Is “Generation Me” Really More Narcissistic Than Previous Generations?


  • The first and second authors contributed equally to this article, and the ordering of authorship was arbitrary. We thank Richard Lucas, Fred Oswald, and William Swann for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article.

Address correspondence to Kali Trzesniewski, Department of Psychology, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON Canada N6A 5C2; E-mail:


ABSTRACT In this commentary, we identify several methodological and conceptual issues that undermine Twenge, Konrath, Foster, Campbell, and Bushman's (this issue) claim that narcissism levels have been rising over the past few decades. Specifically, we discuss (a) the limitations of convenience samples for making inferences about generational differences, (b) our failure to replicate other cross-temporal meta-analytic findings using data from a nationally representative sample, and (c) issues surrounding the interpretation of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. It is important to consider these issues given the extensive media coverage of Twenge et al.'s claim that today's youth are particularly narcissistic, which has wide-ranging implications for how this generation of young adults views itself and is viewed by society at large.