How To Identify A Narcissist: One Simple Question Might Do The Trick

Researchers studying the intricacies of narcissism have uncovered previously unknown facts about the behavior.

In a recent Inquisitr science report, it was revealed that job interviewers actually subconsciously prefer narcissists over their humbler counterparts. Scientists from the University of British Columbia discovered that people who exhibited narcissistic personality traits were perceived by interviewers to be more likable and more attractive candidates for jobs, falling under the illusion that they are more outgoing and personable than those who presented themselves in a more reserved manner.

Another intriguing study on narcissistic personality published on PLOS ONE was conducted by the Ohio State University, this time on the topic of identifying people with narcissistic behavioral traits. A series of 11 experiments involving more than 2000 participants has identified a quick and easy way to spot a narcissist in a crowd.

By asking the participants the following question, the researchers from OSU were able to reliably identify narcissists among a group of experiment participants:

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 answer the question by rating themselves on their perceived level of narcissism. A rating of 1 means the participant does not see himself describing his personality as a narcissistic one while a rating of 7, the highest one, indicates that the participant sees the aforementioned descriptions as highly descriptive of him or herself.

According to researchers, people who are narcissists would be typically proud of the fact and would most likely answer with a higher rating.

Psychologist Brad Bushman said:

“People who are willing to admit they are more narcissistic than others probably actually are more narcissistic.”

He added that the immediate confession to being narcissistic is due to the fact that narcissists do not see the personality disorder as a negative aspect of their lives:

“People who are narcissists are almost proud of the fact. You can ask them directly because they don’t see narcissism as a negative quality — they believe they are superior to other people and are fine with saying that publicly.”

However, Sarah Konrath, a co-author of the study, emphasized that narcissism is not a positive trait.

She said:

“…narcissistic people have low empathy, and empathy is one key motivator of philanthropic behavior such as donating money or time to organizations.”

According to Science Daily, people who agreed they were narcissists were observed to be less depressed and more extroverted, but are also more prone to rash behaviors like anger.

[Image from Kevin Dooley/Flickr]