Thursday, June 23, 2011

Risks of a narcissistic work force

Narcissims is defined as: a personality marked by self-love and self-absorption; unrealistic views about your own qualities and little regard for others.
narcissistic personality

According to new research from Appalachian State University (, today's college students have "significantly higher levels of narcissism than college students of the past, business students possess significantly higher levels of narcissism than psychology students."

Why? Why would this generation have less realistic self-perceptions and less concern for others? (I blame reality tv, which seems remarkably un-real to me, but then, I'm very old). What do you think?

And why do business students in particular have higher degrees of narcissism? Is it in the self-selection for the career -- you have to think highly of yourself to survive in the dog-eat-dog world of business? Or is it in the way we're educating these students? -- is there too much coddling and have the standards relaxed so much that everyone assumes his A means he's tops?

The researchers go on to say that "narcissists expect to have significantly more career success in terms of ease of finding a job, salary, and promotions." What kind of shock have we set up for these students when they hit real life and all of its challenges? Will their strong sense of self-importance help them weather life challenges or will it lead to confusion or despair?

And most importantly, what do we do about it? For these current students and for our children?

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