Killer egos

The Washington Times Weekly - - Culture, Etc. -

“Brad Bush­man, a so­cial psy­chol­o­gist at the Univer­sity of Michi­gan who has pub­lished re­search on school shoot­ings since the mid1990s, has found that nar­cis­sism of­ten plays a role in the shoot­ings.

“ ‘This stu­dent at Vir­ginia Tech killed two peo­ple and then made a video of him­self and sent it to NBC news,’ Bush­man points out. ‘He wanted peo­ple to know what he did.’ [. . .]

“Nar­cis­sists, says Bush­man, be­lieve that they are en­ti­tled to ad­mi­ra­tion and re­spect and, when they don’t get it, they be­come ag­gres­sive. Bush­man blames the self-es­teem move­ment of the past 20 years for pro­duc­ing a gen­er­a­tion of peo­ple who think the world has been turned up­side down when they are not sin­gled out for their ‘spe­cial-ness.’ [. . .]

“Th­ese young peo­ple are es­sen­tially set up for fail­ure in the real world, says Bush­man. That is, most peo­ple don’t get much recog­ni­tion, ei­ther in their pro­fes­sions or in their private lives, and try­ing to keep an ego in­flated in those praise-de­prived con­di­tions can breed frus­tra­tion and anger. [. . .]

“Bush­man likes to con­duct a sim­ple men­tal test: Imag­ine the most ag­gres­sive per­son you can think of. It might be Hitler, Hugo Chavez, Mus­solini, Sad­dam Hus­sein or Osama bin Laden, none of whom has a self-es­teem prob­lem. They all wanted, or want, the spot­light. And they all were, or are, ex­tremely sen­si­tive to crit­i­cism.”

Stephanie Ra­m­age, writ­ing on “Why?” in the At­lanta Sun­day Pa­per

He wasn’t lack­ing in self-es­teem. Sad­dam Hus­sein

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