Tuesday, February 27, 2007

OBV 102

Newsflash(?) College students narcissistic and self-centered.

Filing this one with the same study that proved that plants do better if you water them.

"Today’s college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, according to a comprehensive new study by five psychologists who worry that the trend could be harmful to personal relationships and American society."

As one of their more immediate predecessors, I find that hard to believe.

"The standardized inventory, known as the NPI, asks for responses to such statements as “If I ruled the world, it would be a better place,” “I think I am a special person” and “I can live my life any way I want to.” Who the hell answers 'No' to any of these questions? If I ruled the world, things would suck; I am not a special snowflake; I can only live my life in ways that make me unhappy - those are not desirable responses to that question.

"The new report follows a study released by UCLA last month which found that nearly three-quarters of the freshmen it surveyed thought it was important to be “very well-off financially.” That compared with 62.5 percent who said the same in 1980 and 42 percent in 1966." The kicker here: that only 42 percent of the tail end Baby Boomers thought it was important to be well off financially.

Dude, these are college students. They likely come from well off backgrounds and plan to continue their well off lifestyle at some point in the future. Again, who answers differently? "No, I want to be a freegan" is a much less healthy answer.

Do I think the 'you're special' stuff may have gone too far? Probably. It seems real silly sometimes, with limited benefit if all it does is produce narcissistic college students who aspire to be well off financially at some point. Do I think parents need to exert more authority over their kids? Absolutely. But that's a parent issue, not a college student issue.

I got a total kick out of reading that one, though. Glad that UGA and UCLA can team up to come up with something useful every once in a while...


Dante said...

Generation Me? I thought the 80's was home to the Me Generation.

You know full well psychologists don't make money off of people who think they are well-rounded. If these psychologists are right and kids today think more of themselves than they ever have, where does that leave the people whose job it is to make them feel better about themselves?

This study is almost as disturbing to psychologists as the one pointing out that bullies actually have high self-esteem.

They need to hurry up and crank out another study showing how much more stress our generation has now compared to the one before us that only had to worry about folks getting drafted, going off to Vietnam, and possibly never coming back.

And then we get the supreme wisdom of Hanady Kader.

"she is dismayed by the competitiveness of some students who seem prematurely focused on career status."

Excuse me? You're a SENIOR in college. When exactly is it time to become focused on career status? I'd argue that becoming focused on career status is important to do as early as possible. Less than a year before you're expected to start a career seems a bit late in the game.

I remember in my graduating class and major, those who were actively trying to make contacts and flesh out their resume the entire time they were in college had no trouble finding work afterwards. Everyone else was not so fortunate, especially since that b**** Janet Reno burst the technology bubble prematurely by going after Microsoft so aggressively. (It would've popped on its own anyways but at least my class and probably the one after mine could've gotten a year or two in of ultra high paying jobs in the meantime. But that's another story for another time.)

And then she gives us this gem: "I can see goals and ambitions getting in the way of other things like relationships."

Aren't relationships based on goals and ambitions? I guess not to Miss Kader. At least you fellas who may be interested in her know where you stand. I know that under my "goals" column is to spend as much time as I can with my wife and children. If your relationships aren't part of your goals and ambitions, then you're in the wrong relationships. And here she is commenting on others' self-centeredness. How priceless.

dadvocate said...

only 42 percent of the tail end Baby Boomers thought it was important to be well off financially

This was during the beginning of the "Hippie" faze for college kids also. Rejecting materialism was a great fad then. I bet a much higher percentage put a greater value on being financially well off now and wish they had earlier in life. I do. I don't necessarily see the desire for being financially well off as narcissism.

I bet all the psychologists involved with this study have a much higher than average income and lifestyle which makes them a bunch or self-righteous snots. :-)