Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing various observations gleaned from a wonderful, recent study entitled, The Narcissism Epidemic. According to dictionary.com, “narcissism” is “an inordinate fascination with oneself.” From the same source, an “epidemic” is an affliction that affects a “disproportionately large number of individuals within a population.” So in titling their book as they have, Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell are suggesting that a disproportionate segment of our society is currently suffering from a distorted sense of self-image that is marked by a pronounced fascination with one’s own being.
Now, to get us going, let me offer you two brief insights gleaned from the first chapter of the book. Then I want to ask a question.
- From the 1980s to the present, the percentage of Americans possessing Narcissitic personality traits has risen as fast as percentage of society that struggles with obesity.
- In 2006, 1 out of every 4 college students possessed a majority of the traits listed in a standard psychological profile of narcissism.
So here is my question. Why are we, as Americans, concerned about obesity, but relatively ignorant and/or unconcerned about narcissism?
The Narcissism Epidemic is currently available through amazon.com for $10.87.