If I were to ask you what generation was the most entitled, sensitive, easily offended, and narcissistic, it seems like there is an obvious answer. Millennials. Older generations always have something negative to say and younger kids disassociate themselves with them. But how can a group of millions of people all be labeled this way?
Josh Grubbs, a psychology professor at Bowling Green State University, who conducted this research, said those stereotypes “in part, started with us. Psychologists were the ones that talked about the narcissism epidemic to begin with.” Twenty years ago psychologists began investigating the trend of young adults becoming more and more self-absorbed than the previous generation. Media and news outlets took this finding and ran with it. However, they never accounted for the opposing side. This age group is constantly being fed this narrative, which has now manifested itself into their mindsets. Grubbs says adults between eighteen and twenty-five years old believe their generation is the most entitled and narcissistic “and are offended by it.”
Grubbs saw all of these stereotypes in the media and six years ago began to focus his research on what the people in that generation thought, not what outsiders thought of them. Grubbs interviewed hundreds of college students and asked specific questions regarding narcissism, entitlement, and other stereotypes. They were asked about their own personality traits, what they thought the stereotypes related to their age-group were, and their attitude toward narcissism and entitlement as both a trait and a label. Researchers also recorded reactions to various negative stereotypes including them being entitled, easily offended, and overly sensitive.
Researchers then recorded what these students’ reactions were to narcissism when asked in a way that presented it positively or negatively. It was found that people who were narcissistic or had narcissistic tendencies, viewed it as a positive trait. However, most students did not sway from a negative attitude even when narcissism was presented positively. They also found that, in general, these labels and stereotypes were very normalized for this age group and Grubbs was surprised to see there was not as much denial as he thought there would be. But, the students did seem distressed and frustrated about these labels. The research found concluded that millennials are not universally narcissistic, despite this idea being normalized and constantly talked about in our society.
Although I am a Gen Z not a millennial, I am eighteen, meaning I am in the range that thinks their generation is the most entitled and narcissistic. I also have had conversations with people older than me about how my age group is lesser and does not withhold values such as hard work. It is incredibly frustrating to be lumped into a stereotype and not be able to defend yourself. It can be hard to be taken seriously when you are held back because of a false label. I am very lucky not have been setback significantly because of stereotypes, but so many are. Going forward in my life I hope to continue not using stereotypes as a way to categorize huge groups of people.
Although Grubbs’ research is showing that millennials are not as narcissistic as they are made out to be, it also has a bigger meaning. He hopes his findings teaches people not to label a whole group blindly and to be “a little more cautious and kind” towards others.
Full Article: Attention Young People: This Narcissism Study Is All About You
Chokshi, N. (2019, May 15). Attention Young People: This Narcissism Study Is All AboutYou.Retrievedfrom
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/15/science/narcissism-teenagers.html?rref=collection/timestopic/Psychology and Psychologists&action=click&contentCollection=health®ion=stream&module=stream
By: Lizzie Guertler
How do you decide whether or not you trust someone? Are they actually trustworthy? Every day, your brain makes mental leaps which can cause you to automatically trust someone without further knowledge. An unconscious bias is a shortcut that your brain takes to come to a conclusion. They happen all the time when you are in class, in a meeting, and in general talking to someone. Your brain likes to make conclusions and these conclusions cause you to create cultural bias’ that become encoded in our brains. They can be dangerous, inaccurate, and overall wrong, but the scary thing is that these happen without us being aware of it.
Ms. Carrigan's Psych Class
We have been reading articles about psychological studies to inform the way we live our lives. Please explore, and we hope you learn a bit about the psychology in your life!