I know this is going to sound like scientists have started letting the sub-humanoids that write those “One Weird Trick” articles you see on disreputable sites take over their research papers, but researchers really do claim they’ve come up with one-question test to determine if someone is a narcissist.
This is the test in its entirety:
To what extent do you agree with this statement: “I am a narcissist.” (Note: The word “narcissist” means egotistical, self-focused, and vain.)
Participants rate themselves on a scale of 1 to 7 and that’s it. Scientists studied 2,200 people and they found the “Hey man, are you a narcissist?” scale (officially called the Single Item Narcissism Scale or SINS) results were similar to when the participants were tested on the well-established 40-question Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI).
The reason? Because narcissists think they’re so freakin’ cool, of course.
“People who are willing to admit they are more narcissistic than others probably actually are more narcissistic,” said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and a professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University.
“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.”
It’s important to be able to distinguish narcissism quickly because narcissists aren’t actually cool, Bushman said.
They’re bad for society because they tend to have low empathy, they already think they’re great so they’re uninterested in self-improvement, and “people who are only thinking of themselves and their own interests are less helpful to others,” he said.
The study also showed that narcissism had a mixed effect on the lives of the narcissists themselves. Those who scored high on the SINS test had more positive feelings, more extroversion, and less depression. But they also had less agreeableness and more anger, shame, guilt, and fear. They also had worse relationships with others and reacted poorly when their egos were threatened.
Bushman does not expect SINS to replace the NPI, but thinks it might have its place as a component in long surveys where subjecting a subject to all 40 questions might be too tiring.
So are you ready to take the test? Don’t blame me if you don’t like what it says, but you can take it here.
[Source: Ohio State University]
Image “Dreamy” by Porsche Brosseau via Wikimedia Commons