Narcissism—an inflated view of the self—is everywhere. Public figures say it’s what makes them stray from their wives. Parents teach it by dressing children in T-shirts that say "Princess." Teenagers and young adults hone it on Facebook, and celebrity newsmakers have elevated it to an art form. And it’s what’s making people depressed, lonely, and buried under piles of debt.
Jean Twenge’s influential first book, Generation Me, spurred a national debate with its depiction of the challenges twenty- and thirty-somethings face in today’s world—and the fallout these issues create for educators and employers. Now, Dr. Twenge turns her focus to the pernicious spread of narcissism in today’s culture, which has repercussions for every age group and class. Dr. Twenge joins forces with W. Keith Campbell, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert on narcissism, to explore this new plague in The Narcissism Epidemic, their eye-opening exposition of the alarming rise of narcissism and its catastrophic effects at every level of society. Even the world economy has been damaged by risky, unrealistic overconfidence. Drawing on their own extensive research as well as decades of other experts’ studies, Drs. Twenge and Campbell show us how to identify narcissism, minimize the forces that sustain and transmit it, and treat it or manage it where we find it. Filled with arresting, alarming, and even amusing stories of vanity gone off the tracks (would you like to hire your own personal paparazzi?), The Narcissism Epidemic is at once a riveting window into the consequences of narcissism, a prescription to combat the widespread problems it causes, and a probing analysis of the culture at large.
About the Authors
Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D., is a widely published associate professor of psychology at San Diego State University. Her research has appeared in Time, USA Today, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and she has been featured on Today and Dateline and National Public Radio's All Things Considered. She holds degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan. Dr. Twenge lives with her husband in San Diego, California.
W. Keith Campbell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Georgia, is the author of more than 65 scientific journal articles and book chapters and the book, When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself: How to Deal with a One-way Relationship (Sourcebooks, 2005). He has published more than 30 journal articles and chapters on narcissism, more than any other academic researcher. He is also a contributing author of the study on the rise in narcissism covered by the Associated Press. His research has appeared in USA Today, Newsweek, and The Washington Post, and he has been featured on Fox News’ The Big Story and made numerous radio appearances. He holds a BA from the University of California at Berkeley, an MA from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He lives in Athens, Georgia, with his wife and daughter.
"The other night, when I was reading Twenge and Campbell's excellent and timely new book, my husband was busy framing a fake "Sports Illustrated" cover, with a picture of our 7-year old over the caption, "Player of the Year." "The Narcissism Epidemic" will hew close to the bone, rouse, and provoke many readers as it shines a spotlight on an important -- and highly costly -- trend in our lives. Rooted in hard data and illuminated with revealing anecdotes, stories, and solutions, "The Narcissism Epidemic" is both a pleasure and an education. But enough about this book. Let's talk about me." -- Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., author of "The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want" "An important and illuminating book. Drs. Twenge and Campbell expertly analyze many strands of American culture and reveal an alarming tapestry of psychocultural narcissism. They also offer sound strategies for slowing this epidemic." -- Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., author of "Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel" and "So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids" "Phenomenal..."The Narcissism Epidemic" clearly and succinctly identifies the dangerous disease and the catastrophic ways it threatens our society and future, and reveals urgently needed solutions at every level. The chapter on parenting alone makes this book priceless and should be compulsory reading." -- Patrick Wanis PhD, Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert, author of "How to Find Happiness" "Filled with important, disturbing research detailing the alarming cultural spread of narcissism today -- a serious social problem to which many people are unwittingly contributing without realizing the disastrous consequences. The authors give sound advice and provide an important resource for anyone who cares about compassion, empathy, and emotional connection rather than ME, ME, ME!" -- Karyl McBride, Ph.D., author of "Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers " ""The Narcissism Epidemic" is a must read, an essential antidote to a culture spinning out of control. Filled with facts, fascinating examples, and written in a highly readable style, Twenge and Campbell's outstanding book shows how narcissism has been on the rise and has taken over almost every part of our lives and how we can rescue our culture from ourselves. An outstanding accomplishment by two people who truly care about the debacle of self-worship. It should be read by anyone interested in the future of our country" -- Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D., author of "Anxiety Free: Unravel Your Fears Before They Unravel You" "A must-read for anyone who is a parent, a relationship partner, in the workforce, in school, or on the job market. Twenge and Campbell not only define narcissism but detail its antecedents, consequences, and underlying processes in a way that brings together so much of what one sees in modern western culture. Grounded in research and peppered with media and anecdotal stories, The Narcissism Epidemic offers practical, much-needed solutions to coping in the age of entitlement." -- Kathleen Vohs, Ph.D., University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professor, Editor of "Self and Relationships: Connecting Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Processes" "This insightful book shows us how the epidemic of narcissism touches almost all aspects of our lives. Twenge and Campbell's astute analysis and salient anecdotes powerfully map the problem and the high price we all pay. They expertly show us the kinds of actions we can take to free ourselves of the epidemic's ruthless grip and how the future wellbeing of humane society depends on our doing so." -- Diane E. Levin, Ph.D., Professor of Education at Wheelock College and co-author of "So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids" "The evidence Twenge and Campbell have compiled is compelling and appalling.... Twenge and Campbell marshal statistics, polls, charts, studies and anecdotes to assemble a complete picture of the epidemic's current state of contagion, brought on by the Internet, reality television, a booming economy, easy credit and other developments over the past decade. The authors dismantle the prevailing myths that have made us inclined to tolerate and even encourage narcissism: that it's a function of high self-esteem, that it's a function of low self-esteem, that a little narcissism is healthy, that narcissists are in fact superior, that you have to love yourself to be able to love someone else." -- "New York Times Style Magazine"