Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Do Today's Young People Really Think They Are So Extraordinary?

Date:
January 18, 2008
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
When asked about the state of today's youth, former president Jimmy Carter recently mused "I've been a professor at Emory University for the past twenty years and I interrelate with a wide range of students...I don't detect that this generation is any more committed to personal gain to the exclusion of benevolent causes than others have been in the past." Now research is beginning to support this notion. Researchers found no evidence that today's young people have inflated impressions of themselves compared to the youth of previous generations.

When asked about the state of today’s youth, former president Jimmy Carter recently mused “I’ve been a professor at Emory University for the past twenty years and I interrelate with a wide range of students...I don’t detect that this generation is any more committed to personal gain to the exclusion of benevolent causes than others have been in the past.”

Now research is beginning to support this notion. Researchers found no evidence that today’s young people have inflated impressions of themselves compared to the youth of previous generations.

Psychologist Kali Trzesniewski of the University of Western Ontario and her colleagues Brent Donnellan and Richard Robins measured narcissism --a personality trait encompassing characteristics like arrogance, exhibitionism, and a sense of entitlement -- in over 25,000 college students from 1996 to 2007. The researchers then compared their data to similar studies conducted in the late 1970’s to mid 1980’s and found no evidence that levels of narcissism had increased.

Levels of “self-enhancement” -- the tendency to hold unrealistically positive beliefs about the self -- were also assessed in a sample of high school seniors. As with college students, the high school seniors showed no prominent increase on this component of narcissism.

“Today’s youth seem to be no more narcissistic and self-aggrandizing than previous generations,” write the authors. “We were unable to find evidence that either narcissism or the closely related construct of self-enhancement has increased over the past three decades.”

The findings run counter to previous research and media reports claiming that narcissism has been steadily increasing among college students, leading some behavioral scientists to dub today’s youth as “generation me.”

But it appears, at least for now, that the youth of American have won a reprieve from being scolded as more aloof and self-involved than previous generations.

This research is scheduled to appear in the February issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Do Today's Young People Really Think They Are So Extraordinary?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080117101459.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2008, January 18). Do Today's Young People Really Think They Are So Extraordinary?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080117101459.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Do Today's Young People Really Think They Are So Extraordinary?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080117101459.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins