Nav: Home

Young adults distressed by labels of narcissism, entitlement

May 15, 2019

Young adults both believe and react negatively to messages that members of their age group are more entitled and narcissistic than other living generations, suggests new research presented by Joshua Grubbs of Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and colleagues in the open access journal PLOS ONE on May 15, 2019.

Academic reports and popular literature have contributed to the widespread idea that emerging adults--people transitioning from adolescence to young adulthood--are more entitled and narcissistic than are other modern age groups. Whether such labels are accurate is extensively debated among researchers, but few have examined how emerging adults react to these labels.

To explore this knowledge gap, Grubbs and colleagues conducted three studies. Participants in the first study included over 1,000 university undergraduates and 724 people from a variety of age groups in an online crowdsourcing platform. All completed standard measures of personality traits and surveys about relevant stereotypes and opinions.

The results of this first study suggest that emerging adults believe adolescents and members of their own age group are indeed exceptionally narcissistic and entitled; they feel that these are negative traits and they have negative reactions to these labels being applied to their age group. The crowdsourcing results suggest that older adults' views of the narcissism and entitlement of adolescents and emerging adults are more exaggerated than the views of emerging adults themselves.

In two additional studies, the researchers examined 218 (study 2) and 376 (study 3) university students' reactions to excerpts of written materials describing people aged 18 to 25. They found that the students reacted negatively to their age group being labeled as narcissistic and entitled, and they reacted with a similar degree of negativity to other undesirable labels, such as oversensitivity.

While additional research is needed to confirm and refine these findings, they suggest that emerging adults are aware of and believe widespread messages labeling their age group as the most narcissistic and entitled, and that they are somewhat distressed by these labels.

Grubbs summarizes: "All generations think that the youngest generations (millennials and generation Z) are the most narcissistic and entitled generations. However, millennials and Generation Z dislike this characterization and believe it less than older generations do."
-end-
Citation: Grubbs JB, Exline JJ, McCain J, Campbell WK, Twenge JM (2019) Emerging adult reactions to labeling regarding age-group differences in narcissism and entitlement. PLoS ONE 14(5): e0215637. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0215637

Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this work.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS ONE: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0215637

PLOS

Related Narcissistic Articles:

How narcissistic leaders infect their organizations' cultures
Like carriers of a virus, narcissistic leaders ''infect'' the very cultures of their organizations, leading to dramatically lower levels of collaboration and integrity at all levels--even after they are gone.
Higher narcissism may be linked with more political participation
A politically engaged electorate is key to any thriving democracy, but not everyone participates in elections and other political activities.
Why you should say 'thank you' and not 'sorry' after most service failures
Appreciation (saying 'thank you') is often a more effective strategy than apology (saying 'sorry') at restoring consumer satisfaction.
To protect your brain, don't be (too) kind!
Scientists (UNIGE/HUG) demonstrated, through brain imaging and psycho-cognitive evaluations conducted over several years on a community-based cohort of elderly people, that certain personality traits protect brain structures against neuro-degeneration and Alzheimer's disease.
Me, me, me! How narcissism changes throughout life
New research from Michigan State University conducted the longest study on narcissism to date, revealing how it changes over time.
Narcissism can lower stress levels and reduce chances of depression
People who have grandiose narcissistic traits are more likely to be 'mentally tough,' feel less stressed and are less vulnerable to depression, research led by Queen's University Belfast has found.
New study debunks myth that only children are more narcissistic than kids with siblings
The stereotype that only children are selfish, or more self-centered than those with siblings is sometimes used as an argument for having more than one child, but researchers from Germany find there's no evidence for the claim that only children are more narcissistic than children with sibling.
Research tracks narcissism from young adulthood to middle age
The belief that one is smarter, better looking, more successful and more deserving than others -- a personality trait known as narcissism -- tends to wane as a person matures, a new study confirms.
Selfie versus posie
If you lose sleep over the number of likes on your Instagram account, new WSU research suggests you might want to think twice before posting that selfie.
Young adults distressed by labels of narcissism, entitlement
Young adults both believe and react negatively to messages that members of their age group are more entitled and narcissistic than other living generations, suggests new research presented by Joshua Grubbs of Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and colleagues in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on May 15, 2019.
More Narcissistic News and Narcissistic Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.