Forget You, What About Me-Tube?

03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • STEPHANIE ROSENBLOOM New York Times

Conventional wisdom, supported by academic studies using the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, maintains that today's young people -- schooled in the church of self-esteem, vying for spots on reality television, promoting themselves on YouTube -- are more narcissistic than their predecessors. Heck, they join Facebook groups like the Association for Justified Narcissism. A study released last year by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press dubbed Americans age 18 to 25 as the "Look at Me" generation and reported that this group said that their top goals were fortune and fame.

Yet despite exhibiting some signs of self-obsession, young Americans are not more self-absorbed than earlier generations, according to new research challenging the prevailing wisdom.

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