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Surprising Science

Facebook Promotes Socially Aggressive Narcissism

A new psychological paper draws the first direct correlations between Facebook use and narcissistic tendencies including grandiose exhibitionism and entitlement/exploitativeness. 

What’s the Latest Development?

For the first time, psychologists have made a direct link between socially disruptive narcissism and certain Facebook habits such as having a large amount of friends, tagging themselves in photos and updating their status more regularly. “Researchers at Western Illinois University studied the Facebook habits of 294 students, aged between 18 and 65, and measured two ‘socially disruptive’ elements of narcissism – grandiose exhibitionism (GE) and entitlement/exploitativeness (EE).” People exhibiting GE and EE were more likely to seek social support on Facebook without giving it in return. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Researchers believe their new paper, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, shows part of a disturbing trend among younger generations who are becoming increasing self-involved. The movement toward narcissism begins early and actually forms part of educational instruction, says social scientist Carol Craig: ‘The way that children are being educated is focussing more and more on the importance of self esteem – on how you are seen in the eyes of others. This method of teaching has been imported from the US and is ‘all about me’.’

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