Calling today’s younger generations overly sensitive isn’t just a generational rehash of ‘back in my day’…? “It’s Science”.
It’s peer-reviewed and everything, done by Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
The study involved 1000 people and, unlike most other studies that try to determine whether one generation is more “entitled” than another, this one examined their reactions to being called narcissistic.
To summarize, then, there is a body of evidence suggesting that 1). narcissism may have risen modestly in emerging adults over recent years, 2). this finding has been debated fiercely in academic literature, 3). popular media has done much to publicize this finding, and 4). emerging adults believe some of these results about their own age-group. Rather than engaging with the controversies around age-group differences in narcissism and entitlement directly, the present work seeks to examine how aspects of this controversy, particularly labeling about age-group differences in narcissism and entitlement, might be perceived, interpreted, and engaged with by those often discussed as the subject of such change. To date, there has been little study of the reactions of emerging adults to such impressions of their own age-group. As such, the present study was concerned with evaluating emerging adult reactions to age-group differences, particularly those related to rises in trait narcissism and entitlement.
Source: PLOS One (The full published study as available online)
First, we should mention that even the younger people studied acknowledged that people in their age group are ‘exceptionally’ narcissistic and entitled, but see those traits as negative and don’t want to wear those labels personally.
Participants in the first study included more than 1,000 university undergraduates and 724 people from a variety of age groups in an online crowdsourcing platform.
All of them completed standard measures of personality traits and surveys about relevant stereotypes and opinions.
The results of the first study suggest that emerging adults believe adolescents and members of their own age group are indeed ‘exceptionally’ narcissistic and entitled.
They feel that they are negative traits and they have negative reactions to the labels being applied to their age group, according to the findings.
But it’s the second part of the study that’s the kicker. They’re ‘somewhat distressed’ by being called those things.
They found that the students reacted negatively to their age group being labelled as narcissistic and entitled, and they reacted with a similar degree of negativity to other ‘undesirable’ labels, such as oversensitivity.
While further studies are needed to confirm and refine the findings, the research team suggest that emerging adults are aware of and believe widespread messages labelling their age group as the most narcissistic and entitled – and that they are ‘somewhat distressed’ by the labels.
Again, from the source material:
Collectively, our results indicate 1) that emerging adults are generally aware of age-group stereotypes labeling their age-group as the most entitled and narcissistic age-group ever, 2) that emerging adults generally believe these stereotypes, although to a lesser degree than older age-groups, 3) that emerging adults still view these stereotypes in a negative light, and 4) that emerging adults do find these stereotypes somewhat distressing. Such findings are of particular note, as prior research has done little to examine how emerging adults react to the regular parade of descriptions of their age-group that they encounter on a regular basis. Our findings suggest that this exposure likely generally unpleasant for many emerging adults.
Source: PLOS One
by Doug Giles
Doug Giles, best-selling author of Raising Righteous And Rowdy Girls and Editor-In-Chief of the mega-blog, ClashDaily.com, has just penned a book he guarantees will kick hipster males into the rarefied air of masculinity. That is, if the man-child will put down his frappuccino; shut the hell up and listen and obey everything he instructs them to do in his timely and tornadic tome. Buy Now: Pussification: The Effeminization Of The American Male
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