Narcissists Become Depressed during Recessions

Nutrition Health Review, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

Narcissists Become Depressed during Recessions


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In young adults, prolonged economic recessions cause the trait of narcissism to fade. People coming of age in tough economic times report and display fewer signs of extreme self-absorption than those who entered adulthood when the economy was doing well. In a study conducted at Emory University, a strong economy during the late 1980's and 1990's might partially explain a rising streak of narcissism among American college students of that time period. Because of this prediction, humility should have receded in our young populations since the economic depression of 2007.

Narcissists view themselves as superior to others, feel entitled to special treatment, and expect to always succeed and to be admired by everyone. Previous studies have postulated that a grandiose self-image is nurtured in children of parents who overindulge and shower them in unearned praise. Scientists believe than an emphasis on self-esteem in schools and the growth of self-promotion via social media are to blame for the narcissism in young people.

Researchers examined self-reports of narcissistic attitudes and behaviors in two groups of adults in the United States.

The sample size for the first group included 1,572 volunteers born between 1947 and 1994. …

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