Is "Generation Me" really more narcissistic than previous generations?

  • Trzesniewski K
  • Donnellan M
  • Robins R
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Abstract

In this commentary, we identify several methodological and conceptual issues that undermine Twenge, Konrath, Foster, Campbell, and Bushman's (see record 2008-09745-007) claim that narcissism levels have been rising over the past few decades. Specifically, we discuss (a) the limitations of convenience samples for making inferences about generational differences, (b) our failure to replicate other cross-temporal meta-analytic findings using data from a nationally representative sample, and (c) issues surrounding the interpretation of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. It is important to consider these issues given the extensive media coverage of Twenge et al.'s claim that today's youth are particularly narcissistic, which has wide-ranging implications for how this generation of young adults views itself and is viewed by society at large. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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Authors

  • Kali H. Trzesniewski

  • M. Brent Donnellan

  • Richard W. Robins

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