College students are more confident in themselves than ever… without good reason

7 Jan

College students are increasingly suffering from “ambition inflation” (views of themselves and their future that don’t match realistic expectations.  From the UK Daily Mail:

Pyschologist Jean Twenge and her colleagues compiled the data and found that over the last four decades there’s been a dramatic rise in the number of students who describe themselves as being ‘above average’ in the areas of academic ability, drive to achieve, mathematical ability, and self-confidence.

But in appraising the traits that are considered less invidualistic – co-operativeness, understanding others, and spirituality – the numbers either stayed at slightly decreased over the same period.

Researchers also found a disconnect between the student’s opinions of themselves and actual ability.

A 2006 study found that students suffer from ‘ambition inflation’ as their increased ambitions accompany increasingly unrealistic expectations.

‘Since the 1960s and 1970s, when those expectations started to grow, there’s been an increase in anxiety and depression,’ Twenge said. ‘There’s going to be a lot more people who don’t reach their goals.’

Twenge is the author of a separate study showing a 30 per cent increase towards narcissism in students since 1979.

‘Our culture used to encourage modesty and humility and not bragging about yourself,’ Twenge told BBC News. ‘It was considered a bad thing to be seen as conceited or full of yourself.’

Just because someone has high self-esteem doesn’t mean they’re a narcissist. Positive self-assessments can not only be harmless but completely true.

However, one in four recent students responded to a questionnaire called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory with results pointing towards narcissistic self-assessments.

Narcissism is defined as excessive self-love or vanity; self-admiration, or being self-centered.

Twenge said that’s a trait that is often negative and destructive, and blames its boom on several trends – including parenting styles, celebrity culture, social media, and easy credit – for allowing people to seem more successful than they really are.

‘What’s really become prevalent over the last two decades is the idea that being highly self-confident – loving yourself, believing in yourself – is the key to success,’ Twenge said. ‘Now the interesting thing about that belief is it’s widely held, it’s very deeply held, and it’s also untrue.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2257715/Study-shows-college-students-think-theyre-special–read-write-barely-study.html#ixzz2HJ8VW7dh
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: