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 October 1, 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 October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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