The Narcissisn Epidemic

The Narcissism Epidemic by psychologist Jean M. Twenge


“The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement” by psychologist Jean M. Twenge and her co-author W. Keith Campbell tells you more about how narcissism affects individuals and society. In this book, they explore the causes, consequences and solutions of the widespread problem of narcissism in today’s culture.

What is narcissism?

Narcissism is an inflated view of the self that leads to self-centeredness, entitlement, vanity, materialism, uniqueness, antisocial behavior, relationship troubles and lack of empathy. Narcissists believe that they are special, superior, deserving and entitled to everything they want. They crave attention, admiration and validation from others, but they are unable to form genuine connections or care about anyone else’s feelings. They are often aggressive, manipulative, dishonest and exploitative in their interactions with others.

Narcissism in American culture

According to Twenge and Campbell, narcissism is on the rise among individuals and in American culture. They cite evidence from various sources, such as personality tests, surveys, interviews, experiments, observations and media analysis, to show that narcissism has increased over time and across different domains of life. They also examine the origins of the narcissism epidemic, such as parenting styles, celebrity culture, social media, easy credit and consumerism.
The Narcissism Epidemic

The harm of narcissism

The authors argue that narcissism has negative effects at every level of society. It harms the mental health and well-being of individuals, who suffer from depression, anxiety, loneliness and low self-esteem. It damages the quality and stability of relationships, leading to more divorce, infidelity, violence and abuse. It erodes the social fabric and civic engagement, resulting in more incivility, rudeness and aggression. It undermines the economy and the environment, causing more debt, risk-taking, fraud and waste.

Fighting the narcissism epidemic

Twenge and Campbell also offer some suggestions on how to combat the narcissism epidemic. They recommend that individuals should cultivate self-awareness, self-control, gratitude, humility and empathy. They advise parents to raise their children with realistic expectations, clear boundaries and unconditional love. They suggest that educators and employers should foster a culture of learning, cooperation and responsibility. They propose that media and society should promote positive role models, values and norms.


“The Narcissism Epidemic” is a well-researched, well-written and well-argued book that provides a comprehensive and insightful analysis of the phenomenon of narcissism in today’s world. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand themselves and others better, and to improve their personal and social lives.

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