individuals born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s – felt about other people calling them the most narcissistic generation of all time.
The findings show that millennials did in fact view themselves somewhat more narcissistic than the previous generations, however less narcissistic than older generations said they were, researchers found.
Joshua Grubbs, leader of the study and a doctoral candidate at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, said that overall, millennials did not like to being called entitled and narcissistic.
In the United States, younger generations have reported being more self-focused and showing less empathy, compared with older generations. Individualism in also increasing in the U.S., previous researches found.
Igor Grossman, a psychologist at the University of Waterloo, said that the indicators of individualism go as far back as one century ago, and that they have been on the rise for the past 100 years.
According to Grubbs, the changes on the narcissism scale from generation to generation, are not as big as they are made to be: about one to two points on a 40-point scale. That being said, narcissism is indeed on the rise, although not as blown out of proportion as the media tends to report, he explained.
In a new series of studies, millennials and older generations were asked about their opinion on how the media portrays generational change (specifically on the article called ‘Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation’) and to rank each other’s narcissism.
The results of an online survey – in which almost eight hundred people of all ages took part – showed that millennials rated themselves more narcissistic than older generations, but not to the extent that previous generations rated them.
Overall, millennials between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, ranked themselves at 61.4 points on a zero-to-one-hundred narcissism scale, and rated adults sixty years and older at 38 points on the same scale, according to the researchers.
On the other end of the spectrum, adults ages sixty and older rated themselves at 26.5 points on a zero-to-one-hundred scale of narcissism, and they ranked the millennials at 65.3 on the same scale – which means that for them the generation gap appeared to be greater. Usually, every generation sees itself as less narcissistic and less entitled than newer generations, the researchers noted.
Grubbs said that the only people who were not as offended by the labels, were those who ranked high in the narcissism trait. Previous research suggested that narcissists are self-aware, but they also believe that they have the right to be self-absorbed, according to Grubbs.
The study was presented on Friday (Jan. 29), at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) in San Diego.
Image Source: fundbox