Business professor on the economy of narcissism

May 20, 2014

BianchiPeople who enter adulthood during recessions are less likely to be narcissistic later in life than those who come of age in more prosperous times, according to research by Emily Bianchi, assistant professor of organization and management at the Goizueta Business School.

“These findings suggest that economic conditions during this formative period of life not only affect how people think about finances and politics, but also how they think about themselves and their importance relative to others,” said Bianchi in a press release issued by the Association for Psychological Science (APS). The results also counter the common sentiment that so-called “millennials” are, as a group, highly self-involved.

The study appeared recently in the journal Psychological Science and was covered by a number of major media outlets.

Bianchi drew on research showing that macroenvironmental conditions in emerging adulthood can leave a lasting imprint on attitudes and behaviors. “I argue that people who enter adulthood during recessions are less likely to be narcissistic later in life than those who come of age in more prosperous times.” The findings, she continued, “suggest that macroenvironmental experiences at a critical life stage can have lasting implications for how unique, special, and deserving people believe themselves to be.”

To find out more about the study described in the APS press release, click here. 

To read coverage of the study in The Atlantic, click here.

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