Narcissism vs. Altruism Are Millennials prepared to positively impact

Narcissism vs. AltruismAre Millennials prepared to
positively impact our society?
Faith Shotts-Flikkema
Cornerstone University
Forest Hills Northern High School
What, exactly, is Narcissism?
Egoism, Egocentrism inordinate fascination with oneself;
excessive self-love; vanity.
Psychoanalysis: erotic gratification derived from
admiration of one's own physical or mental
Some Current Narcissistic
Narcissism is not limited to men…
What impact does Hollywood have
on the Millennial generation?
“Then the question becomes,
why are we preoccupied with
this population? (Hollywood)
This points toward the mirror.
We, too, have become
increasingly narcissistic.”
-Drew Pinsky (Dr. Drew)
Introducing Jean Twenge, Ph.D….
Is Narcissism an “epidemic?”
In her new book, The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the
Age of Entitlement, psychologist Jean Twenge of San
Diego State University and co-author W. Keith Campbell
of the University of Georgia say “research shows more
young people today have ‘narcissistic traits’ than in
previous generations. Such traits, Twenge says, include
a very positive and inflated sense of self, which is
illustrated by a preoccupation with MySpace, Facebook
and YouTube.”
Twenge’s argument…
“On a reality TV show, a girl planning her Sweet Sixteen
wants a major road blocked off so a marching band can
precede her grand entrance on a red carpet. Five times
as many Americans undergo plastic surgery and
cosmetic procedures as ten years ago, and ordinary
people hire fake paparazzi to follow them around to
make them look famous. High school students physically
attack classmates and post YouTube videos of the
beatings to get attention. And for the past several years,
Americans have been buying McMansions and
expensive cars on credit they can't afford. ”
Has Narcissism become a
societal problem?
Narcissism applied to a social
group is defined as elitism or
indifference to the plight of
Is there a correlation between
narcissism and apathy?
• Diffusion of
• Bystander
Is there a correlation between
narcissism and apathy?
Current Example
Connecticut- “Hit and Run”- 78 yr. old man
is ran over while bystanders watch and/or
If Narcissism is a societal problem,
then is it our responsibility to
change it?
What are some solutions?
The advent of Altruism…
Unselfish interest in the welfare of others
The principle or practice of unselfish concern
for or devotion to the welfare of others
(opposed to egoism.)
Some Current
Altruistic Role Models…
We can prepare
“Generation Me”
to positively impact
their world!
Some Practical Suggestions…
Make Altruism FUN!
Operant Conditioning- Positive
Parental Effect- Positive Role Models
The “FUN” Theory…
Positive Reinforcement 
The “Parental Effect”
According to Brehm &
Kassin, positive role
models, such as parents,
can effect a young
person’s development
into an altruistic adult.
(Example from
Social Psychology)
Unveiling Positive Role Models…
Peaceful Person Presentations
Inspirational Speakers
i.e. Greg Boyle, Kyle Maynard,
Dave Pelzer, Lisa Shannon
Discussion Questions
Is Narcissism a big concern in our society? In
Is it the responsibility of educators to address
social issues, such as this?
How can schools and universities promote
altruism amongst students and faculty?
How can young adults turn the tide from selffocus to empathy and altruism?
Brehm, S. S., & Kassin, S. M. (2005). Chapter 7- Helping & Altruism. In Social Psychology (5th
ed.). N.p.: Houghton Mifflin.
Choate-Nielsen, A., & Israelsen-Hartley, S. (2011, August 29). The age of entitlement: Selfishness
is Rampant. In Deseret News. Retrieved February 13, 2012,
from age of entitlement-Selfishness/.
Jayson, S. (n.d.). Celebrity Narcissism: A bad reflection for kids. In USA Today. Retrieved
February 16, 2009, from
Jayson, S. (2009, March 16). Take the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. In USA Today. Retrieved
February 21, 2012, from
Jayson, S. (2009, April 20). Is Narcissism on the upswing in the young?. In USA Today. Retrieved
February 21, 2012, from
Laitman, M. (2011). Self-Interest vs. Altruism in the Global Age. Brooklyn, NY: Laitman
Kabbalah Publishers.
Twenge, T. M. (2008). Generation Me (pp. 17-143). New York, NY: Free Press.