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60-Second Mind

The "Me" Generation Isn't So "Me"

Contrary to the media hype that today's teens are more self-absorbed than generations past, Canadian researchers have found zero evidence for any increase in narcissism, which includes arrogance and self-entitlement, over the last three decades.

If you’re listening to this podcast I assume you’re familiar with the Web, and with how youngins are using the Web these days – and how the elders look on in disbelief. New York Magazine said the rant includes phrases like: “Kids today. They are show-offs, fame whores, pornographic little loons who post their diaries, their phone numbers, their stupid poetry, their dirty photos, online.”
 
Some say we are experiencing is the largest generation gap since rock ‘n roll.
 
And we might think there’s been an increase in narcissism that is directly proportional to the increase of self-promotional multimedia.
 
But this is an illusion.
 
Kids today are no more ignoring good causes in favor of their own self-absorption than in generations past, according to research in the February issue of Psychological Science.
 
Scientists measured narcissism in over 25,000 college students from 1996 to 2007 – and compared their data to measurements taken in the1970s. They found zero evidence of an increase.
 
Kids are as self-absorbed and self-aggrandizing today as they were then.
 
Just that now, they have better tools…from Twitter to Flikr…it sure does feel like it’s all about me.

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