One Simple Question Can Let You Identify Narcissistic People

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By Indrani Bhattacharyya | August 6, 2014 10:23 AM EST

Through a striking finding, scientists have created and validated a method in order to identify which people are narcissistic. All you have to do is to ask a simple question.

According to the report by Science daily, this research was carried out by Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and a professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University in collaboration with Sara Konrath of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Brian Meier of Gettysburg College.

Reuters
Singer and actress Christina Aguilera sits atop her star at ceremonies unveiling her star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California November 15, 2010

The work was supported by grants from the John Templeton Foundation and got published in the journal PLOS ONE.

This research involved a series of 11 experiments involving more than 2,200 people of all ages, after analysing the data, the researchers discovered that they could sensibly identify narcissistic people by asking them this exact question (including the note).

“To what extent do you agree with this statement: "I am a narcissist." (Note: The word "narcissist" means egotistical, self-focused, and vain.)”

Participants were asked to rate themselves on a scale of 1 (not very true of me) to 7 (very true of me).

According to the result, it was found that people's answer to this question matched up very closely with several other validated measures of narcissism, including the most widely used Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI)

But the only difference between NPI and this new survey which the researchers termed as the Single Item Narcissism Scale (SINS) was SINS has just one question instead of 40 questions from NPI.

Narcissistic people often don’t treat narcissism as a negative quality, it lets them think that they are superior to others. It is also important to understand them well as narcissism has many implications on society and surrounding, Konrath further added.

"Overall, narcissism is problematic for both individuals and society. Those who think they are already great don't try to improve themselves," Bushman said.

Previous work suggested that people with high narcissism score were more likely to indulge into risky sexual behaviors and also showed difficulties in being into long-term committed romantic relationships.

People who made higher on narcissism on the SINS showed more positive feelings, more extraversion, and marginally less depression.

At the same time, they also showed less agreeableness and more anger, shame, guilt and fear.

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(Photo: Reuters / Fred Prouser)
Singer and actress Christina Aguilera sits atop her star at ceremonies unveiling her star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California November 15, 2010
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