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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bush-League Social Psychology

by tristero

Here we learn that narcissism among the young is increasing. Goodness Gracious, Great Balls Afire! This is serious!!!

But wait a minute, what exactly is a narcissist, after all?
[Jean] Twenge, the author of "Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled _ and More Miserable Than Ever Before," said narcissists tend to lack empathy, react aggressively to criticism and favor self-promotion over helping others.
That descriptiion remind you of anyone? Someone who has demonstrated a pathological inability to show other than the most crocodilian of tears for wounded and dead soldiers, or poor people flooded out of their homes? Someone so thin-skinned and insecure, he cannot tolerate even the slightest disagreement and has difficulty taking responsibility for a single mistake?

Why yes, I can think of someone. And it also fits his vice-president, many of his advisers, his former Defense Secretary, and many of his political bedfellows, people with names like Donohue, DeLay, Dobson, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, and Rove.

Sounds to me like the "cohort" of middle-aged Americans has quite a few world-class narcissists already.

But this isn't about politics. The kids, our precious children! They're at risk!

And I'll bet you can't guess what's causing all that increasingly toxic narcissism in this here America. Go ahead, take a wild stab in the dark:
The researchers traced the phenomenon back to what they called the "self-esteem movement" that emerged in the 1980s, asserting that the effort to build self-confidence had gone too far...

Campbell said the narcissism upsurge seemed so pronounced that he was unsure if there were obvious remedies.

"Permissiveness seems to be a component," he said. "A potential antidote would be more authoritative parenting. Less indulgence might be called for."
Indeed. Goddamm permissive liberals. And what are the consequences of too much fucking - oh, sorry, a slip of the pixel, I mean, too much narcissism?
"Unfortunately, narcissism can also have very negative consequences for society, including the breakdown of close relationships with others," he said.

The study asserts that narcissists "are more likely to have romantic relationships that are short-lived, at risk for infidelity, lack emotional warmth, and to exhibit game-playing, dishonesty, and over-controlling and violent behaviors."
Hmm... Now where did I come across a similar list before? Oh, yeah, that Borat clone, Dr. Eric Keroack and the problems that stem from the depletion of vital bodily fluids:
Last June, Keroack was a featured speaker at the 10th Annual International Abstinence Leadership Conference in Kansas City, where he provided his somewhat unorthodox insights into the role of hormones in relationship failure.

Oxytocin is a hormone whose actions are associated with pregnancy, breastfeeding, and maternal-infant bonding -- and, according to Keroack, it's the tie that binds in marriage, as well. People don't fall in love, but into hormonal bondage. Therefore, the most important rationale for sexual abstinence isn't faith-based at all, but purely physiological. Unfaithful men and promiscuous women are created by misuse of the "emotional glue" of attraction, an abuse leading to a "perpetual cycle of misery."
For the benefit of those of you whose permissive youth has led to problems with your short-term memory, let me remind you that you are paying Dr. Eric Keroack's salary. He's the guy Bush put in charge of family planning but of course, he doesn't believe in contraception. Just bodily fluid depletion.

Sounds to me like Dr. Keroack and the Narcissistic Personality Inventory doc should hook up. They could certainly waste plenty of taxpayer dollars - sorry, I meant conduct some very insightful federally-sponsored research.

Yessirree, liberal-generated narcissism is a very serious problem among the youth of America. And it's growing! Oh, wait:
Some analysts have commended today's young people for increased commitment to volunteer work...

Yet students, while acknowledging some legitimacy to such findings, don't necessarily accept negative generalizations about their generation.

Hanady Kader, a University of Washington senior, said she worked unpaid last summer helping resettle refugees and considers many of her peers to be civic-minded. But she is dismayed by the competitiveness of some students who seem prematurely focused on career status.

"We're encouraged a lot to be individuals and go out there and do what you want, and nobody should stand in your way," Kader said. "I can see goals and ambitions getting in the way of other things like relationships."

Kari Dalane, a University of Vermont sophomore, says most of her contemporaries are politically active and not overly self-centered.

"People are worried about themselves _ but in the sense of where are they're going to find a place in the world," she said. "People want to look their best, have a good time, but it doesn't mean they're not concerned about the rest of the world."

Besides, some of the responses on the narcissism test might not be worrisome, Dalane said. "It would be more depressing if people answered, 'No, I'm not special.'"
Huh? Well, no problemo. If the facts don't fit, just make up reasons why the facts don't matter:
But Twenge viewed even this phenomenon [community service among youth] skeptically, noting that many high schools require community service and many youths feel pressure to list such endeavors on college applications
I wonder, does Twenge have a Pressure To Do Community Service Inventory follow-up "instrument" for her NPI?