The narcissism epidemic is dead; long live the narcissism epidemic

Wetzel, Eunike and Brown, Anna and Hill, Patrick and Chung, Joanne M. and Robins, Richard W. and Roberts, Brent W. (2017) The narcissism epidemic is dead; long live the narcissism epidemic. Psychological Science, . ISSN 0956-7976. E-ISSN 1467-9280. (doi: (Full text available)

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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
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: 25 Oct 2017 11:38 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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