Study: People with lots of Facebook friends more likely to be narcissists

Do you have tons of Facebook friends and often update your status? If so, you may be a narcissist, a new study suggests.

Research from Western Illinois University showed a link between the number of Facebook friends you have and how active you are on the site to the likelihood of being a “socially disruptive” narcissist.

The study — which was recently published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences — was conducted among 300 participants, who took a Narcissistic Personality Inventory questionnaire.

Those with more Facebook friends, who tagged themselves in photos and updated their status throughout the day were more likely to have narcissistic traits.

“People who have a heightened need to feel good about themselves will often turn to Facebook as a way to do so,” study author Chris Carpenter from Western Illinois University told Mashable.

“Facebook gives those with narcissistic tendencies the opportunity to exploit the site to get the feedback they need and become the center of attention.”

Carpenter said that Facebook users that self-promote themselves on the site show signs of two narcissistic behaviors. The first is called grandiose exhibition (GE), which refers to people who love to be the center of attention. The second is a category that involves entitlement/explotiveness (EE), which indicates how far people will go to get the respect and attention they think they deserve.

“There isn’t a baseline of how many friends a person has or how often they update their status that would qualify as them to have these narcissistic characteristics,” Carpenter said. “However, it’s interesting to note how often these people use first-person pronouns such as ‘I’ and ‘me’ on the site.”

This isn’t the first time a study has been conducted about Facebook narcissists. In 2010, a study published from York University highlighted the differences between how men and women self-promoted themselves on Facebook.

Men tended to promote themselves in the “About Me” description, while women used pictures that “include[d] revealing, flashy and adorned photos of their physical appearance.”



  1. #1 by Robert Joseph Kaufmann on March 22, 2012 - 7:40 pm

    I love expensive studies that prove the obvious. I also love flip-flopping recommendations on various foodstuffs, e. g., caffeine. The most abhorrent is illness caused by prescribed medications.


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