Narcissism Linked to Economic Conditions during Young Adulthood, Study Finds

By Perry, Susan | MinnPost.com, May 14, 2014 | Go to article overview

Narcissism Linked to Economic Conditions during Young Adulthood, Study Finds


Perry, Susan, MinnPost.com


When people enter young adulthood during times of economic hardship they tend to be less narcissistic later in life than people who come of age when the economy is strong.

That's the finding from a fascinating study published this month in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

"Whereas previous research has shown that parental behavior during childhood predicts later narcissism, the present findings suggest that macroenvironmental conditions play a similar role at a later stage of development," writes Emily Bianchi, the study's author and an assistant professor of organization and management at Emory University in Atlanta.

Narcissists are defined in the study as people who "regard themselves as superior to other people and believe that they are entitled to good outcomes, excessive admiration, and unyielding praise."

A trio of studies

Bianchi's study is actually three separate studies. In the first one, 1,572 people born between the years 1947 and 1994 filled out an online survey that included the 40-question Narcissism Personality Inventory as well as some questions that measured self-esteem.

Bianchi then took that data, adjusted it slightly for age (narcissism typically declines as people age), and looked to see if there was any correlation between the participants' narcissism scores and the average U.S. unemployment rate during the years the participants were 18 to 25 years old. (The participants who were born during the late 1940s and late 1970s experienced the best economic conditions during young adulthood, while those born in the early 1960s and late 1980s encountered the worst.)

Bianchi found that people who were 18 to 25 years old during periods of high unemployment (average unemployment: 7.7 percent) scored, on average, 2.35 points lower on the 40-point narcissism inventory scale than those who entered young adulthood during periods of low unemployment (average unemployment: 4.3 percent).

This correlation held even after Bianchi adjusted for education and gender. (Men tend to be more narcissistic than women.) And it was not explained by dips or rises in self-esteem, a personality trait associated with but not the same as narcissism.

Importantly, the correlation was not found among slightly older adults -- those aged 26 to 33 during an economic downturn. This finding strengthens the suggestion from other research that the emerging years of adulthood -- 18 to 25 -- are particularly impressionable and significant in terms of shaping people's later attitudes and values.

Bianchi then repeated the study using data collected from a larger, more nationally representative sample of 31,000 people born between 1930 and 1984. The findings were similar.

"People who came of age in worse economic environments were less likely to regard themselves as unique, special, and deserving," she writes. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Narcissism Linked to Economic Conditions during Young Adulthood, Study Finds
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.