Numerous studies have long sought out to identify a link between social networking and narcissism, but it now seems that the relationship between the two has officially been recognised thanks to the efforts of a recent psychology paper.
According to the research, there is a direct link between the number of Facebook friends and the extent of socially disruptive narcissism. Researchers found that those scoring highly on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory survey had a large circle of friends, and were more inclined to tag themselves in photos as well as post updates on a frequent basis.
The statistics point to a common conclusion, in that more and more young people are taking greater attention in their self-image as well as exhibiting narcissistic aspects more regularly.
Researchers from Western Illinois University observed the Facebook behaviour of 294 students aged between 18 and 65, and measured two "socially disruptive" narcissism features - grandiose exhibitionism (GE) and entitlement/exploitativeness (EE).
Elements of GE include "self-absorption, vanity, superiority, and exhibistionistic tendencies", with people scoring highly on this aspect showing a greater need to be the centre of attention. Those displaying characteristics of EE show "a sense of deserving respect and a willingness to manipulate and take advantage of others".
Christopher Carpenter, leading the study, explained: "In general, the 'dark side' of Facebook requires more research in order to better understand Facebook's socially beneficial and harmful aspects in order to enhane the former and curtail the latter.
"If Facebook is to be a place where people go to repair their damaged ego and seek social support, it is vitally important to discover the potentially negative communication one might find on Facebook and the kinds of people likely to engage in them. Ideally, people will engage in pro-social Facebooking rather than anti-social me-booking."
Source: The Guardian