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The narcissism epidemic is dead; long live the narcissism epidemic

Wetzel, Eunike, Brown, Anna, Hill, Patrick, Chung, Joanne M., Robins, Richard W., Roberts, Brent W. (2017) The narcissism epidemic is dead; long live the narcissism epidemic. Psychological Science, 28 (12). pp. 1833-1847. ISSN 0956-7976. E-ISSN 1467-9280. (doi:10.1177/0956797617724208) (KAR id:62391)

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Are recent cohorts of college students more narcissistic than their predecessors? To address debates about the so-called “narcissism epidemic,” we used data from three cohorts of students (N1990s = 1,166; N2000s = 33,647; N2010s = 25,412) to test whether narcissism levels (overall and specific facets) have increased across generations. We also tested whether our measure, the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), showed measurement equivalence across the three cohorts, a critical analysis that had been overlooked in prior research. We found that several NPI items were not equivalent across cohorts. Models accounting for nonequivalence of these items indicated a small decline in overall narcissism levels from the 1990s to the 2010s (d = ?0.27). At the facet-level, leadership (d = ?0.20), vanity (d = –0.16), and entitlement (d = –0.28) all showed decreases. Our results contradict the claim that recent cohorts of college students are more narcissistic than earlier generations of college students.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0956797617724208
Uncontrolled keywords: narcissism, Narcissistic Personality Inventory, cohort differences, generational changes, measurement invariance
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Anna Brown
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2017 19:55 UTC
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 12:26 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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