Published on March 21st, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Number of Facebook Friends Linked to Narcissism, Study Shows
Well, if you don’t have many Facebook friends you’re a total loser, and if you do, you’re self-centered, according to a study.
Researchers at Western Illinois University sliced up the data of nearly 300 students, determining that number of friends, frequency of status updates and the amount of self-tagging in which one engages directly correlates with likelihood of “socially disruptive” narcissism. Those who displayed the red flags also tended to change their profile pictures more frequently and also respond more aggressively to what they may perceive as personal attacks made on the site.
British “social scientist” Carol Craig gave a quote to the paper The Guardian, essentially blaming Americans for the particular breed of narcissism pegged by the study:
“The way that children are being educated is focussing more and more on the importance of self esteem – on how you are seen in the eyes of others. This method of teaching has been imported from the US and is ‘all about me.’ …Facebook provides a platform for people to self-promote by changing profile pictures and showing how many hundreds of friends you have. I know of some who have more than 1,000.”
Um, well that sounds scientific, lady. Sussex University psychology lecturer Dr. Viv Vignoles also said the US and its fixation on “self-esteem” could be responsible for the rise in Facebook and narcissism:
“Without understanding the causes underlying the historical change in US college students, we do not know whether these causes are factors that are relatively specific to American culture, such as the political focus on increasing self-esteem in the late 80s and early 90s or whether they are factors that are more general, for example new technologies such as mobile phones and Facebook.”
The study was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.