I didn’t know somebody had invented a test to measure narcissism. Even better, researchers have been administering it to college students since 1982. The shocking news this week is that recent results confirm a trend: today’s college students are, on average, more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors. The researchers blame everything from permissive parents to untrammeled access to social networking sites like MySpace, which are designed to help each little darling showcase The Wonder That Is Me.
A related Atlantic Monthly article cites a school teacher whose antidote is simple: “I tell them that self-esteem comes from a self doing something that is worthy of esteem.”