How nar­cis­sis­tic are you? – per­son­al­ity quiz

The Guardian Australia - - Science - Ben Am­bridge

How nar­cis­sis­tic is the younger gen­er­a­tion? Very, is the com­mon as­sump­tion. Yet re­cent re­search in­di­cates other­wise. An­swer the fol­low­ing ques­tions to find out why.

On a scale of 1 (strongly dis­agree) to 5 (strongly agree), rate the fol­low­ing three state­ments:1. I am a nat­u­ral leader2. I am a very spe­cial per­son3. I am en­ti­tled to the best of ev­ery­thing

Fi­nally, were you born in the(a) 1970s or ear­lier(b) 1980s(c) 1990s or later

The av­er­age score on Ques­tions 1-3 is around 2, so if you scored much higher or lower, you are more or less nar­cis­sis­tic than av­er­age.

What we are par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in here, though, is gen­er­a­tional dif­fer­ences in nar­cis­sism. In fact, de­spite all the head­lines we see to­day about the selfie gen­er­a­tion, a re­cent study found that lev­els of nar­cis­sis­tic lead­er­ship, van­ity and en­ti­tle­ment (as mea­sured by ques­tions 1 to 3) have ac­tu­ally been de­creas­ing – at least among Amer­i­can Univer­sity stu­dents – since the 1970s.

But why? One pos­si­bil­ity is that de­creases in nar­cis­sism may be linked to the re­cent eco­nomic slump and/or the gen­er­a­tional di­vide. Pre­sum­ably it is rather dif­fi­cult to main­tain a su­pe­ri­or­ity com­plex when you are in a poorly paid job and con­sid­er­ably worse off than your par­ents.

OrderAre You Smarter Than a Chim­panzee? by Ben Am­bridge (Pro­file Books, £12.99) for £11.04 at­book­shop.the­

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