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How to identify a narcissistic employee

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As we previously revealed, having a narcissistic employee in the organisation has its pros and cons. But, how do you screen them out? For starters, looking through their social media for selfies and images is a good way.

Researchers from Swansea University and Milan University have recently found a link between excessive posting of selfies and images on social media, and an increase in narcissistic behaviour. This was revealed in a study published in the Open Psychology Journal, where the personality changes of 74 individuals aged 18 to 34 were studied over a four-month period.

According to a press release uploaded on ScienceDaily, narcissistic behaviour, or narcissism, is “a personality characteristic that can involve grandiose exhibitionism, beliefs relating to entitlement, and exploiting others.”

The participants’ usage of social media – including Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram – was assessed and the following was revealed:

  • Those who used social media excessively to post visuals displayed an average 25% increase in narcissistic traits.
  • According to a measurement in the study, this increase meant many of the participants surpassed the clinical cut-off for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
  • Participants who used social media such as Twitter for verbal postings did not display the traits. However, a similar link was found in them: The more narcissistic they already were, the more verbal postings they made as time passed.

60% of the participants used Facebook in the study, while 25% used Instagram and the remaining 13% used Twitter and Snapchat respectively. More than two-thirds used social media to post images.

In the press release, Phil Reed, professor, department of psychology at Swansea University, said: “There have been suggestions of links between narcissism and the use of visual postings on social media, such as Facebook, but, until this study, it was not known if narcissists use this form of social media more, or whether using such platforms is associated with the subsequent growth in narcissism.

“The results of this study suggest that both occur, but show that posting selfies can increase narcissism.”

Photo / 123RF 

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