Narcissists are very willing to admit they are a narcissist and are often even proud to admit it. If one is very self-satisfied and feels superior and special, then declaring oneself as a narcissist is a given and may be done without hesitation.
Psychologists who are interested in narcissism have developed tools to clinically determine whether someone is a narcissist. In a recent study, a group of psychologists from various universities in the United States announced the development and validity of a new tool that determines whether someone is a narcissist. The tool is a questionnaire comprised of one question that basically asks whether you think you are a narcissist. The one question is all that is needed to make the diagnosis. The study was published in the journal PLOS One.
The new tool is called the Single Item Narcissism Scale. It consists of a single statement and the respondent indicates their level of agreement with that statement. The wording of the statement was considered very carefully.
The Single Item Narcissism Scale asks individuals if they agree with the statement, “I am a narcissist.” Researchers added a special note clarifying that the word ‘narcissist’ means self-focused, vain, and egotistical. The responses were measured on a numerical scale, with the lowest number signifying “not very true of me,” to the highest number meaning “very true of me.”
The Single Item Narcissism Scale was tested in 11 different experiments on 2,200 participants. The results were then compared to results from the Narcissistic Personality Inventory test, which is a widely used measure of narcissistic personality characteristics. The Narcissistic Personality Inventory test is comprised of 40 forced-choice statements that respondents agree or disagree with on a scale. The Single Item Narcissism Scale was developed and validated to make a quick and easy test available for the assessment of narcissistic personalities.
The implication of the results from this study suggest that it does not take much to determine whether someone is a narcissist. Basically, just asking someone if they are a narcissist is enough. Narcissists seem to be very willing to directly agree with the statement “I am a narcissist” without any back and forth doubting.
The term narcissist is derived from the infamous figure in Greek myth, Narcissus. Narcissus enjoyed viewing his own image in a river until he fell in and drowned. The Greek myth, of course, suggests that being narcissistic has its downfalls. Narcissists are said to feel entitled, insensitive and vain, and are known to engage in behaviors described as aggressive, greedy, dishonest or sexually exploitative. They have a sense of grandiosity and feel they should be admired by others. Whereas personality types that are considered healthy have a certain degree of a positive view of themselves, personalities that are considered to be narcissistic are thought to have an over-the-top idea of self-importance that eventually leads to their downfall.
Narcissists are proud to admit being a narcissist. Psychologists now have an easy way to pinpoint a narcissistic personality. It seems that all they need to do is ask.
By Margaret Lutze