Nav: Home

New study debunks myth that only children are more narcissistic than kids with siblings

October 15, 2019

The stereotype for only children is that they are selfish, or more self-centered than those with siblings. This stereotype 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. Michael Dufner (University of Leipzig), Mitja D. Back (University of Münster), Franz F. Oehme (University of Leipzig), Stefan C. Schmukle (University of Leipzig) recently published their findings in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

To start, the social and personality psychologists asked if people believe people who have no siblings are more narcissistic than people with siblings.

Dufner and colleagues focused on two core aspects of narcissism: people feeling grandiose about themselves more and people being more rivalrous.

Analyzing questionnaires from over 500 people, they found that both only children and those with siblings hold the view that only kids are more narcissistic in both aspects mentioned before, than those with siblings.

They then analyzed data from a large panel study of over 1800 people, and found the scores of narcissistic traits for only children were not that different from people with siblings. Even controlling for possible socioeconomic factors, these results held true.

"Some of the past research has reported no difference between only children and non-only children in terms of narcissism and some of the past research has reported such a difference," says Dufner. Due to the nature of their sampling and research methods, "we can now say with rather high confidence that only children are not substantially more narcissistic than people with siblings."

Narcissism is considered a socially maladaptive personality trait, so lumping only children as being narcissistic can put them at a disadvantage from their peers, suggest the researchers.

"When sociologists, economists, or policy makers discuss the downsides of low fertility rates, they should let go of the idea that growing up without siblings leads to increased narcissism," write Dufner and colleagues.

"There might of course be economic or societal costs associated with low birth rates, but increasing narcissism in the upcoming generation does not seem to be a factor that is relevant to the discussion," says Dufner.
-end-
Social Psychological and Personality Science (SPPS) is an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), the Association for Research in Personality (ARP), the European Association of Social Psychology (EASP), and the Society for Experimental Social Psychology (SESP). Social Psychological and Personality Science publishes innovative and rigorous short reports of empirical research on the latest advances in personality and social psychology.

Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Related Narcissism Articles:

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.
How personality predicts seeing others as sex objects
Several personality traits related to psychopathy -- especially being openly antagonistic -- predict a tendency to view others as merely sex objects, finds a study by psychologists at Emory University.
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.
Income inequality fuels status anxiety and sexualisation, research shows
Researchers at the universities of Melbourne and New South Wales have examined the relationship between income inequality, status anxiety and sexualisation of women.
LGBTQ beauty vloggers draw on queer culture to stand out
New Cornell research explores how a racially diverse group of LGBTQ beauty vloggers navigates seemingly contradictory roles: masculine and feminine; authentic and heavily made up.
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.
National narcissism rears its head in study of WWII
In a survey of adults from the countries that comprised the World War II alliances known as the Allies and the Axis, respondents overestimate the importance of their country to the war effort.
Foodie calls: Dating for a free meal (rather than a relationship)
New psychology research reveals 23-33% of women in an online study say they've engaged in a 'foodie call,' where they set up a date for a free meal.
More Narcissism News and Narcissism 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

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.